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Brookfield will no longer remove bikes at Yonge & Bloor

Posted by Derek Flack / August 15, 2014

Brookfield bike controversyGive yourself a pat on the back if you were one of the folks who expressed outrage at Brookfield Properties strategic removal of bikes at Yonge and Bloor that it deemed a safety concern. Although the company hasn't provided further comment beyond what we reported this morning, according to Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, it will no longer continue this controversial practice. As per her tweet, it sounds like the order came from high up, which makes sense. This was a PR nightmare that didn't have to happen.

There still seems to be some debate as to whether the TTC sign from which security staff at the Hudson's Bay Centre were removing bikes is public property, though Wong-Tam and other city officials (not to mention our first post) pose strong evidence that this is indeed the case. Either way, unceremoniously removing the bikes without a note of explanation or warning was just a crappy thing to do. Let's hope this really is the end of it.

Discussion

39 Comments

markn / August 15, 2014 at 10:15 pm
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Makin' a stink for the win!
jd / August 15, 2014 at 10:25 pm
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Of course it's public property. And I'm guessing they knew that all along. Anyone notice there is construction work going on right now on the corner for their property? With a blue fence?

Look where the fence ends... Right where everyone has been saying their property line ends. A few inches past the pole.

That's why they flipped the script from the pole being on private property to being "removed because of safety concerns" so quickly.
jd / August 15, 2014 at 10:30 pm
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Oops. "A few inches past the pole" should actually be before the pole.
#Wong-TamMoreYears! / August 15, 2014 at 11:13 pm
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#Wong-TamMoreYears!
Joey / August 16, 2014 at 12:35 am
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Awesome, fantastic and wonderful. Common sense finally prevails.
Trudy / August 16, 2014 at 12:41 am
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We WON! She WON!
JFS_II / August 16, 2014 at 12:42 am
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let's hope the end of it is when the company gets charged with theft, and a photo of their "bike storage room" gets posted for all of us to see... and then the true end is when all of the bikes are returned to their proper owners.

should they have gotten rid of any of the bikes, there should also be some kind of investigation into (a) what they did with them and (b) where the profits went if they just sold them off.
John / August 16, 2014 at 01:04 am
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that company is full of snakes.
Gary / August 16, 2014 at 02:04 am
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How can Brookfield get away with stealing people's bikes? They need to be sued and charged. As far as I'm concerned, it was plain and simple theft.
Not enough / August 16, 2014 at 07:38 am
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This isn't enough. Brookfield needs to be charged with theft and vandalism. Really hope this case isn't closed
Yardl / August 16, 2014 at 08:19 am
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I had no problem with Brookfield removing bikes that were damaging its image and defacing nearby public property. They were just acting as other any activist would - public disobedience, guerrilla public-space activism. Corporate public disobedience. Love it. Take that cyclist-dirty-hippies. Big business is now up to the same dirty little tricks that those who would block off parking spots on public streets and prevent car circulation flow. Let's take this a step higher - spray paint cyclist shops; park trash cans and other rubbish in cyclist lanes - maybe a few hidden tacks and nails in bike lanes. See how you thugs and yobs like it. Activism goes both ways - let's make this Belfast. Harsh ruthless capitalism -against- lazy unproductive artists. cyclo-philes.
grammatical error / August 16, 2014 at 08:37 am
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I believe she's try in to say in her tweet "Toronto Police HAVE advised me...." not HAS advised me.
Sandra / August 16, 2014 at 08:38 am
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This is great news for all female cyclist in the city. We did it, Girl Power!
Carlin / August 16, 2014 at 09:08 am
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I agree with others who have said it's not enough. Yes, it's good that they'll stop doing it but, as others have pointed out, removing legally parked bikes from public property without telling the bike owners that they have done so or where they have taken them IS theft. First, Brookfield should be charged with theft of private property. Next, they or the police should let the public know what bikes they currently have so that the bike's owners can get them back, because most bikes are not cheap, and for many Toronto cyclists their bikes are their means of transportation, not recreational vehicles. And finally, Brookfield should be charged with vandalism of private property for destroying the bike lock of the woman who originally broke the story, and be forced to reimburse her the $135 that it will cost to replace it. In other words, they need to be held accountable for their actions, not just say a feeble "sorry" which, technically, they haven't even said yet.
CARandDRIVER replying to a comment from Sandra / August 16, 2014 at 09:13 am
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Now just remember to wear a helmut, STOP at stop signs, and have some lights on your $2 bike at night. Most of you wining bicyclists do none of those things.
Apology, perhaps? / August 16, 2014 at 09:15 am
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How about an apology from Brookfield? I mean a REAL apology, not a fake sly one, as other truth-challenged local politicians are fond of trying to get away with. None of this:"I'm sorry if you misunderstood me, and I'm sorry that you got upset" bullcrap.
@CARandDRIVER / August 16, 2014 at 09:17 am
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There is no law to wear a helmet, any more than you are required to wear a helmet in your car. I wish there was an IQ test for people getting drivers licences, though.
bernie quasaar / August 16, 2014 at 09:37 am
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How about pay for the bikes they stole? Really? This is an issue of a written policy change? They took peoples property? Shouldnt there be a criminal investigation?
Carlin / August 16, 2014 at 10:07 am
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Well, apparently Ms. Ferguson did get an apology and was reimbursed for her lock:

http://m.thestar.com/#/article/news/gta/2014/08/15/brookfields_bikecutting_excuse_doesnt_add_up_says_property_law_expert.html

Unfortunately, the police won't charge Brookfield with theft or vandalism because she did get her bike back and was reimbursed, and Brookfield didn't have "the intent to deprive anyone of their property. They only wished [Ms. Ferguson's bike] removed off what they believed was their property and they kept it in a safe place and it was returned to the lady. That’s not theft.”

