City council voted to end a controversial ban on tobogganing instituted at 45 parks this winter. The motion was moved by city councillor Brad Bradford.
When the city of Toronto decided to ban tobogganing and signs forbidding the beloved activity appeared in 45 parks across the city, residents were not amused, and criticised the fun police for coming up with such a rule. Bradford started pushing back.
He has been busy lobbying against the ban for weeks, appearing on TV and being quoted in a variety of articles, speaking up against the move
“This is the worst of local government, this is no fun city Toronto, remember this is the same city that banned street hockey a few years ago,” said Bradford, during an interview on CP24. “Residents were obviously surprised and upset when they found out that 45 toboggan hills were banned.”
Historically, parks like East Lynn and Christie Pits have been hubs for tobogganing enthusiasts, read the motion, drawing generations of families seeking winter thrills. The sudden prohibition of tobogganing in these areas left many puzzled and disheartened.
The city also highlighted 29 designated hills where tobogganing would be allowed.
The city councillor, who ran in the last mayoral election, also launched a petition.
“The people of Toronto have spoken loud and clear – they don’t like this form of over-reach, and want to ensure everyone can still enjoy a fun winter pastime,” the petition reads, in part.
The motion proposes walking back the outright bans, and instead use warming signs in parks, providing users with information on the risks associated with tobogganing in specific locations.
In addition to the overreach criticism of the ban, experts have also suggested that risky play is healthy for kids.
Mariana Brussoni, a developmental psychologist, expert in child injury prevention and professor at UBC’s Faculty of Medicine, said risky play helps kids build confidence, in an article published by the Toronto Star. “We’re robbing kids of opportunities to get those positive effects. So what we’re seeing is a huge increase in children’s depression and anxiety,” she added.
Ultimately, the motion highlighted the importance of finding a middle ground that respects both public enjoyment and responsible park management in Toronto.