There is a growing movement in Quebec to bring back the fun — by legalizing kids’ play in streets and alleyways.
Municipalities across the province have begun experimenting with the not-so-novel idea of letting kids be kids without risking a fine.
At Tuesday’s council meeting in Granby, about 80 kilometres east of Montreal, a notice of motion was introduced to make it legal for children to play in the streets.
Quebec’s legislature tabled a motion in 2016 encouraging municipalities to adopt rules letting kids play legally on streets and alleyways in order to improve quality of life.
Beloeil, about 30 kilometres east of Montreal, claims the title as the first municipality in Quebec to have dared to let its young people play legally on streets and alleyways.
The initiative began after a Beloeil citizen complained to council that their kid could be fined for playing on the road.
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But Beloeil doesn’t just let children play anywhere.
The town launched a pilot project called “Dans ma rue on joue” (In my street we play) in 2016 and eventually adopted a legal framework for street play.
Beloeil citizens can suggest streets — that meet certain criteria — on which children can play legally.
For instance, the chosen street can’t be a main artery or boulevard and must pass inspection by a city representative. The project also needs approval by two-thirds of the street’s resident owners.