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Public property, private God?

The story of Noah’s Ark featured on playground equipment in twowest-end Toronto parks has sparked debate over whether religiousmaterial belongs on public property.

The story of Noah’s Ark featured on playground equipment in two west-end Toronto parks has sparked debate over whether religious material belongs on public property.

City officials say the play structures that feature the story of 40 days and 40 nights of rain, along with pictures of animals in twos, have been in Christie Pits Park and McCormick Playground for at least 10 years, possibly 15 years.

Last month, a resident complained about the display, and now officials say it should be removed — but only when the play equipment has worn out.

“It bothered me, this religious story in our public park,” said Denny Alexander, father of 2-year-old Dominic and 1-year-old Oscar.

He wrote to city officials, but received little explanation from parks officials.

Monica Gupta, chair of the 300-member Friends of Christie Pits Park formed about 18 months ago, believes the equipment should be yanked.

Coun. Adam Giambrone agrees displaying the Noah’s Ark story goes against the city’s general policy of inclusiveness.

 
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