Flying a kite in a Toronto park may sound innocent, but it can be illegal under certain circumstances.
A post on Reddit recently ignited a lot of discussion over the legality of flying kites in the city’s parks.
In the post, Peter Jung, a 47-year- old North York resident, said he was stopped by a woman in a Toronto Parks uniform while flying his kite at Bayview Village Park on May 10.
“I had the day off, so I was flying in the afternoon at about 3 p.m., and she approached me and said I wasn’t allowed to fly kites in Toronto parks.”
Jung is a member of the Toronto Kite Flyers and has been flying kites for more than 10 years. In Toronto, kite flying is legal, but there are certain restrictions and bylaws in place.
During their conversation, Jung mentioned the appropriate city bylaw, and he asked for clarification on what bylaw he was breaking,
“I know there is bylaw 608-25 which I mentioned to her, and she said the law also says that you can’t fly kites or hot air balloons,” he said. “I asked if she could refer to me the actual bylaw I violated, and she said okay, and she went back to her truck to try and find it, and she never did.”
Jung said the officer went back to her car and, after a few minutes, drove away while he was talking with a nearby bystander who witnessed the altercation.
“She was very polite with me. She was just explaining the law and what the bylaw was, which I think she misunderstood,” he said.
According to the Toronto municipal code chapter 608-25, there are very strict circumstances when an individual can fly a kite at a Toronto park.
A person is not permitted to fly a kite in a Toronto park if:
- The kite string is made of metal, wire, piano wire, fishing line or any nylon that can be chemically treated or contain glass fragments
- They are within 25 metres of a tree, building, light pole, hydro pole or utility pole
- They are in roadways, pathways or parking lots
- A sign prohibits kite flying
- They are competitively flying unless they have an authorized permit
- They leave any part of the kite in the park without disposing of it properly
The set fines for breaking the kite park bylaws range from $250 to $300.
“In most cases, bylaw enforcement officers are able to gain compliance with the bylaw by educating residents on the regulations and why it may be unsafe to fly a kite in that area,” said Lyne Kyle, strategic communications for the city of Toronto, when asked about the incident.
Jung clarified that his line did not contain any hazardous material and that there was no sign discouraging kite flying at the park.
Another Reddit user commented on Jung’s post, “No fun allowed! – Ontario.”
Recently, Ontario has received a fair share of heat for its limited outdoor activities due to COVID-19.
While these restrictions are not related to COVID-19, more people are looking for creative ways to enjoy their time outside.