There has been an uptick in the number of reported bike thefts in the city of Toronto, based on Square One Insurance Services’ collection of city police department data, provided to Daily Hive.
The number of thefts reached 3,522 in 2013, before dropping to 3,077 in 2014, then incrementally surging over the following years to the peak of 3,937 in 2018.
While these numbers may seem significant, Toronto actually fairs quite well when compared to its Canadian counterparts.
When broken down to a per capita basis, Toronto had 144 thefts per 100,000 residents last year — far less than the 339 thefts in Vancouver, where cycling as a transportation mode has seen a huge upswing in recent years, and Calgary at 230.
The average bicycle insurance claim cost between 2014 and 2018 also has Toronto at $2,084, which is lower than Vancouver’s average of $2,669 and Calgary’s average of $2,700.
With that said, Toronto’s growth in crime-related insurance claims involving bikes is rising at a faster rate than Vancouver.
Across North America, it is estimated only 20% of stolen bikes are reported to police, more than 50% of stolen bikes used a cable lock instead of the more secure U-lock, and fewer than 20% of bike owners know the serial number on their bike.
The impact of bike thefts goes beyond the hard cost of the equipment; 7% of bike theft victims quit cycling, and 25% of bike theft victims ride their bikes less.