Toronto

'Someone was killed here': Cyclists turn out for emotional ghost bike ride for Dalia Chako

For the third time in less than a week, Toronto cyclists took to the streets Wednesday evening for a memorial ghost bike ride in honour of Dalia Chako, the 58-year-old woman killed last while riding in the Bloor Street bike lane near the Annex.

'My mother would be amazed and shocked by the outpouring of support and love,' son says

The organizing group, Advocacy for the Respect for Cyclists (ARC), marked the site of the crash with a ghost bike — a bicycle painted white and bearing Chako's name. (Garry Asselstine/CBC)

For the third time in less than a week, Toronto cyclists took to the streets Wednesday evening for a memorial ghost bike ride in honour of Dalia Chako, the 58-year-old woman killed last while riding in the Bloor Street bike lane near the Annex.

The organizing group, Advocacy for the Respect for Cyclists (ARC), marked the site of the crash with a ghost bike — a bicycle painted white and bearing Chako's name.

"My mother would be amazed and shocked by the outpouring of support and love," Chako's son Skylor Brummans said. 

"People don't realize those ghost bikes really do mean things to people that have lost somebody, and I never would have known that until I went through this experience myself," he said.
Dalia Chako, 58, died after being hit by a flatbed truck while cycling in the Bloor Street bike lane, near St. George Street. A group of cycling advocates organized a ghost bike ride as a memorial to her. (Submitted by Skylor Brummans)

Brummans flew in from Minnesota to be part of Wednesday's ride in his mother's honour. Chako had only been in Toronto for about two years. But the turnout of well over 100 cyclists shows she had truly made a home here, he said.

"To be so new to the city and to have so much support, it's pretty amazing," he said. 
Chako's son Skylor Brummans flew in from Minnesota to be part of Wednesday's ride in his mother's honour. (Garry Asselstine/CBC)

Chako — the fourth cyclist struck and killed in Toronto this year — recently moved to the city and didn't live far from the bustling Annex intersection where she was fatally struck by a flatbed truck around noon on June 12.

Organizer Yvonne Bambrick told CBC Radio's Metro Morning that the ghost bikes are meant to be a reminder to the people passing them that "someone was killed here."

"It's heartbreaking, I don't want to make another ghost bike sign," she said.

Wednesday's ride comes a day after road safety advocates announced 15 recommendations within a new report titled #BuildTheVisionTO — a response to the city's Vision Zero plan to eliminate all road deaths, one critics warn isn't working.

"We still have a lot of summer months, a lot of cycling months left ahead of us here, and that number is already as high as it is," cycling advocate Geoffrey Bercarich said.

"It's important to know that we can't give up, and all these people around us no matter how many cyclist that dies, will be here every time."

With files from Greg Ross

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