Skating ban to be lifted at High Park's Grenadier Pond
A couple skates along a path in the snow on Grenadier Pond in Toronto's High Park on December 29, 2010. (Darren Calabrese / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Friday, December 11, 2015 8:08AM EST
Skaters will be legally permitted to lace up at High Park next year, for the first time in 15 years.
Toronto City Council voted 28-9 on Thursday in favour of a program that will allow skating on a designated area of Grenadier Pond next year.
The motion was first brought before the city's Parks and Environment Committee in October by Coun. Sarah Doucette. Last month, the committee voted in favour of sending the motion to council.
Doucette proposed that the city allocate $50,000 to hire an "ice engineer" who would test the thickness and quality of the ice on a daily basis, for a period of eight weeks.
He or she would then post signs or flags to let skaters know when the ice is safe to use, and which parts of the pond are available for skating.
Council voted in favour of the motion only after Doucette agreed to drop the funding request from $50,000 to $25,000.
Instead of hiring an engineer, city staffers will be trained to do the tests.
Weather permitting, legal skating will begin in the winter of 2016-17. Though rogue skaters have used the pond for years, skating has officially been banned since 2001.
Last year, the city sent bylaw officers to the area to hand out $125 infraction tickets, but skaters returned despite the ban.