High Park belongs to all Toronto families, not just the privileged few

Mayoral candidate Anthony Perruzza will be introducing a motion at City Council today to re-open High Park and allow cars to enter the city park throughout the week.

“High Park is meant to be a place for everyone,” said Perruzza.  “Not just for a privileged few.”

The City of Toronto created car-free weekends in the spring of 2020 during the pandemic in order to “provide more space for park visitors to safely physically distance”, but the restrictions have stayed in place, causing problems for people with limited mobility or those who don’t live in the affluent vicinities. This includes:

  • Limited access for pedestrians, who must walk long distances to use all the venues, especially those with disabilities
  • Little league coaches and children who have seen their programs disrupted (equipment must be carried long distances by foot)
  • Families with babies in strollers, toddlers and children that use the play areas
  • Families from less affluent nearby areas, like southern Etobicoke and Parkdale, and families who come in from the suburbs with picnic baskets and coolers
  • Limited street parking that keeps people from even trying to get to the park

“High Park is not a country club or someone’s gated garden. It’s a park that wasn’t meant to be walked through from end to end. It’s huge!” said Perruzza. “And now people who don’t have the money to live in the area, people who have to drive in, are now being told that High Park is not for them.”

“Well, that’s a load of hogwash. And I’m here to say that High Park is for all of us,” said Perruzza. “The restrictions were put in place during Covid to get less people to the park. Well, that’s over and we want more people accessing the park, not less.”