On Friday, July 15th 2016 the city of Toronto’s council decided to lift the city’s ban on street hockey after years of keeping it due to safety reasons.
The ban was reaching a controversial boom this week as the council announced they were preparing to consider ending the ban. The minster of children and youth sent a letter to the council asking them to abolish the ban on the sport.
Much of the council was debating on keeping the ban for the safety of the city, but the majority voted to lift it.
Mayor John Tory supports this with his tweet “Hockey is Canada”. Michael Coteau also approves of this vote and has pushed other cities to do the same as he thinks this may just be the start of unbanning street hockey in much of the nearby cities.
Christin Carmichael Greb was a leader of the movement after much of her neighbors and friends had been fined for having basketball and hockey nets on their curbs. She said “Kids are playing street hockey and basketball now anyway. I would rather have them do that without the fear of being fined or getting in trouble for it” in an interview with The Globe and Mail.
Although you can’t play it everywhere or even whenever you want, only on streets with a 40 mph limit and between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m., you have much more freedom to play the sport without the threat of getting fined.
Many argued before the lift that allowing the sport will help kids get exercise and find new friends from people they didn’t know before the sport. Greb says that hockey is a big part of Canada’s heritage and it’s important for kids to play it.
The ban has caught the attention of a much bigger association, one not even centered in Canada. The NHL Players association tweets its approval on Toronto’s new rules.
The lift on the ban will bring joy and fitness to the city. The kids will be able to meet others their age with similar interests who they may have never met without being able to play the game. Hockey is extremely popular in Canada and this ban being lifted in such a huge city may influence other cities to do the same.