Residents mourn beloved worker
Garbage collector, 59, died three days after falling off moving truck in Scarborough
Scarborough’s Cliffside neighbourhood residents are holding a memorial Thursday to mourn the loss of a city garbage collector, known for her infectious smile, who died after falling off the back of a moving garbage truck last week.
Diane Chicoine, 59, was standing on the rear passenger side of the truck April 6 on Folcroft Ave., in the Kingston Rd. and Danforth Ave. area, when she suffered a medical issue and fell off, Toronto police said.
She was taken to hospital with lifethreatening injuries, where she died three days later.
In a Facebook event for the memorial, Amanda Smith wrote that even though she didn’t know Chicoine personally, she was “the best garbage truck lady ever!”
“You and my son Jake had a little bond. He was always waiting for you at the window just to see you throw garbage out! You always told him he was your little buddy and he was always so happy just to see you,” Smith wrote.
“We are very sad that you are gone, I can’t believe this would happen. You were always so happy always smiling . . . You will be missed.”
Chicoine’s cousin, Shelley Roberts, said her family is still reeling from the news.
“I never thought this would ever happen to her,” Roberts said. “She was always so strong . . . She was healthy as a horse.”
Chicoine loved children, Roberts added, and took joy in spending time with her granddaughter.
“I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a very big turnout . . . it’s going to be huge,” Roberts said of the memorial. “Everybody is really shaken up, this is really terrible, what happened.”
Another cousin, Cindy McKenzie, described Chicoine as an independent, outgoing woman who would go out of her way to help anyone and always had a joke ready.
“She was jovial . . . She comes into a room, you know it. She greets everybody, she comes into a room smiling from ear-to-ear, she changed the air of every room she walked into, you couldn’t not notice it,” McKenzie said from her home in Waterford, Ont., where Chicoine would visit her at least twice a month.
Chicoine, originally from Gaspé, Que., was also well-dressed and would often go shopping along the Danforth, McKenzie added.
“She didn’t look like the garbage person. That’s just what she dressed like for work, but she liked her job and she liked working with people . . . She really enjoyed her job, she didn’t ever want to retire for her job,” McKenzie said.
In an email, Chicoine’s manager Lisa Duncan said Chicoine had worked in the city’s Solid Waste Management Services Scarborough District for more than 25 years and was a “straight shooter and a hard worker.”
“Diane enjoyed coming to work every day and she enjoyed her work family . . . Diane was a valuable member of the Solid Waste collection team and we will miss her contributions and her sense of humour,” Duncan wrote.
Chicoine is survived by her daughter and granddaughter. The vigil, which will be held at Cliffside Dr. and Folcroft Ave., begins at 7 p.m. and will be followed by a gathering at the Tara Inn.
Diane Chicoine, who worked in Scarborough, was known for her infectious smile and love of children.