Pickleball makes too much of a racket for some Mississauga residents

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Published September 27, 2023 at 5:01 pm

Pickleball Mississauga

A popular new sport that has taken Mississauga — and North America — by storm is making too much of a racket for some residents.

Pickleball, one of the fastest-growing sports and activities in both Canada and the U.S. in recent years, is played using a wiffle ball on a badminton-size court with a racket larger and more durable than a ping pong paddle.

To meet the growing demand, City of Mississauga officials have added painted pickleball lines to many of the city’s outdoor public tennis courts to accommodate the people who want to play.

Ward 2 Councillor Alvin Tedjo said at city council today (Sept. 27) that while the popularity of the sport brings many benefits, there is one downside in particular — a noisy one — to the current state of pickleball affairs in Mississauga.

“As we’ve been celebrating people being active and participating in pickleball, we also have a number of community groups or neighbours who have raised several concerns around the noise surrounding pickleball,” Tedjo explained to Mississauga community services staff.

“And while the success of the sport is obviously good for our community and health and well-being, I am sensitive to the concerns that a number of residents have very forcefully shared with us.”

Tedjo asked Mississauga’s community services commissioner Jodi Robillos if her staff could review the city’s outdoor tennis and pickleball policy to ensure the noise can be kept to a minimum both at existing courts “that are abutting very closely to residential neighbourhoods” and facilities yet to be built.

Robillos said facilities to be built down the road will be outfitted with standard buffers to address any noise concerns.

As for existing pickleball/tennis facilities “where we may be having a lot of activity,” the current policy doesn’t address the matter.

However, in those cases “we try to look at any mitigating measures that we can put in place” to resolve noise concerns, she added.

Additionally, Robillos told Tedjo and council, her staff will “do a scan of existing facilities” in order to address any noise issues and complaints.

Robillos added that while some courts now lined to host pickleball players may get a tremendous amount of use, “that may not be as appreciated by people who aren’t active in the sport.”

Concluding her remarks, Robillos said her staff receives noise complaints for every sport, not just pickleball.

“I’ve spoken to many residents who don’t like the soccer field that’s behind their house because the kids are cheering too loud and that’s distracting for them, or the whistle is too loud and they don’t like that, so it’s really finding that balance,” she said.

The noise complaints come as Mississauga prepares to host the Canadian National Pickleball League finals this weekend (Sept. 30 and Oct. 1) at One Health Clubs, on Cliff Road.

Organizers say the finals weekend will showcase nearly three dozen of Canada’s top players in the relatively new sport.

Known in some circles as the fastest-growing sport in North America, pickleball seems to have found its place in Mississauga the last few years.

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