The city has temporarily halted work to cut down trees as part of preparation for the redevelopment of Lansdowne Park until residents could be properly notified.
A small group of protestors chained two bicycles to a backhoe as workers began cutting down trees in Silvia Holden Park, along the south side of Holmwood Avenue.
Some 60 trees were scheduled for removal to allow work crews to move the Horticulture building to a spot east of its current location.
Diane McIntyre was one of two women who chained her bike to the construction equipment.
Chained bikes to backhoe
"I had a phone call this morning, telling me that this was happening. So I rode over, chained my bike, and just said could we please take a pause here," said McIntyre.
Her friend Martha McKeen, who locked her bike to the backhoe's load, said residents weren't told about the work.
"There was no forewarning. No notices in our mailboxes that this was about to take place this morning," she said.
Area councillor David Chernushenko ordered the work halted, saying residents on the street should have been notified by mail before the work began.
Protestors don't expect to halt the Lansdowne project altogether, but they said they wanted to send a message.
Tuesday afternoon, Chernushenko told a group of about 60 residents who had gathered at the site that the contractor had acted unilaterally, and had surprised both himself and other city officials by beginning the work.
No further work would take place there until Monday at the earliest, said Chernushenko.
The contractor doing the work, EllisDon, issued an apology on Tuesday evening.
"EllisDon mobilized on site as stipulated in our contract agreement but should not have executed any work until properly authorized to do so by the City representative," said senior project manager Martin Burns in a statement.