Posts Tagged ‘Toronto Parks’

Toronto the shady

July 21, 2008

Toronto has decided (I’m not making this up) that they may have to regulate shade in City parks.

City bureaucrats will fan out across Toronto this summer to analyze the angle of the sun at different times of the day, measure the amount of direct or reflected sunlight and assess the “quantity and usability” of shade in parks, playgrounds and pools.

The “shade audits” are part of a pilot project authorized by city council this week that could soon result in Toronto regulating shade.

A future policy could dictate the ratio of shade required based on the number of children that typically play in an area–and not just from trees, but from city-built special canopy structures, screens and sails.

Supporters of the initiative argue that with soaring rates of skin cancer caused by exposure to UVA and UVB rays in sunlight, the city has a duty to shield children using its parks far beyond the usual measures of sunblock and protective clothing.

They can’t solve their crime problem in the City so they have decided to solve the problem of sunlight instead.

There were those on Council who were dubious. Two of them to be exact. Out of 27.

But some skeptical members of city council warned the idea defies common sense.

“It’s naive to think that if we put all this infrastructure in our parks they won’t be impacted by the rays of the sun,” said a right-of-centre critic, Councillor Karen Stintz.

“They walk outside, they walk down the street, they go up north, they go on holiday. If we’re really interested in protecting children from the rays of the sun, it’s an educational process, it’s not about putting umbrellas in parks.”

Ms. Stinz attempted at Thursday’s council meeting to cancel the shade audits, saying public education could accomplish the same goal. But only one other councillor, Peter Milczyn, voted against the plan, which passed 27-2.

Note that Councillor Stintz (or ‘Stinz, depending on which spelling in the article is correct) is characterized as being “right of centre”. Couldn’t they have called her a “common sense critic”? Maybe the two phrases have the same meaning. It’s a code!

I would think that it would be easier for Mayor Miller to simply place a ban on sunlight in the Parks. That seems to be his modus operandi.

Thanks to Small Dead Animals for the pointer.