Mark Hayward
Toronto, d. 11.September.2019, cancer.

Mark Hayward

Photo courtesy of Leah Hollinsworth


So sad and shocked to hear about veteran Toronto messenger Mark Haywardís passing. Mark was a leader in the Toronto bike messenger community for about 20 years. But he was so much more. He was compassionate, caring and brave. Mark was a builder of the community. He leaves this city better than he found it. Mark was a tireless fighter for messengers. He spent many years organizing and working to better labour rights and working conditions for messengers. Mark was one of the organizers of CMWC 2008. He put on so many Toronto alley cats. He was part of a team that hosted many messenger Christmas dinners. He was one of the people who came up with the motto of the TBMA - ďyou never ride aloneĒ.  Mark always stood up with his community and for his community. He is standing there in the first CMWC group photo from 1998 in Washington DC. Mark stood up leading union drives presenting a well reasoned case to the media. And when Darcy Allan Sheppard was killed Mark stood tall in front of the cameras to give Al and the entire Toronto messenger community a voice as he broke down the stereotypes the media had constructed. One of the things I will remember most about Mark is his philosophies and opinions. Even when I disagreed with him I couldnít help but admire his insight and his worldview. RIP Mark Ė Joe Hendry



Almost 20 years of friendship. So many memories made. We took so many flights together. Shared hostel rooms. Rode bikes together in many many countries. Hosted a cmwc and managed to remain good friends. I will miss all your sheep jokes. I donít think i will ever meet someone more devoted to their family. Every time I eat a fruit cake for the rest of my life I will always think of you. You were a loyal friend and a true gentleman. Thank you for your friendship all these years. Say hi to Tizzer for me. - Leah Hollinsworth



I just want to say goodbye to a great soul. A friend. A comrade. Mark Hayward. He left us too early. He helped me get landmark decisions while working for the courier industry. A Labour Board win. A win at tax court. The right to collect Employment Insurance. All of this happened because he supplied me with the data I needed when I was mistreated by a particular company. He was selfless, intelligent, vibrant and most of all kind. He was a great guy to have a beer with. I sure am going to miss the energy you brought to so many. If there is a heaven, you have it RSVP'd, brother. Rest well. - Stevie McIntosh


There is so much I want to say about the effect this man had on my life. So many stories and so many laughs and drinks. The story that has been coming to mind since I heard of his passing is as follows. I don't know what year it was but it was during the organising of CUPW local 104. The courier union that Mark spearheaded like a boss. I may have been secretary treasurer at this time. I may not have been. Regardless. I was in Montreal for a show at foufones during the maple spring movement. And while I was on the front patio of foufs I saw this awe inspiring protest. A parade of all types of people marching down rue st Catherine. Young, old ,men ,women,children, everyone. Being a troublemaker I was immediately riled up and decided that I wanted to be at the front of that line. The two women I was with pleaded with me not to go because it wasn't my fight (I begged to differ but that's another story) it wasn't my first rodeo and I knew how to handle myself. The first thing I did was call Mark. He was stoked and told me to write his number on my body in marker. It was already on there. Again, Not my first rodeo. Mark said that if anything happened to call him and in the morning him and a laywer would be there. No hesitation. Without a seconds hesitation Mark was ready to drive seven hours and laywer up to bail me out of a Quebec jail if need be. Not a hint of hesitation. That was who Mark Hayward was to me. The ultimate people power person. He believed in the power of people to do incredible things together and he was always game. I will miss his impressions of Cormac McCarthy characters and his unrelenting energy that filled up any room. But most of all I will miss his unwavering belief in people and I hope to keep just some of that energy and keep it going in tribute to one of the greatest people I have ever had the privilege to meet. rest in peace Mark you will be sorely missed. - Beau Bomberry


