Ball hockey is now legal on Toronto streets after city council voted 35-2 on Friday in favor of overturning an earlier ban against playing the hallowed game on our roads.
The decision to scrap the ban covering hockey and basketball nets came up after about 20 families in the Bedford Park neighbourhood were threatened with $90 municipal fines if they didn’t take their equipment from the street — Esgore Drive — within 20 days last December.
The ban on nets in the street had been in place for generations, but only enforced following a complaint.
Coun. Christin Carmichael Greb first brought the issue to council where it was picked up by the public works and infrastructure committee. On Friday, she celebrated the decision, which she called a win for families.
“Most of us grew up doing it so it’s not anything that’s different. You yell, ‘Car!’ You get out of the way and then you yell, ‘Game on’ and come back and play,” she said.
Technically the city can face liabilities if someone is injured playing sports or games on streets, according to a 2010 report.
But Greb wasn’t worried about that Friday, saying playing cautiously is a matter of common sense.
“Parents need to teach their kids how to be responsible and play the game safely,” she said.
Munipalities Merge into Megacity – City of Toronto, 1998
Amalgamation occurred in 1998 when the regional municipality of Metropolitan Toronto and its six constituent municipalities – East York, Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, York, and the City of Toronto (1834) were dissolved by an act of the Government of Ontario. A new single municipality called the City of Toronto (colloquially dubbed the “megacity“) was formed, replacing all seven governments. The “megacity” City of Toronto is the successor of the previous City of Toronto.
When these former municipalities all merged to form the City of Toronto, they all had by-laws (some dating back as far as 1978) that prohibited the playing of sports on local roads. When the amalgamation occurred on January 1, 1998 the City of Toronto developed one by-law (instead of the former six (6)) under the Traffic and Parking Municipal Code, Chapter 950 to cover all of the former municipalities.
The new by-law which applied to all of the former municipalities prohibited the playing of sports or engaging in other activities such as rollerblading or skateboarding on any public roadway in the City. Private property, such as driveways, were exempt from the by-law. The set fine for the violation of the by-law was $90.00.
The Province of Ontario urged the City of Toronto to allow Toronto residents to play road hockey in Toronto.