Kevin Wallace at the age of seventeen started GEARS Bike Shop in the original Clarkson Train Station on Clarkson Road. Before her passing in 1993 his mother, Betty Wallace, supported Kevin as his bookkeeper until she succumbed to the cancer she had been living with for seven years. In 1990 Ira Kargel joined Kevin and Betty in a spring/summer full-time job role, where she had been groomed to take on the role of bookkeeper and shop manager. In 1995 after earning a degree in microbiology from Western, and a teaching degree from Queen’s, Ira joined Kevin fulltime in GEARS Bike Shop.
Humble beginnings, became life-long pursuits as GEARS Bike Shop went from 600 square feet to almost 2000 square feet at 176 Lakeshore Road West (northwest corner of Mississauga Rd and Lakeshore Rd). Since 1996 GEARS has taken over the majority of the 176 location expanding to approximately 7,000 sq. ft. of space including the amphitheatre styled indoor cycling studio.
During a school trip to an apple farm with his daughter, Kevin had to keep a close eye on her because she had caught the eye of a fiery redheaded boy. Through this bout of puppy love, Kevin met Susan, the mother of the boy. Susan having vast experience owning her own recruiting company was more than a great connection for GEARS and after more meetings, and school trips, Kevin and Susan became friends as fast as their children and were soon discussing staffing plans with Ira. In February 2010, Susan introduced Kevin to her husband Mario at dinner. Mario, a Bay Street executive loved the history of GEARS and the vast growth potential of the company. During this dinner is when the gears started to grind and wheels started to turn. During the remainder of the winter and into the summer, the plan of expansion and growth became a reality. Joining the ownership team in 2010, Mario and Susan were instrumental to the opening of GEARS’ second location.
In April, 2011, on one of the rainiest days of the year, GEARS opened the doors of its second location in the Leaside community of Toronto. Located at 109 Vanderhoof Avenue, the new almost 10,000 sq. ft. store uses industrial colour tones, modern fixtures, and reclaimed wood. The latest GEARS store offers consumers an elegant and relaxing shopping experience in a charming environment. Visitors to the Toronto store will find a welcoming café to enjoy a hot or cold drink while browsing the extensive inventory of bikes and accessories, or discusing the latest technology with the highly trained staff.
Today, GEARS is known as one of the largest bicycle retailers in Canada. Staffing professional and energetic individuals who are very passionate about their jobs, and the cycling community. Our team has many years of experience and has compounded knowledge that plays an integral role in stocking only the best products. We aim to be competitive in our pricing, and strive to service all of our customers to the best of our abilities, aiming to achieve 100% customer satisfaction with each interaction.
Since we started our business in 1988, GEARS has believed that outdoor recreation is what creates lasting memories that will stay with our customers for the rest of their lives. With one visit to any of our shops, we hope that you will make us your choice in the GTA, and we look forward to being your “link” to the outdoors.