‘Ridiculous’: Toronto rules banning tobogganing in some places blasted by residents

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Signs banning tobogganing in some Toronto parks are raising local frustrations in a winter that has seen little snow land in the city.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” Toronto resident Bill Martin told Global News, referencing signs popping up at some parks forbidding anyone from sliding down the hill.

The City of Toronto said the logic behind its signs was to stop children or other people enjoying winter activities from crashing into trees, poles or other obstacles.

A spokesperson for the city said 29 hills had been deemed safe and approved for tobogganing, while the hills where the activity was banned “may pose hazards” for those sliding down.

“The City recommends toboggan goers use the designated hills for tobogganing,” the spokesperson said.

Martin said it was frustrating to see people raise concerns about children being active, while local rules also ban them from easily accessing winter sports.

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“It’s been safe for the 30 years that I’ve been here, now suddenly it’s not,” he said, discussing his local hill, where signs banning tobogganing have popped up.

“I brought my kids here when they were little and I’m going to bring my grandkids here when they come along too.”

Global News asked the City of Toronto what penalties, if any, those who defied the signs would face.

“As with any bylaw, the City first attempts to achieve compliance with Parks Bylaw through education and awareness,” the spokesperson said.

Bill Mallions, who lives near a hill he said people tobogganed on for 54 years with “no problem,” said what he thought wouldn’t influence decisions from city hall.

“Whatever they want to do, they’ll do it; it doesn’t matter what I said,” he said.”

The city said there are currently 47 parks with hills that are identified with signage to note that tobogganing is not permitted.

However, the spokesperson said this number is “dynamic” and may change throughout the season depending on hill conditions.

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