Words and pictures by Jun Nogami
It's been an absolutely brutal week or so with three cyclists dying on the mean streets of Toronto, and another in Markham. This sudden spike in the number of deaths (taken together with several pedestrian deaths) has led to numerous calls for the city to do something. On June 8, Jonas Mitchell passed away in hospital of injuries incurred when he was hit by a car that ran a red light on Lakeshore Blvd. The very next day, Douglas Crosbie was killed on Dundas St E. The following day, Aaron Rinke-Wright was killed by an SUV in what appeared to be a targeted killing. The next week, Dalia Chako was killed by a flatbed truck at Bloor and St. George.
ARC (Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists) has been working overtime to arrange memorial rides for each of these victims.
Here are two pictures from the memorial ride for Jonas Mitchell.
Pictures of the ride for Aaron Rankin-Wright in NOW Toronto are available here.
Dalia Chakos died at Bloor and St. George. Even before tonight, people had left flowers in her memory.
Tonight was her memorial ride. A very large crowd gathered at Bloor and Spadina, a mere 300m from the crash site.
Dalia's son, Skylor Brummans, flew in from Minnesota to attend the ride. He was determined to use the news of his mother's untimely death to press for more safety for cyclists. Bless him.
Joey Schwartz makes some announcements to get us started. Since we had so many people, riding directly to the crash site would have been unwieldy so it was decided to ride north on Spadina Rd. to Bernard, then east to St. George, and down to Bloor.
Here we go.
Frequent Dandyhorse correspondent Martin Reis.
Right turn at Bernard.
South on St. George.
The ghost bike arrives at the crash site, the southeast corner of St. George and Bloor.
There are so many people here that we own the intersection.
Joey thanks everyone for attending, and then calls for a minute of silence.
People come forward to put flowers on the bike.
Skylor once again thanks the crowd and says that his mother would have been shocked had she known that hundreds of people would ride in her memory.
The decorated ghost bike.
RIP Dalia Chakos. Deepest condolences to her family and friends.
Update: a similar article with a mostly different selection of photos has been posted at Biking in a Big City.