A cyclist who swerved into a parked van to avoid a turning car had the right of way moments before the deadly collision, Toronto police say.

The cyclist, 71, died in hospital on Tuesday afternoon, shortly after the crash near a Dupont Street car dealership, just west of Christie Street.

Police are still investigating, but say it appears that around 12:50 p.m. westbound traffic had stopped to allow an eastbound car to turn left into a parking lot on Dupont. The cyclist, who was also heading west, was passing the stopped cars on the right.

The cyclist dodged the turning vehicle — which braked at the last minute to avoid hitting the man — before slamming into a black minivan parked on the north side of the street.

Const. Clint Stibbe, of Toronto police's traffic services division, said at the scene that the collision appeared to be caused by "cyclist error," but said on Wednesday morning that his comment was a mistake.

"We're still looking at the chain of events," Stibbe told CBC News.

"We have to look at the actions of all road users."

Stibbe said it could be weeks before reconstruction teams figure out what errors led to the crash. He said it's far too early to comment on any potential charges.

The cyclist, who was wearing a helmet at the time, suffered grave injuries after colliding with the van. He was rushed to hospital, but died there. He has not been identified at this time.

Was speed a factor?

Stibbe said the severity of the cyclist's injuries may be due to speed.

Police say surveillance video captured by the car dealership appears to show the cyclist travelling nearly 30 km/h at the time of the crash.

Stibbe said he hasn't seen the video, so can't comment on how much of the incident was recorded.

Any questions about road design in the area, he said, should go to the city.

"At any time everyone has to be aware of their own safety," Stibbe said, adding drivers have to exercise extra caution while turning across traffic.

Police are still seeking any witnesses who may have seen the collision.