City of Toronto demolishes community built skatepark
About three months ago, Syd Patterson started building a skatepark on the dead-end Paton Rd. in the Junction Triangle. This morning, city staff demolished it, despite a petition with nearly 900 signatures on it urging Ward 18 Councillor Ana Bail達o to save the makeshift park.
"Up until now, we have tried to keep it under wraps because we knew that it was inevitable that somebody from the city would come and try to tear it out," says Patterson. "But now, seeing the community response, I'm sure something good will come of this."
According to a statement from Councillor Bail達o, she first heard about the skatepark last week and sought feedback around the regulations surrounding it.
"City staff have advised that this construction/encroachment is not permitted as it is in direct contravention of the City's Street Bylaw Chapter 743. City staff have expressed serious safety and liability issues with having concrete ramping structures on the City's right-of-way/road allowance," she writes.
She also says she was surprised city staff demolished it so quickly and notes that she plans to meet with those who built the skatepark along with Parks & Recreation staff.
Ironically, this week, city council will discuss its skateboard strategy - it looks at how to increase the number of these recreation spaces throughout the city. Bail達o plans to support it.
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