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After 2 petitions, 1 councillor's promise and 8 years, south Etobicoke finally gets its skate park

Mark Grimes was elected to council in 2003, and one of the first things across his desk was a Boy Scouts petition, with 225 signatures, asking for a skate park.

"It was one of the first things I undertook," Grimes says the day before the hoarding was finally going to come down, the same day about 60 kids decided they'd waited long enough and hopped over that hoarding to skate the park a day early.

The 14,000 square foot facility, built in the 8th Street park, cost $500,000, but got a concrete bowl for free, thanks to Toronto Redi-Mix.

"It's a great thing to bring to the youth here," says Grimes, the father of five. "Not every kid plays hockey and lacrosse. These kids are misunderstood. These kids are just looking of place to ply their trade, they skate downtown, they get chewed, they skate at Humber [College], they get chewed there."

The park was designed by EDA Collaborative, in consultation with Newline Skateparks, as well as local skaters.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Mark Grimes

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