Toronto Man Builds Park Stairs for $550, City's Estimate Was $65,000

Nick Kangadis | July 20, 2017
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Who needs government when you can do it yourself? That’s what one Toronto man must have had going through his mind when deciding to tackle a super expensive city project on his own.

Adi Astl took matters into his own hands after noticing that local people were having trouble traversing a steep path leading to a community garden. Rather than wait for the city to approve a $65,000-$150,000 project to remedy the situation, Astl scrounged up $550 with a little help from contributing neighbors and built the stairway himself.

According to CTV:

Astl says he hired a homeless person to help him and built the eight steps in a matter of hours.

Astl says members of his gardening group have been thanking him for taking care of the project, especially after one of them broke her wrist falling down the slope last year.

However, city officials are not happy with Astl, a retired mechanic, for building the stairs, because they claim that the stairs are not up to city regulations. They're even threatening to tear down the structure, despite the fact that the previous lack of stairs seemed to pose more of a public safety hazard than Asti's homemade solution.

While Mayor John Tory pointed out that the city’s estimate seems to be “completely out of whack with reality,” he also doesn’t want Astl’s actions to lead to other residents to follow his lead.

“I think everyone will understand that it will be more than $550,” Tory said Wednesday. “We just can’t have people decide to go out to Home Depot and build a staircase in a park because that’s what they would like to have.”

Maybe governments, like the one in this situation, should take proposals from private citizens instead of frivolously spending a boatload of taxpayer money on projects that can be done for way less than the government estimate.

If a citizen can bring forward a proposal that is both financially beneficial and structurally sound, why wouldn’t a local or federal government want to take them up on their offer?

“To me, the safety of people is more important than money,” Astl told CTV. “So if the city is not willing to do it, I have to do it myself.”

There is so much bureaucratic red tape that politicians have to go through to get anything done that the projects take way longer and cost way more than what is needed.

Government is NOT always the answer.

For video of the story, watch below:


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