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Proposed grass parking ban for Toronto parks could end Ribfest: organizers

A cook grills chicken and ribs at the Scarborough Ribfest on Aug. 1, 2008. Courtesy of Danielle Scott via Flickr

Rotary clubs of Toronto are worried that a motion before city council being discussed this week could put an end to their annual Ribfests.

The motion recommends the city ban all parking on the grass in city parks starting in 2016.

Currently, the 2014 Ribfests are exempt and will proceed as planned but the organizers seem concerned that the food fests won’t be exempt in 2016 if the ban is implemented.

According to a staff report on the matter, a single unnamed event in 2013 cost the city $14,000 in aerating, fertilizing and overseeding costs after the grass was damaged by temporary parking.

The Centennial Park Ribfest attracts 150,000 visitors and raises $250,000 for charity, said Michael Bell of Etobicoke Rotary. He said the food festival, and its counterpart in Scarborough’s Thompson Park, has never had an issue with their trucks, stages or people ruining the grass.

The motion passed the Environment Committee 3-2 in its May meeting.

Click here to read the agenda item.