I think I first met Mark at CMWC Warsaw or maybe it was Lausanne.I took an instant liking to him.He had this magnetic warmth that drew you to him.I always looked forward to seeing him at courier events from then on.I remember leaving Mexico City after CMWC and absent - mindedly forgetting to take back my bank card from the ATM.I got to the airport with just enough cash to get the bike on the plane.I was looking at a thirteen hour journey back to London with a stop off and with no cash whatsoever.I bumped into Mark on his way back to Toronto and told him about the card."Take this for a couple of beers and give it back to me next time we meet." He handed me twenty dollars.That was Mark and that was the last time I saw him.So my lasting memory of him,the memory I'll carry around with me for the rest of my days is of him helping me out.This is hard to take but I experienced his kindness and I'll never forget it.Goodbye,Mark. You never ride alone. - ‎Ovar Dryve‎



Mark Hayward wow I don't know where to start. Met this amazing person about 15 years ago and we were great friends from the start. We always had our differences in opinions but I suppose that's what opinions are for. He was always there to help in any ridiculous situations I was in need help with, be it for argument or just help moving something. I always loved talking for hours with him about life or just bike related things, or fawning over frames/parts we really had no business owning short of the fact that they were pretty. Always respected that he wasn't a regular drinker/partier but when he did go out, he'd go hard and usually be one of the last people standing. Messenger related events will never be the same without mark, he always enjoyed when everyone got together. On the note of bringing everyone together, last night I heard from people around the world and even people right here at home whom I hadn't talked to in months or even years in certain cases and it warmed me right up. I'm terrible at these things so I'll stop there, ride in peace Mark. - Tyler Scruton



Its pretty amazing... and weird. Every time I hear the song Swing Life Away by @riseagainst I think of my #mess fam friends around the world. The lines ďI've got some friends, some that I hardly know. But we've had some times, I wouldn't trade for the worldĒ and those words make me think of the amazing people Iíve met over the years. @181hateworld is one of those people I think of. But the rare moments I spent with him and so many other people I constantly think of around the world who I shared those experiences. I will never forget the words of wisdom he shared with me during that crazy first Toronto Mayday. He was intense yet gentle. Wise get realistic. It breaks my heart to know youíve left us. We havenít spoken in years, but the years and the miles donít matter. The world is a bit darker because someone like you has left. And for that Iím sad. Thank you for being my friend and for not letting the distance, the silence and the years change that. - Matt Nahoum


Mark Hayward what can I say that others haven't said before, you were a friend, a mentor a inspiration of how to be human. Your laugh, your smile with that twinkle in your eye these I will remember fondly. I'm having a hard time knowing that no more memories will be made with you. I want to ride my bike right now but I just can't. From our nights organizing to the Stouffville rides, staying up and playing cribbage and listening to CBC radio, to the countless phone calls on special days to having you come stay at my hotel during NACCC'S NYC while I was at work and trying to stay out till 3am every night knowing i have to work the next morning at 7am, to the advice and the consoling, to walking Tizzy and oat cakes and so many many things, you were supposed to be in my wedding last week but obviously things changed this past June at 6:30am when you called me to tell me about all this. You were there in spirit and you texted me on my wedding day exhausted from treatment but you just had to congratulate me! and we had a chance to say I love you to each other and that was just you and that's what you did! I hope I can be half the man you are and I'll forever strive to live like you did, to lead by example and to always be there for anyone whom I call a friend. I love you Mark, I know we will see each other again. - Noah Normandin


Back in the 90ís and 00ís, in the inaugural days of Messenger World Championships , and before Internet and Social Media, a regular crew from across the world would assemble at the chosen city for Championships, or AlleyCats , or Figure of Eight Track Racing. There was no real way of precontacting each other, aside from international landlines, so whoever showed up wherever ,was the crew. Mark Hayward was one of the crew, and he was revered . I looked forward to ďrandomlyĒ crossing beer paths with him at this pre arranged destination. It was a magic formula, very formulative , and more importantly an education in how to behave and think , with regards to the building of the international messenger community , the now messfam. Many others had solid , inciteful, and charasmatic views on our community, but Mark was the good ground and grace that I hung my hat on. Pleasure to have known you Big Man and in my thoughts today and ever more. - Juan Pacifico Ramirez


