City of Toronto suspending removal of public basketball nets

Jun 13, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Toronto mayor John Tory joins Raptors fans to cheer on their team in the NBA Finals against Golden State Warriors at the Jurassic Park watch party at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
John Tory was very vocal during the Toronto Raptors' playoff run. (Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)

The City of Toronto will stop removing basketball nets from public spaces after a viral video showed a hoop being taken down while children were still playing.

Mayor John Tory also delivered a statement Thursday, emphasizing the importance of Toronto youth being able to participate in healthy, outdoor activities during the summer months. Tory has asked park officials to stop removing nets, effective immediately.

“I can understand that at 10 o’clock at night, or 11 o’clock at night, people saying they’re concerned about the noise,” Tory said. “But at 6 o’clock in the evening or even 9 o’clock in the evening at this time of year, we should be doing everything we can to get as many kids as possible to be playing basketball in our public parks.”

Last year, Toronto residents pushed for local nets to be taken down at night because people were using them after midnight, which was deemed disruptive.

Earlier this week, the Toronto District School Board considered taking down the rims at two courts shared by Dundas Junior Public School and Queen Alexandra Middle School daily at 6 p.m. after getting several noise complaints from residents but opted against it after receiving backlash from parents in the neighbourhood.

“After much consideration, the posts will continue to be located on the multipurpose court at this time,” the TDSB said in a letter sent home to parents on Monday. “Nets and rims will not be taken down daily at 6 pm, but will remain up. As we noted in May, I want to remind everyone again to please be considerate of our neighbours when using outdoor spaces at our school.”

Raptors president Masai Ujiri was asked about the issue during his season-ending press conference, and was shocked over the outrage from the community.

“Noise from basketballs? Really?” Ujiri said. “Whether it’s the noisiest place, or the most quiet place, I’m just going to be biased about a basketball court being put anywhere.”

It sounds like Ujiri is getting his wish.

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