Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Councillors move to ban all parking in Toronto's parks
In a 4-2 vote, members of the city’s parks and environment committee voted to ban drivers from leaving cars on the grass in parks during for-profit events, starting in 2015, and to keep them off greenspace during all other events by 2016.
A fight is expected over the issue next month at city council.
The committee had been looking at setting rules for when to permit parking on Toronto’s parkland when Councillor Gord Perks pushed for the outright ban.
“At the end of the day, the damage an automobile does on soft grass and other vegetation is unacceptable,” Perks insisted.
Councillor Jaye Robinson called the vote “disappointing” and “ridiculous.”
“I consider myself an environmentalist but when you don’t allow for some exemptions to the rule, that’s way too heavy-handed for a city,” Robinson said.
She had been fighting to ensure that about 200 drivers could leave their cars in a park during an annual three-hour event put on by the Canadian Film Centre.
“I hope that council will see the light and turn this over,” Robinson said.
The Don Valley West (Ward 25) councillor said “sometimes downtown councillors don’t understand how it works north of Bloor.”
“In these neighbourhoods we don’t have all sorts of parking lots and Green P parking or parking lots,” Robinson said. “I think this is real Draconian step backward.”
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