Toronto needs big jump in number of skateboard parks, city report says

The Skateboard Strategy — a 47-page report that emphasizes a need for more skate parks — was released Thursday. It'll be debated by the community development committee next week.

City staff say skateboarders should have a hand in designing new parks

The city's new skateboard report says there's a need for more skate parks. (City of Toronto)

The city is ramping up its efforts to make Toronto more skateboard-friendly, 

The Skateboard Strategy — a 47-page report that emphasizes a need for more skate parks — was released Thursday. It'll be debated by the community development committee next week.

Skateboarders should design new parks, report says

The report was compiled by city staff with help from the Toronto Skateboarding Committee — a group of young skateboarders who led discussions about all aspects of the new skate parks, from the design of the ramps and jumps, to what sort of art should be displayed in them.

The skate park at Ashbridges Bay is one of 14 that are run by the city. (City of Toronto)

"This report will really engage the skateboard community," said Nick Pierre, co-chair of the committee. "They'll be involved in what to build, where to build it and what type of park is needed in that community."

At the moment there are 14 city-owned skate parks. But the report quotes a survey that was taken last year, that shows skateboarding's popularity is increasing, and so is the demand for new parks.

While the report talks about the need for expanded facilities, it does not address how the city will pay for them.

Coun. Janet Davis persuaded city council two years ago to look into expanding facilities for skateboarders. (CBC)

Even so, Coun. Janet Davis said she was "thrilled" with the report. The councillor for Ward 31, Beaches-East York got the wheels turning for a skateboard strategy in 2014, when she convinced city council to begin looking into ways of expanding the number of skate parks.

"It opens the door to a growth in skate parks across the city," she said. "And because they'll be designed by the young people who'll use them, they become their parks."