posted September 12, 2006
At a recent park staff meeting, City recreation supervisor Tino DeCastro said that folks who've been playing informal pick-up soccer at Dufferin Grove, now that spring is here, are doing something illegal. He was kidding, right?
Wrong. A bit of research into the 2001 Toronto Municipal Code turned up this:
§ 608-17. Organized sports or activities. While in a park, no person shall….arrange or engage in an organized sport or activity, unless authorized by permit…” And in case there’s any doubt, the municipal code defines this activity as “a sport, game or activity pre-planned by a group or organization whether or not formally constituted and whether or not the players or members wear uniforms.”
A lot of people call up their friends to come to the park and play a game of some kind, if the weather's nice. Who knew that spontaneous sports activity in parks is actually against the law? (unless players arranged for a permit six weeks in advance, and paid for it).
The municipal code also prohibits weeding the park gardens without a permit, moving a picnic table or a park bench, hanging a birthday pinata from a tree, or being in the park at all after midnight.
Dufferin Grove Park has a lot of outlaws, by those rules. That’s what makes it such a lively place. Time to re-evaluate the rules? But until then, if you get a ticket in the park for playing a game of frisbee or walking your dog after midnight, you can share that news with other park friends by e-mailing . firstname.lastname@example.org
Park friends will pay the ticket.