Canadian Man Builds Park Stairwell for $550 That City Quoted at $65,000

Retired mechanic takes it upon himself to cut through local government red tape.

July 20, 2017 10:08 am

Oh, Canada. Such nice people you have. So nice they sometimes have to ignore local laws to bring happiness to mankind.

As CTV News reports, one such scenario recently went down in the district of Etobicoke in Toronto. Adi Astl, a retired mechanic sidestepped the local government by building a stairwell down an embankment into a community park after a number of his neighbors fell down the hill, trying to get in. So Astl hired a homeless man to help him bring the project to fruition. The price-tag on his project: $550 Canadian (about $435).

However, the city was planning on building its own stairwell to fix the problem and had quoted an estimate of $65,000–$150,000 (i.e. about $50,000–$120,000).

Astl’s project saved them a lot of time and money, but broke a local bylaw.

At this point, city authorities have cordoned off Astl’s home-made staircase, awaiting next steps.

It seems like Astl’s in for a win; the city’s mayor John Tory said that the estimate seemed “completely out of whack with reality,” but also noted that bypassing city bylaws is generally frowned upon. “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.”

Watch the latest on Canadian Stairgate below.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.