A bike that is painted all white is chained to a pole.


On Feb. 18, 2024 over 10 cyclists gathered at Kitchener City Hall to perform a ghost ride in commemoration of a 66 year-old cyclist who was killed in a collision with a vehicle just a few days prior. The cyclist was travelling on Victoria Street when he was struck by an SUV at 9:45 p.m. on Feb. 5. He passed away from his injuries in hospital the next day.   

The cyclists towed a spray-painted, white ghost bike down Victoria St. The bike was decorated with in flowers and chained to a streetlight at the site of the crash. The group removed their helmets for a moment of silence to honour him. The bike will remain permanently chained to the roadside on Victoria Street.  

Dave Shellnut, known as the Biking Lawyer, is a biking advocate and lawyer attended the event. His organization specializes in representing injured cyclists and pedestrians and often organizes such ghost rides to raise awareness about safety issues surrounding vulnerable road users.

According to the Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals, a vulnerable road user is anyone who does not have the “protective shell of a vehicle in case of a collision”. This includes pedestrians, motorcyclists, and construction workers.   

“It’s a memorial to remind people, especially motorists, that a person on a bike was killed here,” Shellnut said. “Car is king in Ontario. People take an incredible liberty with other folks’ safety just to get to Costco on time. We really need to rethink how we approach driving—we need to consider it a political privilege and not a right,” he said.   

Janice Jim, Vice President at CycleWR, said “The best way to protect vulnerable road users would be to separate them from traffic. “This would involve building infrastructure that is exclusively for the use of cyclists and pedestrians.”  

Kitchener-Waterloo has few options for cyclists and pedestrians, instead, these people are forced to use “stroads”—a blend of a street, where people interact with businesses and residences, and a road, a high-speed route to get between these residential places. According to Strong Towns, a “stroad” is a dangerous, multi-laned thoroughfare that is often built in the suburbs.   

Combining these two forms of infrastructure squeezes high-speed vehicles and vulnerable road users together in one space. “Victoria Street is a four-lane stroad with no speed calming measures or speed enforcement equipment. Speed is a huge factor in the outcome of accidents,” Jim said.  

Mike Morrice, the Green Party Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre, attended the event and spoke about the importance of supporting legislations like Bill 40, the Moving Ontarians Safely Act, which would introduce harsher penalties for drivers who injure or kill a pedestrian, road worker, or cyclist.  

“One of the most helpful things a person can do is write an email to their MP and MPP to share why this matters to them,” Morrice said.    

“It could have been me…which is terrifying and frustrating. It helps a lot to be among community at times like this,” Caleb DeGroot-Maggetti, a Kitchener cyclist and community member, said.   

The ghost bike can be seen on Victoria St between Frederick St. and Forfar Ave., where the collision occurred.