Kids in the Chemainus neighbourhood impacted by a strata bylaw prohibiting street play received a big surprise Wednesday afternoon.
A Canadian Tire truck rolled into the Artisan Gardens subdivision, stocked with toys, games and inflatable pools for the 11 kids in the neighbourhood to enjoy in their yards since street play is banned.
“It was Canadian Tire as a whole got a hold of it and asked if we’d be interested in getting into it,” said Scott Bridger from Canadian Tire’s Duncan store.
“Summer’s long when you’re a kid. At least having these toys they can still have some fun in their backyard and take their minds off they’re not allowed in the street.”
“Just hearing about the incident, the main store contacted us and wanted to make sure something was done,” added cashier Steph Wise, who went along with Bridger to make the deliveries.
Wise made the announcement about all the goods to the attentive kids.
“We brought you guys some stuff so you can play in your backyards since you can’t play in the streets for safety reasons,” she declared.
There’s only one teenager among the neighbourhood group and the rest of the children are 10 or younger. They were very excited – and so were the parents – to see the variety of gifts for the kids.
“It was pretty emotional,” said parent Crystal Clarke. “I can’t believe it. I’m so thankful. It’s amazing.”
The strata board of the complex voted 15-4 in late June in favour of a roadways bylaw to ban kids’ street play, “including hockey, baseball, basketball, skateboarding, chalk artistry, bicycling or other sports and recreational activities.”
The edict caused an immediate furor and news spread around the world denouncing the action.
Parents vowed to defy the order and Dylan Howard said it’s been status quo since then.
No action has been taken when kids have been riding their bikes along the quiet roadway to visit or play with other kids.
Howard said the strata council recently had a long meeting, but nothing was announced to the residents about what transpired.
“We’ll assume something was at least said,” he reasoned.
“I’m hoping they’re going to rectify it to some sort of a compromise.”
The publicity the incident has generated astounded Howard.
“It’s insane how far our little street has reached.”
“Everybody’s talking about it,” noted Howard’s mom Laura, visiting from Edmonton.