Maybe this particular incident wasn't theft and vandalism, but their previous unknown, uncaught bike removals definitely were.
Carlin / August 16, 2014 at 10:15 am
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The story link got cut, sorry. It's ... http://m.thestar.com/#/article/news/gta/2014/08/15/brookfields_bikecutting_excuse_doesnt_add_up_says_property_law_expert.html ... What annoys me the most about this story is that Brookfield only returned the bike to Ms. Ferguson after she figured out what they'd done and demanded to get it back. Had she not figured it out, they would still have her bike and she'd be SOL. It just seems like Brookfield's statements are more than a little intentionally naive ... kind of like a woman coyly batting her eyelashes at a police officer after she's been pulled over speeding. "Was I really going that fast officer? I didn't know there was a sign, I didn't see it. I am so sorry, I won't do it again." *bat, bat, bat*
Carlin / August 16, 2014 at 10:16 am
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And the link got cut again. *sigh* Google it if you want to see it, I guess.
Paul / August 16, 2014 at 10:24 am
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This is far from over. Important questions remain unanswered. Brookfield admits they've been confiscating bikes since 2009. How many bikes have they stolen and what did they do with them?
CarandDriver replying to a comment from @CARandDRIVER / August 16, 2014 at 10:40 am
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So maybe there is no law forcing you to wear a helmet, but OHIP should also say that if you don't have one and crack your noggin, you either have the choice of NO treatment, or pay out of your pocket. Anyone with an IQ > 99 would know not to ride without helmet. What's your reason to not use one? Head too BIG?

Its interesting that you didn't respond to the problem of not stopping for stop signs and lights on the bike. Are bicyclists exempt from the rules of the road?
6speedTranny replying to a comment from @ Sandra / August 16, 2014 at 10:43 am
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What would they say if a transvestite had their bi cycle stolen?


This is great news for all tranny cyclists in the city. We did it, 6speedTranny Power!
Jeff / August 16, 2014 at 10:51 am
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If there was no notice or note left afterwards, I am sure a ton of people have thought their bikes were stolen and bought new ones. I understand how bike parking CAN cause a safety concern (or even prevent access by those who are disabled) but it should be left up to the city to enforce (and they should)
Rob Ford / August 16, 2014 at 11:00 am
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What a great idea! Clear the sidewalks/streets for cars! No bikes, no need for fuckin' bike lanes! Go ahead, MAKE MY DAY! put yer stinkin' bikes on citu property & see what happens! If I'm wrong or lying...SorrreeeSorrreeeSorrreee!!
Ray replying to a comment from grammatical error / August 16, 2014 at 11:25 am
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Sorry @grammatical error - your suggested correction is a common mistake. The use of "has" is correct because it refers to the organization "Toronto Police". If she wanted to say that she was informed by a few different individual officers, it would be "have" but in this case "has" is correct, even if it sounds a little odd. Perhaps she could used the term "TPS" but you see where you are incorrect here.
CanJim / August 16, 2014 at 01:52 pm
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Theft is theft. Why do the police get to pick and choose which thefts will be prosecuted. Brookfield has admitted their crime so prosecute and let the court decide the punishment and how about publishing the name of the idiot who thought this scheme up. If he's still employed, why? or do Brookfield keep criminals/idiots on the payroll?
jen replying to a comment from CarandDriver / August 16, 2014 at 03:32 pm
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I see cars that don't stop at stop signs all the freaking time. I see cars breaking the law each and every day I am on the road, so you can get off your high horse, mister.

Don Booth / August 16, 2014 at 06:18 pm
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It's not a "crappy thing" it's illegal
MsCarAndDriver replying to a comment from jen / August 17, 2014 at 11:48 am
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who said I'm a mister, mister?
M / August 17, 2014 at 03:58 pm
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So where are the rest of the seized bikes??

weWon / August 18, 2014 at 09:10 am
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YAY! Fuck Brookfield!
Doug replying to a comment from M / August 18, 2014 at 09:24 am
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Who cares where they are. This one chick got her bike back, she's not the Erin Brockovich of all missing bikes in Toronto. What do you think she uncovered some massive worm hole of bicycles there Agent Fox Mulder. She fought for hers and she got it back - end of story.
the lemur replying to a comment from Ray / August 18, 2014 at 10:41 am
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Nope. 'Police' belongs to a class of nouns that are nominally singular but take a verb in the plural, precisely because it stands in for a group of individuals.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/police?s=t

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/american-english/police_1?q=police

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/police_1?q=police

Graeme Quinn / August 18, 2014 at 11:05 am
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You would think that a company who develops and manages properties would know the difference between public and private property.

A developer and property manager pleading ignorance about property lines shows either serious incompetence or business practices of taking first and asking questions later. I'll let you decide which one is the case. If it's the latter case, one has to wonder how these business practices apply to the rest of their operations.
the lemur replying to a comment from Doug / August 18, 2014 at 12:01 pm
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Yeah, but until then many had assumed that their bikes had just been stolen by regular bike thieves, not removed and stored by a property management company that didn't bother to warn anyone about it.
Doug replying to a comment from the lemur / August 18, 2014 at 12:17 pm
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Brookfield gives them to the police if they are not claimed. If the bikes were properly reported as stolen then the ownsers would've got their bikes back through the police or would've seen it in the police auction. If you want the system to work for you, you have to be a part of it and report things. END OF STORY.
Grampa / August 18, 2014 at 04:50 pm
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The thirst for blood here is ridiculous. What crown prosecutor in their right mind would seriously consider pursuing criminal charges against Brookfield or their agents/employees - a total waste of scarce public resources.

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