Nova Scotia

Swing away, Halifax city hall says in change of heart

After taking a public drubbing on social media for its brief crackdown on fun, city hall brass have belatedly got into the swing of things.

Red swings in Halifax saved as top officials give thumbs-up to fun

Halifax CAO Richard Butts tries out a red swing Saturday near the Hydrostone Market. (@hfxgov)

After taking a public drubbing on social media for its brief crackdown on fun, Halifax's top bureaucrats have now got into the swing of things.

City lawyers initially said a series of wooden red swings installed by urban activists on municipal land should come down, fearing someone would be hurt and sue the municipality.

About a dozen swings were put up earlier this month as part of 100 in 1 Day. They are attached to tree branches or other overhanging objects at spots such as the Hydrostone and across from Dalhousie's Weldon Law Building.

But the city's suggestion to CBC News on Friday that the swings could be no more prompted a sarcasm-laden backlash on social media.

"Leave it to lawyers to forget what it's like to be a kid. Save the #redswinghfx!!" wrote Lisa Ladouceur.

"If we get rid of the #redswinghfx then the #blueswinghfx moves into its place and we could have a gang war," said someone writing under the moniker No Name Brand.

Others recalled the petition launched last year to make the wave sculpture on the Halifax waterfront more safe.

"I heard the #dangerwave sent #redswinghfx to do its evil bidding across the city," wrote Mike Kennedy.

By Saturday morning, city brass had found their inner child. Halifax's Twitter account posted photos of CAO Richard Butts and chief solicitor John Traves enjoying a red swing.

"Municipal execs test #redswinghfx for #safetyfirst #halifaxdefined," the account said.

With that, it appears Halifax’s red swings will be saved.

A city spokeswoman said staff will check any swings they come across to make sure they are safe. If they're not, they'll try to fix the swing so it can continue to be used.

A swing could come down if it's hung from a rotten tree branch or is too close to traffic. And officials do recommend children are supervised by parents.