FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New city report responds to call for more opportunities to grow the sport.
UPDATE: The staff report was adopted at the Infrastructure and Environment Committee on June 5 and will now go before the June 14-16 City Council for final approval.
TORONTO – In response to rapidly growing demand, a new City of Toronto report recommends adding more pickleball courts across the city.
Pickleball is an affordable, accessible and all-ages activity, making it one of the fastest growing sports in North America. Over 72,000 Torontonians, many of them seniors, are estimated to have played pickleball last year.
"It’s just great the city is committed to growing this popular sport by looking at affordable ways to permit playing on under-used outdoor flat surfaces" said Toronto-Danforth's City Councillor Paula Fletcher, who has led the push for more pickleball courts. "It's also another example of how we can provide affordable recreation opportunities for Torontonians.”
Last year Councillor Fletcher moved two motions asking city staff to meet the growing demand for pickleball. In response, the Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation report released today recommends using outdoor skating rinks, under-utilized tennis courts and other city-owned flat surfaces as a quick and affordable way to expand access to the sport. The report also calls for opportunities for adding purpose-built pickleball courts to be explored in the future.
"This is wonderful news for Toronto's pickleball community" said Tom Keane, President of the East Toronto Pickleball Association. “We are glad that more facilities will be added to grow a sport that helps Torontonians of all ages have fun, be physically active and feel connected to the community and that permitting will be easier.”
"Toronto-Danforth now has the most pickleball courts in the city and 45% of all pickleball courts in south Toronto,” said Fletcher. “I’m so happy to have worked with the East Toronto Pickleball Association to find locations where pickleball courts could be added in my ward to accomplish this.”
"None of this would have been possible without the hard work and advocacy of the East Toronto Pickleball Association" added Councillor Fletcher. "I also want to thank city staff for working so quickly to respond to the growing popularity of this great sport."
The staff report will be considered by the Infrastructure and Environment Committee on June 5 and, if adopted, will go before City Council for final approval on June 14.
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