May 18, 2023

2023 Toronto Ride of Silence

Yesterday marked the 21st Annual Ride of Silence in which cyclists around the world paid their respects to those who have been killed by road violence. 19 people took part in the Toronto ride which started 7:00 PM at Bloor and Spadina and ended at the Peace Garden next to Toronto City Hall with stops at two ghost bikes along the way.

Here is Joey Schwartz – one of the ride organizers – giving ride instructions before we rolled off.

Time to roll down Bloor Street.

Jess Spieker of Friends & Families for Safe Streets spoke at Bloor and St. George next to Dalia Chako’s ghost bike. She was a 58-year-old who had recently became a grandmother whose grandchild would never be able to receive her grandmotherly love. She was killed on June 12, 2018 by a driver of a flatbed truck turning right onto Bloor Street at the southeast corner who ultimately never got charged. A protected intersection was planned to be installed there back in 2021, but has since been delayed to this year. The question remains will this protected intersection actually get built or delayed yet again?

Spieker reminded everyone this tragedy happened near former Mayor John Tory’s residence who did not take road safety seriously, as well as the importance to vote in the June 26 mayoral by-election.

The ride then stopped at Darcy Allan Sheppard’s bike just east of Bloor and Avenue where Geoffrey Bercarich of Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists spoke. For those who don’t know, Sheppard was killed by then Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant on August 31, 2009 whose charges were dropped less than a year later. Bercarich mentioned how Sheppard’s memorial was one of the hardest he had to do, which had been set up a total of seven times. Before Alan Wayne Scott died on January 27, 2021 – who had persistently demanded justice for Sheppard over the years – Bercarich vowed to Scott that he would keep Sheppard’s memorial up as long as he could.

A turn right onto Bay Street.

One shot of the ride going down Bay (and a reminder of how useless sharrows are).

Riding behind Toronto City Hall.

Gathering at the Peace Garden.

Once gathered at the Peace Garden, Schwartz read the names of 72 cyclists killed in the Greater Toronto Area starting with the most recent in Oakville in March 2023 all the way back to Darcy Allan Sheppard in August 2009. While reading the list, Schwartz gave excruciating details of how the victims were killed, the consequences faced by the drivers (or lack thereof), and any remedies done to the road after the crash. An example of the latter was the installation of protective rails by the Martin Goodman Trail where five-year-old Xavier Morgan was killed in May 24, 2017.

After the names were read, a moment of silence was held.

I asked the ride participants to gather for a group photo before leaving.

Thanks to Joey Schwartz, Geoffrey Bercarich, and Jess Spieker for putting together last night’s Ride of Silence, as well as to the almost 20 people who took part. Let’s make sure to vote on June 26 and remember, you never ride alone.

A list of fallen cyclists from 2018 and before can be found at ARC’s website. Here is a list of those killed from 2019 to present courtesy of Joey Schwartz.


09-Mar unknown cyclist
Upper Middle Road, Oakville

23-Nov Kartik Saini 20 Yonge and St. Clair
11-Oct Male cyclist 84 Streetsville
05-Jul Brian Woods 52 Hamilton

17-Sep Ignacio Viana 81 Lower Base Line West and 6th Line, Milton
11-Sep Male cyclist
Eglinton and Leslie
01-Sep Nikita Victoria Belykh 11 Thornhill
19-Aug Miguel Joshua Escanan 18 Avenue Rd and Bloor
17-Jun Male cyclist 60's Queen St E and HWY 50 (Brampton)
10-Jun Boy 11 HWY 407 and Warden, Markham
20-May Darren Williams 51 Muskoka
04-May Rayyan Ali 5 Hurontario and Elm Drive East

02-Dec Alexandra Amaro 23 Dufferin and Sylvan
20-Nov John Offutt 59 Royal York and Judson
24-Sep Inus Goussard 37 Dundas St W and Denison
04-Sep Giuseppe (Joe) Pellerito 53 Finch and 400
01-Sep Nicholas Ramdeyall 16 Dixie and Blundell
06-Aug Ahmed Kamal
Dixie and N Service Rd
05-Aug Pasquale Alonzi 84 Bolton
24-Jul Daniel Bertini 54 King Township, Keele St and Cavell Ave
09-Jul Robert Bragg 55 Hurontario and Dundas
07-Jul Geoffrey Mitchell 53 Whitby, Baldwin and Canary St.
23-Jun Helen Xiang 52 Oakville, QEW and 3rd line
15-Jun Safet Tairovski 54 Unionville
57 Clarington
02-May Colin Fisher 32 Brampton, Bovaird Dr
21-Jan Eric King 48 Brampton

21-Nov Female cyclist 66 Sandhurst Cir and McCowan
26-Sep Elder de Oliveira Bueno 61 Creditview and Bleasdale, Brampton
May Female cyclist
Richmond Hill
April Male cyclist

And here is a map of the ghost bikes in the GTA. Thanks Jun N for the heads up.

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