Monday, July 24, 2017

Toronto tears down stairs senior built for $550

Toronto mayor thanks citizen stair master as city demolishes his handiwork | CTV News - Daniel Otis:

July 21, 2017 - "A City of Toronto work crew was seen in Etobicoke’s Tom Riley Park early Friday morning, removing a staircase that had been erected by maverick local handyman Adi Astl. Construction on new stairs, Mayor John Tory promises, will begin immediately.

"Astl, a retired mechanic, says he built the stairs for a mere $550 after several neighbours tumbled down a muddy slope leading to the park’s garden. The work, which only took a few hours, came after the community was told to wait for a $65,000 to $150,000 solution from the city.

"If you imagine after heavy rain, or any rain, it becomes like a slippery slope -- there’s no holding on,” Astl told CTV News Channel from the park on Friday. “It might be okay when you’re ten-years-old, but if you get in my age, or a little bit younger, it’s very tough.'

"Astl’s stairs, declared unsafe by city bylaw officers, were quickly cordoned off with caution tape....

"In a written statement released Friday, Mayor Tory called the original price tag for the project 'absolutely ridiculous and out of whack with reality.'

"'I want to thank Mr. Astl for taking a stand on this issue,' Tory added. 'His homemade steps have sent a message that I know City Staff have heard loud and clear.'

"According to Tory, construction of new stairs will begin Friday and be completed within days.... The City estimates that the new stairs will cost $10,000. In an interview with CTV News Channel from Toronto City Hall, Tory vowed to make sure that cost estimates are more reasonable in the future."

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This story has been updated.

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