tobogganing toronto

Toronto is cracking down on illicit tobogganing and skating and people think it's ridiculous

Residents of Toronto are having a bit of a tough time grappling with the City's latest war on winter activities, including playing games of shinny hockey on outdoor rinks and tobogganing on unsanctioned hills.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Toronto pandemic lead and Fire Chief Matthew Pegg listed off the number of violations bylaw enforcement has charged businesses and individuals with under pandemic lockdown.

Along with the usual suspects of establishments opening further than they're permitted under new restrictions, Pegg also mentioned a number of trespassing charges for residents who have taken to City skating rinks, which are operating on a pre-booked time slot basis due to the health crisis, after hours.

He also mentioned that police and security will be beefed up to ensure that residents are not partaking in any illicit winter fun, which has apparently meant, for some, tobogganing on ski hills that were unexpectedly forced to shut down last week.

"Unfortunately, we continue to experience issues with respect to the use of outdoor ice rinks after hours... We are also responding to issues and concerns relating to the use of closed ski and snowboard hills for various activities, including tobogganing," Pegg said yesterday, adding that 19 charges were laid in recent days for trespassing on City rinks.

"While we continue to do all we can do support safe outdoor activities, the use of closed ski and snowboard hills poses a significant risk of injury."

Though many citizens have shared officials' concerns about people not following the rules, gathering outdoors and interacting with other households, others are finding the whole thing a little ridiculous.

Twitter abounds with those who think that the municipal government has bigger, more significant things to devote its time and resources to than groups of people trying to get outside and enjoy themselves in one of the few ways left available to them.

Weeks of lockdown during the most depressing season of the year have surely had an impact on the mental health and well-being of the city's population, and some find placing such limitations on simple joys like tobogganing to be an affront, as well as a misplacement of energy.

Some on social media feel that the government has, in some ways, failed on effectively cracking down on actual crime, but seems to have no issue cracking down on "innocent winter fun."

There is also a palpable disconnect between permitting crowds to browse aisles and line up at big box stores like Costco or at airports for forbidden non-essential travel, but condemning outdoor winter pastimes a more menacing COVID-19 risk.

As governments continue to try and come up with the most prudent health and safety regulations that they can as they go, it has been apparent for months that not everyone is satisfied with officials' handling of the pandemic, or the lockdown measures they have implemented to mitigate the spread of the virus.

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