Sudbury·Audio

Unofficial sliding hill in Sudbury shut down this winter

During a typical winter week, the hill at Queen’s Athletic field in Sudbury would normally be teeming with kids on sleds after school. But this year, all is quiet.

City fenced off popular spot at Queen’s Athletic field, following injury last year

The city has placed an orange fence at Queen's Athletic hill in Sudbury. (Megan Thomas/CBC)
It's been a popular sliding spot in Greater Sudbury for years, but the city has now fenced off the hill at Queen's Athletic Field. The CBC's Megan Thomas joined us live from the hill to talk about why sliding will no longer be allowed there. 7:52
During a typical winter week, the hill at Queen’s Athletic field in Sudbury would normally be teeming with kids on sleds after school.

But this year, all is quiet.

An orange snow fence has been placed across the hill by the city to block anyone from sliding.

The city’s director of leisure services said there is a reason why the fence is in place.

“We did have an unfortunate accident there last year,” Real Carre said.

“There was a gentleman who suffered a spinal injury."

Carre said the city had to settle a lawsuit in connection with the accident.

The City of Greater Sudbury does not maintain or monitor any official hills for sliding, but people have been bringing their sleds to the hill at Queen's Athletic field for years. 

Carre said the city has a responsibility to make sure no one gets hurt on city property.

“We have asked our parks staff to monitor any other areas and if we find that there are activities going on where citizens are in fact using some of the city park land for sliding hills, then we will have to post ‘no sliding’,” he said.

Take steps for safety

Fears about injuries and legal action have made sliding a thorny issue for cities everywhere.

Municipal Risk Services is a company that advises governments on liability.

President Doug Wyseman said if cities don't sanction sliding on their property, they can’t just ignore it, and added they have to take steps to make it safer or stop it.

“The way the law is, you have to provide a reasonably safe property or premise,” he said.

So far, no other unofficial sliding spots in Sudbury have been fenced off.

However, the city said it will be posting signs in other areas it has concerns about, asking people to leave their toboggans at home.

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