City estimated stairs would cost $65000.

He bult them for $550.

They’re fit to be tied:

A Toronto man who spent $550 building a set of stairs in his community park says he has no regrets, despite the city’s insistence that he should have waited for a $65,000 city project to handle the problem. The city is now threatening to tear down the stairs because they were not built to regulation standards.

Retired mechanic Adi Astl says he took it upon himself to build the stairs after several neighbours fell down the steep path to a community garden in Tom Riley Park, in Etobicoke, Ont. Astl says his neighbours chipped in on the project, which only ended up costing $550 – a far cry from the $65,000-$150,000 price tag the city had estimated for the job.

“I thought they were talking about an escalator,” Astl told CTV News Channel on Wednesday.

Toronto bylaw officials have taped off these privately-built stairs in Tom Riley Park, in Etobicoke, Ont.

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

Astl’s wife, Gail Rutherford, says the stairs have already been a big help to people who routinely take that route through the park. “I’ve seen so many people fall over that rocky path that was there to begin with,” she said. “It’s a huge improvement over what was there.”

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.

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

City bylaw officers have taped off the stairs while officials make a decision on what to do with it. However, Astl has not been charged with any sort of violation.

Mayor John Tory acknowledged that the city estimate sounds “completely out of whack with reality” on Wednesday. However, he says that still doesn’t justify allowing private citizens to bypass city bylaws to build public structures themselves.

“I think everyone will understand that it will be more than $550,” he said on 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.”

Tory also cited safety and accessibility issues in terms of the staircase’s design. City inspectors have said the stairs are unsafe because the railing is unsafe, the incline is uneven and there is no foundation.

The mayor says his staff have been asked to revisit the project and come up with a more realistic estimate, as the last one was based on projects in other parks.

Area resident Dana Beamon told CTV Toronto she’s happy to have the stairs there, whether or not they are up to city standards.

“We have far too much bureaucracy,” she said. “We don’t have enough self-initiative in our city, so I’m impressed.”

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  1. dekare says:

    I will admit that the steps are not professional and the railing did look wobbly. In a few years, these will be quite dangerous, but for now, they get the job done.

    A proper set of steps could have been done in PT wood, with properly sunk in footings and a railing that is secured to the ground. In all, a few extra hundred bucks and a proper assembly would have gotten you a set of steps that would have lasted a decade before needing repairs. Or, if you like, pour 8 steps in concrete with rebar. Either way, a decent set of steps should not cost more than $2-3K complete. How the hell does a city justify $65K up to $150K for 8 damned steps? What do they need, impact studies, environmental studies, plan review, civil review, public approval meetings, study the effects on any and all wildlife that may or may not be found within a 5 mile radius and on and on. No wonder everything the govt does is a damned waste. No wonder their healthcare system is insanely expensive.

    And the typical govt attitude at the end of the video….”just because something needs to be done…doesn’t mean somebody should do it” WTF? We have lost that “we can do it” spirit that great men used to possess. Now, unless the govt does it, and at a cost that is 500 times more than it should cost, and take years for what should take only days, it’s not done right. No wonder everyone despises the govt these days. Instead of thanking this guy for doing something to fix a problem that has harmed people, the govt higher ups chastise him. Assholes.

  2. Leonard Jones says:

    Donald Trump did the same thing with a skating rink in Central Park. The cost
    overruns were in the millions and it was something like 6 months past the deadline.
    He did for a few hundred K, and few months ahead of schedule.

  3. dekare says:

    The days of the govt being able to do ANYTHING are long gone. Name ONE govt agency that does something on time and on budge. I dare you. Just look at the post office, the DMV, the VA hospitals, or any other govt run something. Yet so many people think the govt should be in charge of not just our healthcare, but everything. REALLY?!

    NASA can’t put a man in space anymore, and is assigned the duty of making muslims feel good about themselves now. We need private sector now to get back into space.

    We The People get an income from ONLY one of two entities. The private sector or the govt. No one gets a paycheck from anywhere but these two places. Now ask anyone who they would rather rely on for a decent living wage. A private employer, or a govt handout such as welfare. Which person lives better and prospers? Yet people want to get rid of capitalism and do away with private companies paying you, and instead, everyone works for the govt.

    And does anyone think that the govt is going to startup and successfully run a new business such as a restaurant, a store, a factory, and so on. Nope!!! The govt does NOT start businesses….they either take them over or put them out of business. Hell, look at when the govt took over the Bunny Ranch in Nevada. The whorehouse that was taken over by the govt. They tried to continue that business in the hopes of making a profit for itself. And what do you know, the business failed. HOW THE HELL DID THEY DO THAT? Our govt could not even sell sex. Can’t imagine why. They probably had hiring quotas and had to hire fat disgusting women or maybe they transferred the DMV employees to there. And of course, they hired men and if you were a customer, you would be arrested if you went in, and paid for a session, and then complained you got a 300 pound fat dude when you wanted a svelte hot blond chick. Can’t discriminate…right?

    My point is, the govt can not even sell fucking, that is how messed up and backwards they are. How the hell screwed up do people have to get to think the govt is the answer? To think that our lives would be better under a govt controlled everything.

    Just look at the results of history. Our primarily capitalist society, in the span of almost no time at all has produced the highest of living standards never seen. And compare that to thousands of years of the “govt” or the “crown” or any place where the individual is not in control of his or her own destiny, and you have poverty, starvation, no running water, no electricity, and a life expectancy of about 38 years old….which is about right, since by the time you are that age, your body is trashed, your teeth are gone, and you really don’t want to go on living any longer.

    But nope…capitalism sucks and socialism is the answer. I think we should take everyone who thinks socialism is cool, and make them live in some other country that embraces that lifestyle for a year. Then, they can decide which system is actually better.

    I just don’t get it.

  4. Dan says:

    The local morons in charge will spend SEVERAL TIMES what these stairs cost to have them removed. Then IF…and that’s a big if…..they decide to build something they will spend TENS OF THOUSANDS of OPM in the process. Typical of governments. We truly need to start hanging politicians WHOLESALE.

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