Councillor Josh Matlow

Citynews: Car! Toronto city council faces off on street hockey ban

Hockey may be Canada’s game, but currently anyone playing hockey on Toronto’s streets could face a fine.

On Wednesday, Coun. Josh Matlow claimed victory after he proposed an amendment to lift the city’s ban on street hockey.

“Parents in Toronto will soon, because of today’s vote, have the ability to request the city give them allowance that their street have legal street hockey,” Matlow said.

But it wasn’t that easy. City council voted 36-7 to ask staff to simply figure out how parents could theoretically apply for an exemption to the law.

But the plan isn’t without its critics.

“The current arrangement in the city works just fine. There is a bylaw in place that prohibits street hockey but it’s never enforced,” said Coun. Denzil Minnon-Wong.

But many of the kids who turned out for Wednesday’s council meeting think the law needs to be changed.

“He’s been taking our picture even, and threatening to call the police while we’re just playing ball hockey and bouncing the ball outside,” said 13-year-old Andrew Polany of his angry neighbour.

“Some people have come to the alley where I play, so it’s definitely not as busy as the street, but still, I’ve been told to stop a few times,” said 12-year-old Mark Wilson.

And although the bylaw has never been enforced, the fine is still set at $55.

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