Send It rider and dispatcher #181 Mark Hayward (1971-2019) - Somewhere always in the back of my mind will be biking through empty Philly streets at 1am with you, after a NACCC party, itís a warm night and we are endlessly talking about work (we were always talking about work, always about the co-op). I miss you. You are the hardest worker I know and a good friend. Itís a difficult day for Send It today - but the lights are on, the cargo bikes are out - and thatís exactly what you would want us doing. Rest in Power. Ė Douglas Drake


Farewell Mark Hayward. I consider myself very fortunate to have met and worked with you. You were the type of person that the will can ill afford to lose. I will miss our infrequent but always enjoyable conversations. The plan was that you would inherit my Bridgestone, and I will never ride it again without thinking of you and the good times. Thank you for everything. - Shane Marx


I first met Mark when I was 17. I was a new courier and I was on my porch on Brock Ave when Mark came walking down. I hadnít yet met him, but I knew he was in the community, so I waved at him and asked what angle I should set my drop bars. Since then, Iíve continued to ask for advice and talked out problems and asked for bike help and gotten book recommendations. Mark always said yes. I could count on him for help and friendship. He never missed a birthday, and he always walked me home after late beers. Thank you for everything. Iíll miss you. Visits home wonít be the same without you. I wish I could have one more Mark hug where he lifted me off my feet. They were always special. Ride in peace Mark Hayward, Iíll miss you. - Amber Urbshas


Oh, MarkÖIím heartbroken. I donít know what to say. You were the most solid friend. I canít even count the number of times you rescued me. From our jailbreak in Prague (Amy Gibbs, Michael Andrew Harvie), to failed border crossing rescues at Swiss Chalet on Yonge St to scraping me off the ground after a particularly humiliating wipeout at the NACCC in Philly. You were always there for me. You were even the most handsome man at our wedding. It never mattered where I was living or how long we had been apart - every time we saw each other, we picked up as if no time had passed. You made this last move back to Toronto bearable and Iím so thankful you got to spend time with Frankie and got to meet Noa. Frankie loves you so much - and I know Noa would have been just as smitten.   You were also the only person that Trout would ever let pick her up and hold like a baby - not that many people could hold a 70 pound dog like a baby...I'll be sure to keep giving her her 9pm treats as she expects - all thanks to you.  Iíve said goodbye to too many of our friends - but this one is the fucking worst. Thank you for being in my life. You were so loved. Big Love to Janel, Mary, Bill, Anne and Maureen and all his friends and family. Take care of each other, everyone. - Emory Davidge


The first time I met Mark Hayward was at cmwc 2008. He saw us wandering around not knowing where we were going and scooped us up and took us to a Vets/Organizers party even though we were obviously still newbs. I told him about how my friend snuck weed over the boarder and he promptly made fun of him, told him if he wanted the real stuff heíd get it for him, told everyone at the party to give us free beers and said if we needed anything just to let him know. I donít think he ever saw him stop taking care of people for the next 11 years I had the pleasure of knowing him. - Jeff ONeill



The global messenger community lost a bicycle warrior. I met Mark Hayward in Warsaw and he became my first friend when I moved from Europe to Toronto to start Verra Couriers. In my first week messengering I texted Mark, where can I find such bike part that I just busted. Where are you? Replied Mark. Less than 5 minutes and he was on the corner of Bloor and something with a new part. He had the dedication to build a messenger union and to shepherd a flock of black sheep. His laughter was contagious and his knowlege overshadowed only by his humility. Mark was one of the good ones. My heart felt condolences to his people - Hannah Verrassing



