Lynndale Parkette Ends Kids' Sports Program Over Noise Complaints

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A Toronto park is putting a damper on kids’ summer fun due to noise complaints.

Lynndale Parkette shut down a sports program aimed at toddlers after neighbours complained that it created an “unsafe and noisy environment.”

The program, run by Sportball, helps tiny tots learn basic sports skills. The company’s manager, Carmella Gelgor, told City News the classes have a maximum of 10 kids, all between the ages of 16 months and four-and-a-half years old. Its earliest program begins at 9 a.m. and its latest ends at 7 p.m.

Unfortunately, due to residents’ complaints, Sportball had its permit revoked by the City of Toronto after just two weeks of operation. Parents of the enrolled toddlers were notified via email that “residents have petitioned to have Sportball removed from utilizing the parkette for the entire summer season.”

The email also noted that if the program continued, both Sportball and parents could be fined.

“How out of control could they be?” Meagan Ryder, whose son was in the program, told CBC. “There's not even whistles. There's six or eight pylons that make a square. They're learning to kick a ball.”

Another mom, Yana Andersen, agreed that the program’s ban was absurd. “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 told City News. “There’s barely any noise.”

Twitter users were equally baffled and upset by Lynndale Parkette’s cancellation of the sports program.

While excessive noise seemed to be the big issue among residents regarding Sportball’s program, it wasn’t the only one. CBC reports that neighbours also complained about “invasion of their private space,” as the fences surrounding the park are quite low, leaving residents little privacy.

To resolve the issue, the program has been relocated to Blantyre Park, which is just a 10-minute walk away from the original location.

“Lynndale Parkette… quickly proved to be unsuitable for this type of programming,” Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation manager Matthew Cutler said in a City News interview.

Despite this, Cutler also admitted to the CBC that the city did not investigate “whether or not the complaints were valid or how significant they were” before making the change.

While the program is now up and running once again, Gelgor believes the entire incident was unnecessary. “There’s a lot of stuff going on that we need to worry about,” she said to The Star. “We don’t need to worry about little kids playing.”

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