St. John's reviewing policy on winter sliding

The city of St. John's is reviewing its policy of allowing sliding on city hills, but Mayor Dennis O'Keefe said he personally does not want to see sliding banned.
St. John's Mayor Dennis O'Keefe understands why so many people are upset about banning sliding. 5:05

St. John's is reviewing its policy of allowing sliding on city hills, but Mayor Dennis O'Keefe said he personally does not want to see sliding banned.

Several Canadian cities have takes the controversial step of banning or restricting winter sliding in municipal areas.

At the centre of the bans are issues of liability, with councils worried about being held accountable if someone is hurt while sliding on city property.

Hamilton, Ontario has banned tobogganing on all municipal property, Ottawa has put bylaws in place to allow sliding only on designated hills and in Toronto, sliding in some areas could result in a hefty fine. 

Municipal review

St. John's Mayor Dennis O'Keefe said he understands why so many people are upset about banning sliding.

Plan ahead and make the most of your Family Day long weekend. (AP)

"I would hate to see the day when you can't slide or you can't walk or you can't run or you can't swing or you can't get on a chutey-chute because of insurance risk," he said.

He said while the council is reviewing its policy on sliding, he would personally like to see the activity continue unrestricted.

"We have no intent, if at all possible, to ban sliding on city property," he said.

"We are reviewing the whole issue with a perspective of continuing the tradition of allowing kids to exercise and get out and enjoy the winter, and at the same time ensure that there's no liability risk to the city as a result." 

Slippery slope

In the meantime, the thought of banning sliding is not going over well on the snowy hills of St. John's.

Some young sliders at Pippy Park in St. John's are strongly against the idea of a sliding ban. (Caroline Hillier/CBC)

Children in the city are hopeful that council won't adopt a winter ban on sliding, the way some other cities in the country have.

CBC's Caroline Hillier asked kids at a popular sliding spot on Friday in Pippy Park what they thought of the ban.

"What?? That's wrong. That's not fair," said one young slider. "Not really fair. I think you should have fun."

With files from Mark Quinn & Caroline Hillier

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.