The 58-year-old cyclist killed in a collision with a flatbed truck at Bloor St. W. and St. George St. earlier this week has been identified as Dalia Chako, a grandmother who loved to ride her bike.
Skylor Brummans, who says he is Chako’s son, wrote in a post on the Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists Facebook page that his mother leaves behind a granddaughter.
“My mother was a (woman) who loved to travel and has been all around the world,” Brummans wrote. “She was new to Toronto but really loved the city.
“She LOVED to ride her bike.”
Chako was found without vital signs following the collision in the Annex on Tuesday. She was pronounced dead shortly after.
At the scene, a bike with a small pink bell on the handlebars could be seen lying on the ground, the front wheel crumpled, with a helmet lying nearby.
Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists, the group that arranges ghost bike rides for cyclists killed in Toronto, plans to hold Chako’s ride next Wednesday.
Brummans said he plans to attend.
Cyclists will meet Wednesday evening at Spadina and Bloor to ride the one-kilometre route to the crash site at Bloor St. W. and St. George St.
Including Chako’s, there will be three ghost bike rides in five days, said Joey Schwartz with Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists.
“I think most of us are feeling a bit shell-shocked by it,” Schwartz said. “It’s horrible.”
Chako is the fourth cyclist to die on the streets of Toronto this year.
On Tuesday, Mayor John Tory tweeted: “My thoughts are with the family and friends of the woman who died while cycling at Bloor and St. George Sts. today. The deaths of pedestrians (and) cyclists on our streets is deeply troubling to me. I am determined to do all we can to make our streets safer.”
The number of cyclists and pedestrians dying on the streets of Toronto has led to outrage and demands for change.
“I am calling for a state of emergency, which means treating this crisis as a high priority and investing in immediate measures to create a safe environment for vulnerable road users,” said Jennifer Keesmaat, Toronto’s former chief planner, on Wednesday.
“The way in which Americans discount gun deaths, Torontonians and their leaders seem to discount car-related deaths — like there’s nothing we can do about it,” said Richard Florida, a renowned University of Toronto cities expert.
Traffic death numbers compiled by the Star are higher than the official police count. That’s in part because Toronto police figures for traffic fatalities don’t include deadly collisions that happen on private property, such as in the parking lots of apartment buildings or malls, or on provincial 400-series highways within Toronto, which are the jurisdiction of the Ontario Provincial Police.
The Star has counted four cyclist deaths this year; police have counted three, excluding the March 20 death of a cyclist who hit a parked car in North York.
Neither tally includes victims of homicide, such as those killed in the Yonge St. van rampage.
With files from David Rider, Samantha Beattie and Ben Spurr