ocad van

This creepy abandoned van has been outside OCAD for months and nobody knows why

If you've passed by Toronto's OCAD University in the last month or so, there is no doubt that you've noticed a peculiar new fixture on campus — a creepy, rusted-out white van that aptly reads "YIKES" on one side in red spray-paint.

The vehicle has been parked in the exact same spot directly in front of the school's main entrance on McCaul Street for well over a month now, with no apparent activity from its owner.

Is it an art installation from a class at the institution? Someone's idea of a Halloween prank? A kidnapper (or worse)?

No one seems to know — especially the school itself, now bustling with students who are in their first normal-feeling term back on campus in a while.

"Unfortunately I am unsure myself why it's still there. I do not know where or to whom it belongs," Adil Khakoo, supervisor of safety, security and campus operations at the university told blogTO this week. 

"From what I know, it's not an art piece associated with OCAD."

A second representative at campus operations added that they have no authority over street parking out front of the building, which is the City of Toronto and Toronto Police Service Parking Enforcement Unit's domain.

And, of course, neither the city nor the police have any idea what the story behind the van is either. One representative did say that the driver would have to possess a street parking permit or accessible permit to be able to avoid getting ticketed and towed.

"Although the vehicle may be 'creepy' and have words spray-painted on it, there is no parking bylaw that it would be in contravention of because of this," said Brian Moniz, operations supervisor at Toronto Police Parking Enforcement.

Indeed, upon blogTO's independent investigation, the van does have a parking permit displayed in the windshield for zone 6D, which spans from Queen Street up to College Stret and Spadina Avenue east to McCaul Street, expiring November 30, 2022.

The not-actually-creepy-whastoever owner of the van (genuinely, he was really nice), stopped while loading tools from the vehicle into another one late Friday morning, stated with a smile that he is simply a resident of the area, but was unable to comment further on the "YIKES" graffiti that makes his vehicle so ominous-looking.

He seemed unaware that his car has been an enigma among locals, and has appeared in a slew of social media posts, whether deliberately by those wondering about it, or accidentally because it is always there.

As anti-climactic as it may be, mystery solved!

Lead photo by

Becky Robertson

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