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Toronto City Council votes to lift tobogganing ban at 45 hills

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Toronto City Council has voted to reverse a ban on tobogganing at 45 hills that were deemed unsafe by park staff.

During Wednesday’s meeting, councillors approved a motion to remove signs prohibiting tobogganing at those locations and instead install new signs advising about potential risks associated with the activity.

In January, the city banned tobogganing at several parks it deemed “unsafe” because they did not have clear paths for sleds to glide from top to bottom without the obstruction of trees, ditches, trails and fences.

The motion was put forward by Coun. Brad Bradford, who represents Beaches-East York, where one of the parks was banned for tobogganing.

“Torontonians have spoken loud and clear: they want their city to embrace opportunities for fun outdoor winter activities like tobogganing,” Bradford wrote in his motion, which Mayor Olivia Chow supported.

“Rather than prohibit this beloved activity in certain locations, the City will use warning signs to allow park users to make informed decisions about the risk of tobogganing in all locations staff determine a warning is appropriate, along with information about the designated tobogganing hills in the city.”

Bradford’s motion also directs staff to re-install hay bales that were previously in place at those hills.

Concerns over the safety of tobogganing are not new.

In 2017, the city adopted a toboggan hill inspection program. Since then, officials have been surveying popular tobogganing sites to ensure continued safety. The city has 27 parks with designated toboggan hills, which are inspected regularly.

With files from CTV News Toronto's Hannah Alberga and Brooklyn Connolly

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