Car dangling from Toronto bridge cut down, but mystery of how it got there leaves city hanging

02 May 2018 | Canada
Car dangling from Toronto bridge cut down, but mystery of how it got there leaves city hanging

Toronto police are scratching their heads over who left a car dangling from a cable on the Leaside Bridge.

Commuters found themselves doing double takes on Wednesday morning as they drove by the empty shell of a blue sedan hanging from the bridge.

The vehicle prompted a major emergency services response, with police, firefighters, and paramedics all showing up at the scene, close to the Don Valley Parkway. They arrived to find the gutted car with no engine, no passengers inside and the area cordoned off by yellow tape, not put there by police.

Const. Victor Kwong made the call to 911 during his morning commute.

"I was carpooling into work, and a passenger — actually it was my mother-in-law — was looking into the treed area of the Don River, and she noticed a car dangling there," said Kwong. "It's not a normal sight to see."

'It's the safety factor'

Kwong said he called 911 out of concern for public safety. The area underneath the car includes hiking trails popular with dog walkers, he noted.

"We can't just have people pulling pranks like this, tying objects underneath bridges. It's not just a nuisance factor, it's the safety factor," he said, noting thousands of cars pass under Toronto's bridges everyday.

Around 8 a.m. ET, police believed they'd solved the mystery, tweeting that the car was part of a movie shoot. They walked that theory back a few minutes later, saying there was no shoot authorized or confirmed, leaving Torontonians wondering who would have taken the time to suspend the car, which had no licence plate.

"Obviously someone had intentionally put it up there, because it was tied to a winch system," said Capt. Adrian Ratushniak, of Toronto Fire Services, who described the car as a four-door sedan similar to a Honda Civic.

He said crews managed to get the car on the ground just before 10 a.m. — about three hours after the initial call came in. "I haven't seen anything like this in 30 years" with the fire department, Ratushniak said.


Even though the car was successfully grounded, officials are still stumped over who left it hanging from the bridge. A renegade artist? An off-the-grid film shoot? Students up to no good?

"Whatever it is, it did not have proper approval," said Kwong, noting police have now opened up a public mischief investigation and that charges are possible.