When Caroline Macfarlane decided to turn the bike into eye-pleasing art, painting it a neon shade of orangey-pink, the city promptly slapped a removal notice on it. Macfarlane, who envisions using abandoned bikes as a city-wide art project, found the notice while returning to put plants in the bike's basket.
Gary Crawford, the city councillor for Ward 36 Scarborough West, was taken with Macfarlane's beautify-it-yourself ethos, saying in a news release: "I was really taken away by the whole idea. There are probably 1000's of unsightly abandoned bicycles in the City. Imagine if we woke up one morning and all these bikes were transformed into wonderful works of creative expression. What these artists have done has brought attention to how a small act of creativity can make the City of Toronto a more beautiful place to live."
He knows of what he speaks. A conservative who usually votes with Mayor Rob Ford, he's also a professional landscape and portrait painter, and part-time drummer in a classic rock band.
After meeting with Macfarlane, Crawford announced he's launching an initiative called "10,000 Ideas for Creative Change in Toronto" and is urging residents to tell him their ideas on his Facebook page, through Twitter or by calling (416) 392-4052.
But is he going to save Macfarlane's art bike from death row? An aide says the councillor is talking to city staff to see what he can do.