Many consider gearing up for a game of road hockey the country’s national pastime. But for 30 years, the seemingly innocent activity has actually been illegal.
Technically, anyone playing street hockey can be fined $55 under a city bylaw enacted in 1970, although no one has been charged yet.
Now, a group of Toronto city councillors are taking a shot at the legislation.
At Tuesday’s Public Works Committee meeting, members voted unanimously to ask transportation staff for a report on how to legalize the sport.
“I don’t think we should criminalize our children for playing hockey on the road,” says Scarborough Centre councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker.
“The bylaw is just plain silly.”
But according to one city councillor in favour of the bylaw, the current system works in neighbourhoods in which there are a lot of complaints about street hockey.
“Roads are for vehicles,” says Parkdale-High Park rep Bill Saundercook
“To legalize that, you’re asking for problems because the child is saying to the vehicle operator, ‘No, I don’t have to move my net.’”
Before the bylaw can be repealed, the report will have to go through another committee meeting before heading to city council for full debate.