A city-wide system that treats everyone equally must be our goal going forward.
We know that many Torontonians don’t have backyards to celebrate birthdays, have a picnic, or to enjoy a cool breeze on a summer evening. We also know that people are already drinking in parks across our growing city.
This pilot program, a decision supported by a majority of City Council in May, is flawed in design. It makes an individual councillor their ward's lone decision-maker and will create inequities between residents in different parts of the city. It doesn’t allow councillors who wanted to participate in the pilot enough time to connect with their communities.
Including only one park in Ward 9 would not have met the demand across our community. It also risks bringing additional people to a specific park because the one closer to them was not included – increasing activity and not providing useful information about how city-wide regularization would function.
As a result of this, four medium-to-large parks which are geographically distributed across Ward 9 have been recommended for inclusion in the pilot program.
As we receive more feedback from residents and assess facilities in Ward 9, our office is considering additional parks to add to the list.
All Torontonians should face the same rules and regulations across our city. Regularizing drinking in parks – with some rules – would bring Toronto in line with cities around the world, including Vancouver and Montreal. A city-wide system that treats everyone equally must be our goal going forward.