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2 councillors ask city to make Toronto’s ‘alcohol in parks’ signage smaller

Click to play video: 'Size of Toronto alcohol in parks signs sparks complaints'
Size of Toronto alcohol in parks signs sparks complaints
WATCH: How big is too big? In the case of signs informing park users of the rules in 27 locations taking part in Toronto’s alcohol in parks pilot, the size has sparked complaints. Now, city councillors are requesting the city scale them back. Matthew Bingley reports – Aug 14, 2023

Two city councillors are asking the City of Toronto to reduce the size of signage for the alcohol in parks pilot project.

Coun. Paula Fletcher from Ward 14 Toronto Danforth and Coun. Alejandra Bravo from Ward 9 Davenport wrote a letter to the city’s general manager of parks, forestry and recreation asking for the “removal of oversized signs for parks alcohol pilot.”

“Simply said, they are just too big and unsightly,” the councillors wrote, adding they were aware there would be signage but were “very surprised by the 4 x 6 foot large signs.”

The pilot project runs from Aug. 2 to Oct. 9.

Residents aged 19 and older can legally and responsibly enjoy alcoholic drinks in 27 parks across the city. One-third of the approved parks are in the two councillors’ wards.

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The councillors compared drinking in parks signage to those for smoking bylaws.

“For example, the city’s smoking by-law does not allow smoking within nine metres of any playground. Small unobtrusive signs are posted nearby,” they wrote. “Perhaps similar small signs could be used around the playgrounds rather than large billboard type signs?”

The letter was dated Aug. 10 with a date of Aug. 18 to update the signage.

Signs for consuming alcohol in public parks in Toronto on Aug. 2, 2023. Enzo Arimini / Global News
An adult and child sit near the sign for consuming alcohol in public parks in Toronto on Aug. 14, 2023. Matthew Bingley / Global News

In a statement to Global News, a spokesperson for the City of Toronto said it is “exploring an alternative design option.”

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It said new signage will be installed in some pilot locations selected by ward councillors this week.

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“Signs of all sizes, large and small (and including the portable Curbex signs installed as part of the temporary Alcohol in Parks pilot program) are regularly placed in parks by the City to provide information and education about a variety of programs and opportunities for Toronto residents and visitors,” the city said.

The city said the signs are meant to help clearly inform all park users that the pilot is in place, convey pilot timing, responsibilities, safety messaging and direct residents to the program landing page where people can quickly find information about the Alcohol in Parks pilot.

An evaluation of the results from the pilot project will be reported to city council in 2024.

Signs for consuming alcohol in public parks in Toronto on Aug. 2, 2023. Enzo Arimini / Global News

Here is a list of the 27 parks across Toronto participating in the alcohol in parks pilot project:

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  • Campbell Avenue Playground and Park
  • Cedarvale Park
  • Christie Pits Park
  • Corktown Common
  • Dovercourt Park
  • Dufferin Grove Park
  • Earlscourt Park
  • East Toronto Athletic Field
  • Eglinton Park
  • Greenwood Park
  • Hillcrest Park
  • June Rowlands Park
  • Lee Lifeson Art Park
  • McCleary Park
  • Milliken Park
  • Monarch Park
  • Morningside Park
  • Neilson Park – Scarborough
  • Oriole Park
  • Queen’s Park
  • Riverdale Park East
  • Roundhouse Park
  • Skymark Park
  • Sir Winston Churchill Park
  • Trinity Bellwoods Park
  • Underpass Park
  • Withrow Park

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