Skip to content

Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Next phase of Ashbridges Bay skate park

Read more articles by

When winter rolls around skate parks are normally no more than a reminder that warm, care free days will come again as Toronto skate boarders hunker down to wait out the cold. This winter proved to be different when uncertainties surrounding the Ashbridges Bay Skate Park project woke the Toronto skate boarding community.

Built using eco-friendly concrete, the 20,000 square foot skate park incorporates large amounts of green space and attracts skate boarders from across Toronto. Phase two of the project is set to feature a 7-metre by 11-metre kidney shaped bowl allowing skateboarders to move without taking their feet off the board to push.

On January 31st, the Toronto Transit Commission passed a motion, at the suggestion of Ward 32 Councillor Mary Margaret McMahon, to divert $300,000 in funding, previously allocated for the construction of the second phase of the skate park, towards an unspecified use. 

The decision sparked confusion and concern among community stakeholders, who had worked with previous Ward 32 Councillor Sandra Bussin for nearly 10 years to secure the funding.  In response, skateboarders and other community members took immediate action on-line, creating a Facebook group and circulating online petitions to spread awareness about the funding issue and scheduling a protest rally for Friday, February 10that City Hall.

In a letter to Councillor McMahon, posted to blog site Recursion on February 5, skateboarder Nathan Ng expressed the frustration of the local skateboarding community who viewed the decision to divert allocated funding, “as a betrayal of their ongoing good-faith participation in the lengthy municipal process of building this park.”

“Toronto deserves a world-class skate park,” wrote Ng. “We asked for it. We demanded it. We worked diligently through all of the proper channels, in partnership with all of the many stakeholders — to get this project underway, to have shovels in the ground.”

The planned protest rally was cancelled when community stakeholders met with Councillor McMahon last week to discuss their concerns. They were told that the project had always been approved and, “We just had to ensure that the financing responsibilities were shared as widely as possible.”

In a written statement, McMahon said, “I am happy to say that we’ve found some new sources of support that will allow us to divert some of the TTC monies to other local community benefits. The construction tender should be ready to go out in the next few weeks.”

The newly allocated funds are part of a deal with the TTC under Section 37 of the Planning Act that required a community benefit — in the form of capital funds for the building of community facilities — be given in exchange for the placement of a new TTC storage facility on the corner of Leslie Street and Lakeshore Boulevard.

The responsibility to meet the needs of all community members led Councilor McMahon to take a second look at how to best allocate the TTC funds, she indicated. “Balancing the requests and demands of other local residents who are facing disruptions caused by the TTC Ashbridges Bay Storage Yard construction project is never easy.”

Photo Credit: Emma Feir




  1. Wow!  That is one HUGE skateboard park that you;re building!

    My small town, Madison, Florida, has a public skateboard park.  And, though it is smaller that yours, it gets lots of use.  There always seems to be groups of people there having a good time.

    Your park sounds great.  You’ll love it