Toronto considers banning group exercise in public parks

A Toronto man is calling for a complete ban on group exercise in public parks. He believes that exercise programs like boot camps damage property within parks, take away public resources, and offend other park visitors.
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A Toronto man is calling for a complete ban on group exercise in public parks. He believes that exercise programs like boot camps damage property within parks, take away public resources, and offend other park visitors.

Peter Oldring spoke with Sydney Branson, the Toronto man who's proposing the ban, to find out more about his grievances.

"This is not an assault on exercise as an activity," says Branson. "I'm taking issue with these large groups that are freeloading on the park experience and damaging property."

Branson spoke about witnessing a group of men participating in activity known as "cross-fit." They brought a large tire into a park and then continuously flipped it over and hit with a hammer. Branson alleges that it caused significant damage to the grass.

"On another occasion," Branson said, "I saw an instructor tell a group of 15 women to find trees with a low branch to partake in chin-ups. Watching these trees suffer such incredible degradation was truly heartbreaking."

For these reasons, Branson believes that group exercise must be banned from all public parks in Toronto because of the physical and cultural damage that it's causing.

To find out about Branson's plan, like how the ban on public group exercise is going to be policed, listen to the full story.