Hamilton will designate hills for tobogganing
Activity has been banned since a Hamilton lawyer sued the city
The city of Hamilton will designate a handful of hills for safe tobogganing after community outcry against its bylaw banning the winter activity.
City staff will designate hills that are safer for the practice, which will cost about $12,000 per year to maintain. Councillors will also give their input on the most popular tobogganing areas in their wards.
I think this strikes a pretty good balance.- Coun. Terry Whitehead
The bylaw, meanwhile, will stay on the books. But as in previous years, it will not be actively enforced. And the bylaw already says that tobogganing is allowed on sanctioned hills.
Coun. Terry Whitehead of Ward 8, one of the most vocal opponents of the ban, is satisfied.
"In politics, it's about striking the right balance to ensure you're protecting taxpayers and at the same time creating a greater opportunity to enjoy winter life," he said. "I think this strikes a pretty good balance."
The city implemented the bylaw banning tobogganing after a lawyer, Bruno Uggenti, won a $900,000 lawsuit against the city after he was injured while tobogganing.
Last winter, community members started holding tobogganing events to protest the ban. It's since been debated at the council table "at least seven times," said Coun. Sam Merulla of Ward 4 at the general issues committee on Wednesday.
The money to maintain designated hills is "the best money we've ever spent if we don't revisit this issue ever again," he said.