christie pits park

Toronto just banned tobogganing on one of the city's most popular hills

There aren't too many reasons to get excited about winter in Toronto, but speeding down a snow-covered slope on a toboggan, board, or even a garbage bag over a piece of cardboard is and always will be a beloved cold-weather pastime on the city's many hills.

With another heavy snowfall bearing down on Toronto, many are preparing for fresh opportunities to gain some speed on city slopes, but there's one popular spot you probably won't be tobogganing at this week, that is, if you're one to obey city signage.

A city sign has appeared atop a busy toboggan run in Christie Pits Park at Bloor and Christie, warning that tobogganing and boarding are prohibited on the hill.

A few people shared photos of the sign via Twitter on Wednesday, citing Municipal Code #608, which states that no person in a park shall ski, toboggan, snowboard, skibob or sled in an area in a park where such a sign is posted.

And while it's easy to assume this is another bureaucratic ban on fun, it turns out that you were never actually supposed to be tobogganing here in the first place.

A representative from Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation tells blogTO that "there are 26 designated tobogganing hills in parks across the city, which are regularly inspected to ensure the hill surface and conditions are not hazardous, and there are no obstructions present."

"Christie Pits is not one of the designated locations, and we do not recommend that residents toboggan here."

"New signage was posted at Christie Pits Park in response to dangerous tobogganing activity occurring at that particular location, which resulted in an injury to a participant."

Not only is it not permitted, but it seems that the slopes' popularity has caused serious damage to the underlying grass. Photos show that the now-exposed hill below the layer of eroded and melted away snow has had its grass gouged away and left in a miserable muddy state.

Still, the park has been an especially popular spot this winter, with a clip going viral after the historic mid-January blizzard showing a boarder getting air at the bottom of another nearby slope in the park.

Of course, that same video was peppered with responses wondering what would happen if someone were to be injured and where liability would land, possibly putting pressure on the city to clamp down on thrill-seekers using the hill.  

Lead photo by

@nbellotoronto


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