Kyle Ashley Toronto

Montreal might be behind shutdown of Toronto's car-shaming bike cop

The saga of Toronto's most famous bike-riding parking enforcement officer continues this week as local citizens, cyclists and even city councillors speak out in support of Kyle Ashley's work.

Ashley, who was suspended from Twitter last week over complaints about the "appropriateness" of his tweets, is still off work according to the Toronto police association.

An investigation into Ashley's feed is ongoing, and while police won't discuss the nature of the alleged complaints, it's widely believed that they stem from the officer's use of social media to take photos of (and scold) motorists who park in bike lanes.

Police spokesman Mark Pugash did, however, acknowledge that a manager had spoken to Ashley previously about complaints from Montreal – where his "park shaming" Tweets were popular among cyclists, and where an election just saw Denis Coderre voted out of the mayor's office.

City Councillor Shelley Carroll told The Star on Monday that while she admired Ashley's work, she worried his tweets had become too political.

"It is really important going into an election year to not have a Toronto police employee taking up sides and engaging in a direct way in politics," she said.

Supporters of Ashley disagree, arguing that he is being denied fundamental freedoms.

"The members and supporters of Toronto's cycling community demand the restoration of Twitter handle @TPS_ParkingPal," reads a change.org petition started by local cyclist Julie Mollins.

"We believe PEO Ashley plays a crucial role as a defender of cyclist safety throughout Toronto and we denounce the removal of his right to democratic free expression."

In just under 24 hours, the petition has racked up about 150 signatures. On Twitter, the support is even stronger with hundreds of tweets calling for Ashley's reinstatement, many of them using the hashtags #BikeTO and #BringBackKyle.

Lead photo by

Kyle Ashley


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

Oil spill in Toronto creek possibly linked to Hwy 401 tractor-trailer fire

Teachers and staff at Toronto high school wear Black Lives Matter shirts on the first day

Here's how much it costs to get a Toronto library named after you

This is what TTC subway cars looked like in the last century

Toronto declares first outbreak of COVID-19 at elementary school

Toronto health officials just shut down 4 businesses due to COVID-19

Toronto cyclists want ActiveTO road closures to be extended

Activists hold sit-in at Toronto intersection to demand action on climate change