Noise complaints from neighbours have resulted in a popular sports program for toddlers being booted from an east-end parkette.
Henrik Andersen, whose one-year-old son was enrolled in the Sportball program at Lynndale Parkette, near Kingston Road and Victoria Park Avenue, told CityNews that parents were informed their children could no longer use the green space.
Anderson was told the city had revoked Sportball’s permit after receiving numerous noise complaints from area residents. His wife, Yana, can’t fathom how toddlers playing could have irked so many people.
“We were shocked first of all that a kids’ program that runs over the weekend during the day would induce such a strong reaction,” she said. “There’s barely any noise.”
Parents received an email from Sportball that stated: “The City of Toronto permit office has notified us that the residents surrounding Lynndale Parkette have petitioned to have Sportball removed from utilizing the parkette for the entire summer season.
“Should we run our programs, both Sportball and parents will be subject to a fine.”
The program, which has only been running for two weeks, has since been moved to the field behind nearby Blantyre Public School.
Carmella Gelgor, a manager at Sportball, said the program at Lynndale Parkette had a maximum of 10 participants between the ages of 16 months and four-and-a-half years old.
The park is in Coun. Gary Crawford’s Ward (36). His office told CityNews it initially received a handful of complaints about the sound of whistles and parking taken up by parents’ cars.
The city initially decided to allow the program to continue, and Sportball halted the use of whistles.
But Crawford’s office said it was then inundated with new complaints and angry emails, alleging that up to 30 children were using the parkette at once, and that many were older than five.
In an email, Parks, Forestry and Recreation manager Matthew Cutler defended the decision to end the permit, saying the city helped the group find a more suitable location.
“Sportball was issued a permit to offer children’s programming in the Lynndale Parkette this year. They hold permits to deliver programming in over a dozen parks across the city,” he wrote.
“Lynndale Parkette…quickly proved to be unsuitable for this type of programming. Our staff worked with the organization to find a more appropriate venue and they now have permits to deliver their programming in Blantyre Park, which is approximately 500 metres away.”