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Niagara Falls
Wednesday, April 17, 2024
OPINION: The Firemens Park enigma

The irony surrounding the tobogganing controversy at Firemens Park occurred to me the other day when a friend told me the parking lot to the lower park is blocked off by cement barricades.

I couldn’t help but question the common sense of blocking off the only entrance to a popular tobogganing hill which happens to be beside a rather large pond.

In case you’re not understanding the irony here, the barricades mean firefighters — the namesake of the park — don’t have immediate access to the park if somebody falls through the ice or crashes their sled into a tree, having decided to fight the man and toboggan on the forbidden hill.

Luckily, human beings are known for following rules and people, especially kids, never take dangerous risks. We all know that. Right?

It seems as though somebody forgot to use their noggin on this one. The logic of banning an activity for safety reasons and then making the place less safe than ever doesn't seem like it was thought through.

Just today some kids were down there breaking the rules.

Besides the fact that blocking off the park isn’t the safest idea the city has ever had, a December poll by Niagara Now shows 98 per cent of people surveyed believe Firemens Park should be open to the public for tobogganing anyways.

It warrants the question: if Firemens Park — where generations have grown up tobogganing — isn’t safe, where is?

Jonathan Cook, recreation and culture clerk for the city said technically tobogganing is illegal across the entire city.

That being said, plenty of people still do — I guess I was wrong about the nature of people.

… It takes a cold kind of person to go tobogganing against the law, doesn’t it?

OK fine, no more puns. Instead, I’ll end this with a short list of some places you outlaws can still get away with tobogganing, provided by Niagarafamilies.com.

  • Stamford Collegiate High School, 5775 Drummond Rd., Niagara Falls.
  • FH Leslie Park, 5250 Valley Way, Niagara Falls – for smaller children.

If you’re planning on leaving the city to find a hill, you can also toboggan at these locations:

  • Fort George, across from Navy Hall, 51 Queen’s Parade, Niagara-on-the-Lake.
  • Sugar Bowl Park, 100 Gilmore Road, Fort Erie.
  • Jaycee Park, 543 Ontario St., St. Catharines.
  • Burgoyne Woods Park, 30 Edgedale Rd., St. Catharines.
  • Welland Canal Lock 7 hill in Thorold.
  • Chippawa Park, 128 Fitch St., Welland.

On a separate note, isn’t it about time Firemens Park became Firefighters Park?

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