Parents convince TDSB to let basketball nets stay up in park amid noise complaints
Published Tuesday, June 25, 2019 4:23PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 25, 2019 7:04PM EDT
Parents in the city's Riverdale neighbourhood have convinced the Toronto District School Board to keep the basketball nets up on two local courts after residents complained about the noise.
The courts shared by Dundas Junior Public School and Queen Alexandra Middle School, located near Dundas Street and Broadview Avenue, have been the source of several noise complaints from people who live in the neighbourhood.
The complaints prompted the TDSB to consider relocating the basketball posts to other areas of the ground and to take down the rims and nets daily at 6 p.m.
But Jon Little, a father of two active girls, felt that the nets needed to stay up 24 hours a day.
“My approach would be to deal with it (noise) as it came up. But it seemed like it was a bit proactive in how they were removing the nets to begin with.”
Little’s front porch is 150 metres from the park and says that having lived there for seven years, noise from the courts has never been an issue. He started a petition and grassroots campaign to convince the school board to keep the rims permanently in place.
Liem Bui lives in the same neighbourhood and was also part of the push to keep the courts open beyond school hours. He says he understands the concerns from some of his neighbours, but adds that the “negatives are outweighed by the positives.”
“Having a court in the neighbourhood that everyone can access and be accessible and welcoming is what’s most important to me.”
When Toronto Raptors team president Masai Ujiri was asked about the issue at the OVO Athletic Centre on Tuesday, he was shocked.
“Noise from basketballs?... really?” he asked.
And while he admitted he doesn’t know all of the details, he said his bias will always be pro-basketball.
“Whether it’s the noisiest place, or the most quiet place, I’m just going to be biased about a basketball court being put anywhere.”
The comments made by Ujiri, and the suggestion that he may take the nets to Africa, were welcomed by the parents CTV News Toronto spoke to.
“I think it’s super poignant,” Bui said. “It’s a reminder that there are kids that don’t have access to courts, that don’t have opportunities that our kids do at our school and schools across Toronto.”
In a letter sent home to parents Monday evening, the TDSB said it has heard from parents and staff “about the impact of removing and restoring the nets and rims on a daily basis.”
“After much consideration, the posts will continue to be located on the multipurpose court at this time,” the letter read. “Nets and rims will not be taken down daily at 6 pm, but will remain up. As we noted in May, I want to remind everyone again to please be considerate of our neighbours when using outdoor spaces at our school.”
A celebratory game of basketball will be played on the courts at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.