A man of great conversation. Probably the most well read messenger Iíd ever met, with a great laugh and radiant smile. A one of a kind character, dedicated team player, memorable dispatcher and solid mess family member. Iím so sorry you suffered, and Iím deeply saddened that youíre gone. You will be missed dearly and Iím sorry we never got a proper goodbye. MessFam, my dear, somewhat estranged, but beautiful group of roughened people on 2 wheels: I feel your loss. I wish I was there to celebrate his life with you, and come together in the beautiful way that unfortunately only these things do. Take care of one another. Ride safe this winter. I miss you. - Giada Labrecque



Yesterday the world lost a beautiful soul, a wonderful human, and a great friend. A friend to the messenger and cycling community. A son... A husband...I take solace in having been granted the opportunity to have known him in this life, to have worked with him, to have gained the knowledge bestowed upon me about the most optimal bomb-proof messenger wheels (Philís laced to Open Proís) and an appreciation of the definition of sharp wit and dry humour that he exhibited as only he could, masterfully.  The hurt will remain for some time, but it will subside one day. The joy and moments spent in his presence will remain in memory, forever immortalized by those who knew him, loved him, and respected him. You will be sorely missed, Mark Hayward. With all sincerity I will miss you, with all courtesy to your family, closest friends, loved ones, especially Janet Pants, my heart goes out to you all. You Never Ride Alone. Ride in Power - Michael Kryzalka-Neumaier


I'll always remember our office days spent discussing and debating what's right, but mostly whats wrong with the world. You had more conviction than anyone I know and never failed to demonstrate that through your words and actions. You were a committed friend who never failed to show up, from offering wisdom and advice, to just blowing off steam. I feel priveleged to have known you, and will continue to learn from you. The world is a worse place without you. I miss you Mark - William Nakhid


Shocked and much saddened tonight as we remember our brother messenger, Mark Hayward. Mr. Hayward was a tireless, longtime leader in our unique local community. He cannot be replaced. Heartfelt condolences to family and friends. Ride in peace, Mark. Ė Wayne Scott


Mark Hayward had so much guff, confidence, and love for his community. He loved to be a wrench in the works, took joy in a good debate, and I don't think I ever saw him not in a good mood. There is now a huge hole in the cycling community and his 'mess fam' that can never be filled. Sending love to Mark's family and friends far and wide. He was one of a kind.  Ride in peace pal. I'll have a scotch and celebrate you tonight. - Ainsley Naylor


Mark Hayward  

  Photo courtesy of Phil Barbosa


Markís Obituary:

MARK WILLIAM HAYWARD Age 48 of Toronto and formerly of Halifax, Mark passed away on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 in Toronto. He was the beloved son of William and Mary (Sullivan) Hayward of Halifax. Surviving are his dear wife and friend, Janel Fisher, his loving sisters Anne Cairns (Michael), Maureen Hayward of Halifax, and his much loved nephews Patrick and Will Cairns. Mark was a graduate of Saint Mary's University. He lived and worked in Toronto for 18 years as a bicycle messenger, union official, and hospital administrator. He loved riding his bike and traveled the world before settling in Toronto. He enjoyed life and had many friends in Toronto, Halifax, and around the world. Mark was a leader in the global bike messenger community and spent time travelling to many countries to organize and participate in bicycle messenger races. He was one of the people who came up with the motto of the Toronto Bike Messenger Association "You Never Ride Alone". His loss is felt around the world where he built a legacy for his passion in community organizing and improving the lives of working people. Mark touched many people's lives and helped so many people over the years, he was known to be the most trustworthy and dependable of friends. He was the kind of person the world couldn't afford to lose. A celebration of Mark's life will be held on Saturday, October 5, 2019 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at JA Snow Funeral Home, 339 Lacewood Drive in Halifax. Memorial gifts may be made in Mark's name to Canadian Cancer Society, the Toronto Humane Society, or any group supporting worker's rights.



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