The East York Skatepark is fully functional again, after replacement of a key component that had been damaged by vandals last month.
According to the founder of the park — located on Cosburn Avenue near Woodbine — three BMX bike riders abused a rail until it was badly damaged. A rail is a long, thin edge that a skateboarder can slide his board along.
The founder, Nick Pierre, said other users of the park identified the vandals, and he gave their names to police. The trio weren’t charged, but they were banned from the park.
In the meantime, the rail was removed, and regulars at the park were left wondering if it would ever be replaced.
“I was actually really upset,” Pierre said. “It hurt me. I spent nine years of my life getting that park built.”
Adam Caide has been skating at the park for the past six years, and was disappointed to find out the rail was destroyed.
“It was the biggest thing here,” he said. “You could put a lot of tricks down on the rail.”
But just two weekends ago, a brand new rail was installed, to the delight of the park’s users.
“I am excited,” Pierre said. “I skated on it just the other day.”
Pierre found out the rail was going to be replaced when he received an e-mail from the city saying that a welder was going to come by to take measurements.
Caide was out skating at the park late last week, and was pleased to see the rail re-installed.
“I’m pretty happy,” he said. “It’s a bit lower than the old one, but it’s great.”
The cost of replacing the rail was around $2,800.
“It has to be custom-made,” Pierre explained. “It has to be the right kind of metal for grinding and sliding” (two skateboard tricks).
While the East York Skatepark allows bikers, rollerbladers and other users, the park was created for skateboarding.
“Everyone is allowed at the park,” Pierre said, “but it was designed for skateboarders.”