Toronto recently created 57 kilometres of “quiet streets” to promote outdoor activity, while maintaining physical distancing measures.
Plenty of cyclists and pedestrians took advantage of these urban paths on the long weekend, although there was at least one massive traffic jam of confused drivers.
You’ll also notice the city is planning to expand it cycling network as well, to go along with its existing green space and other recreational areas.
ActiveTO is about making sure people have space to get around while respecting physical distancing and to provide some safe activity after all the home isolation that has gone along with the current coronavirus pandemic.
Fair enough, but not enough, if you read this posting by Amy Carlberg for blogTO, which isn’t connected to ActiveTO to my knowledge, even if they do share the same last two initials. To the uninitiated, TO is a cool way of saying Toronto, kind of like calling it “The Six,” which is another story.
Carlberg opens her piece by saying “some” people are overjoyed with golf courses opening on the weekend, but “lots more” are disappointed they are not being used as public parks.
After all, San Francisco is using golf courses as public spaces for socially distanced outdoor activity, so why not Toronto? How dare they use golf courses as, you know, golf courses?
She never does define the “lots more” who are disappointed, or the “many” who are annoyed by it. A couple of tweets used in the story apparently do the trick.
One of the chosen few tweets pointed out that the city has two options with its golf courses. “Open to 72 people to play golf, or to thousands to walk, run, picnic as a PUBLIC park,” G_Penalosa wrote.
“Toronto chose the 72 people: San Francisco chose the thousands,” he added.
First off, since when did Toronto start taking its lead from San Francisco? Does the city really need to play follow the leader?
Secondly, there’s little doubt that “thousands” would like more and more green space for their own interests, no matter what the city has done to appease them already. I’m not convinced, however, that all but a vocal few were specifying municipal golf courses.
Why wouldn’t a golf course be a golf course, which these munis have been for years?
The provincial government gave golf courses the okay last week to open their doors for business and golfers are ecstatic. I would imagine the city is too, having people willing to pay for their use of city land in these uncertain economic times.
It’s right about here that the wealthy white man card gets played in reference to who plays golf and one of the tweeters predictably did just that.
If we must resort to stereotypes, it’s more likely that the average person on a municipal golf course is drawn to it for its affordable price, which is why munis are often where people get their start in the game.
I’m not even sure if they want golf courses turned into public parks on a temporary or permanent basis. It never does say.
If it’s temporary, let’s use the Cedar Hill Golf Course near Victoria as an example.
Earlier in the pandemic, that course was closed, but the public came on the grounds anyway, played lacrosse and soccer, hardly games that encourage physical distancing, walked through bunkers and greens and caused significant damage, not to mention them getting disrespectful with staff.
Back in Toronto, if the suggested takeover is a permanent thing, the sketchy arguments above are the ones that will be used rather vociferously as they seek more for their own interests from a city that has already provided more for them.
Meaning Toronto, not San Francisco.