Backyard roller-coaster good practice for engineering student

A 19-year-old Thornhill, Ont., student has built a roller coaster in his own backyard and hopes that after it's auctioned off, the procedes can go to charity.

Built with scrap wood, 'The Minotaur' has 28 metres of track

A Thornhill teenager built his own roller-coaster, which he has dubbed the Minotaur. 2:06

A 19-year-old engineering student has built a working roller-coaster in the backyard of his parents' home in Thornhill, Ont.

Shortly after his Grade 10 year, David Chesney began tinkering around with leftover wood and metal, creating a mini-ride he calls The Minotaur.

David Chesney of Thornhill, Ont., built a roller coaster in his backyard. Named the Minotaur, the single-car roller coaster features 28 metres of track and two drops from a height of nearly four metres. (CBC)

"[It was] boredom, to be totally honest," Chesney told CBC News. "I was a young kid. Just out of Grade 10 … sitting in the garage I was just tinkering around and thought 'Maybe this could be something I can do.'"

A few years and about $3,000 later, the roller coaster is complete.

The Minotaur is a single-car roller-coaster with 28 metres of track and two drops from a height of nearly four metres.

Designer wants to work in amusement park industry

What started out as a hobby has become a bit of a passion. Chesney is working on his degree in mechanical engineering. He hopes that when he's done, he'll be able build projects like the Minotaur, only bigger.

"That's kind of my goal in engineering, is to go out into the amusement industry and make the biggest ride," he said.

David Chesney built the ride a few years ago but says it will soon be coming down. “My dad doesn’t want it in the backyard anymore," he told CBC. He plans to auction it off and give the money to charity. (CBC)

Chesney said although he believes the Minotaur is sturdy enough to carry any person, he's only allowing members of his family to ride due to liability concerns.

And despite the fun they're having, the modest roller-coaster will soon be dismantled.

"This summer I am trying to get rid of it," he said. "My dad doesn't want it in the backyard anymore. What I'm hoping to do is actually auction it off and give the money away to charity. 

"Maybe give the money to an organization like Make a Wish where it can actually maybe give a kid a chance to go to Disney or go to an amusement park where they can ride a ride."

Click on the video at the top of this page to watch Debbie Lightle-Quan's story on Chesney and the Minotaur.