Road hockey and other street sports could be made legal in Mississauga
Published June 14, 2023 at 12:14 pm
Mississauga is considering a move to allow kids to play road hockey, basketball and other sports on the streets without fear their games will be shut down because City bylaws don’t allow the activity.
City of Mississauga staff were directed today (June 14) at City council to review current bylaws that prohibit playing sports and using nets on roadways and report back by the fall with a plan that would allow the kids to play.
Citing the importance of physical activity and other benefits associated with such street games, and noting that Toronto recently lifted its prohibition on road hockey and other sports on certain streets, Ward 2 Councillor Alvin Tedjo introduced a motion asking staff to complete a report that would support road sports being allowed where appropriate and safe.
The motion, adopted overwhelmingly by council, seeks to amend Mississauga’s current bylaws “to permit sports on local roads such that it is
done in a safe and responsible manner.”
The existing bylaws have been in place for years in order to protect the City from liability should accidents occur during the playing of road hockey or other games.
While technically in violation of the bylaws, kids of all ages and adults have continued to play road hockey and other street sports for many years. The bylaws are rarely enforced.
Mississauga resident Angelo D’Amico appeared before council on Wednesday to plead his case for road hockey, noting it’s tradition and a rite of passage for Canadian kids.
“I was brought up in a very diverse community” that included families and kids from India, Germany, Ireland (and elsewhere), said D’Amico, who grew up in the 1980s in Mississauga. “And road hockey not only brought the kids together, but the fathers, too,” and families as well.
It was an opportunity to spend countless hours interacting and bonding with neighbours, he added, and “those relationships still exist in my life today.”
D’Amico concluded that “it’s a shame (the bylaws) exist.”
Ward 5 Councillor Carolyn Parrish, while supporting the motion, cautioned that staff and council should be careful when studying the matter.
She said accidents during road hockey games and other sports on the street happen all the time, but the City doesn’t know about them because it doesn’t get sued due to liability protection afforded by current bylaws.
Tedjo stressed that his motion prioritizes the safety of kids and others involved in road sports, which, he noted, should only be permitted where appropriate and safe.
“We want to get this right for residents and kids (playing) on the streets,” he said.
Ward 8 Councillor Matt Mahoney, admittedly a big fan of road hockey since his days as a kid, threw his full support behind the motion, but stressed the matter must be properly studied before making changes to bylaws.
He said the City must consider any potential impact on its Vision Zero program, which seeks to eventually eliminate road and pedestrian deaths in Mississauga.
Additionally, Mahoney wants to see what other municipalities, besides Toronto, are doing.
“We need a report so we can make an informed decision,” he said.insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising