Toronto city council overturns tobogganing ban

Coun. Brad Bradford worked to remove the bans, after many expressed disagreement

Toronto tobogganing ban sign in the city, near an intersection. Green tape covers some of the sign.
Toronto tobogganing ban sign marked with green tape. 

Coun. Brad Bradford, supported by Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow, has helped return tobogganing to Toronto hills.

In early January, Toronto city staff planted new signs prohibiting tobogganing at 45 different hills. This caused outrage among Torontonians, promoting a “no-fun” reputation for the city.

“We say we want to be a family-friendly city. We say we are a winter city. It is a quintessential Canadian experience so staff got it wrong on this one with the unilateral ban, and I am going to fix it,” Bradford said in an interview at city hall.

Toronto City Council passed a motion to overturn the ban on Feb. 7, with 23 councillors in favour and one opposed.

“This is why people get cynical of local government, because we waste time and energy and resources trying to bubble wrap our kids,” Bradford said.

“Keep in mind, this is the same local government that tried to ban street hockey. This is the same local government that tried to put cats on leashes.”

Bradford says he has only heard positive responses to the removal of tobogganing bans.

He believes that parents should be allowed to let their kids engage in moderate risky play, and that they should have the freedom to make their own choices when it comes to tobogganing.

Toronto resident Bonita Saunders, a 40-year-old Pilates instructor, agrees. During a recent visit to East Lynn Park, she said she supports activities with some level of risk involved, such tobogganing and jungle gym.

“It’s how you get stronger,” she said. “I enjoy watching the kids going down the hill close to my place, and I would love to be able to try it.”

While some councillors suggested delaying the motion, Bradford was persistent on making the change immediately.

Read more from the Toronto Observer:

Paula Fletcher, councillor for Toronto-Danforth, also spoke in support of overturning the ban during city council.

She compared it to the fishing bans on Toronto’s waterfront in 2012. In the three years prior, there have only been seven complaints about fishing rods on the waterfront. Many fishermen thought it was unreasonable.

The city plans to replace the current signs with ones advising citizens of the risks associated with tobogganing on hills.

“I think we all understand how important this is to our communities, and sometimes, as city council and elected officials, we need to stand up and really advocate hard for our communities,” Bradford said.

“At the end of the day, I want to make sure our communities are places for families, where people can have fun, and have access to the outdoors in a safe and accessible way. We’re going to get there with this.”

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Posted: Feb 24 2024 3:25 pm
Filed under: News

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Christian Zdravko
The Big Chris here. I love music, shows, movies, video games, and learning about the world around me.