Beloved Centennial Mini-Indy, Canada’s largest outdoor go-kart track, is sadly slated for the wrecker’s ball next month. This track, which is situated on 11 acres inside Toronto’s 470-acre Centennial Park, has been enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of users for almost four decades. But come November, this business is being permanently shuttered by the city.
It's inexplicable. Patrons love the track. The track employs some 65 individuals. The track remits some $200,000 to city coffers each year. So, what gives?
The official reason is that the City of Toronto is going ahead with a new “master plan” for Centennial Park. That means no go-karts and more baseball diamonds. But there are several baseball diamonds already situated in the park. And given that the park is almost 500 acres in size, can’t the track and the baseball diamonds be accommodated? Apparently not.
In an emailed statement to Rebel News, the City of Toronto’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation department had this to say:
“In order to better understand current needs of Centennial Park and park users, the City held in-depth public consultations between January 2020 and July 2021. As part of the Master Plan, the City engaged with residents, stakeholders, Indigenous leaders, youth groups, community groups and the Anti-Black Racism Accountability Circle through in-person and virtual forums, as well as surveys, interviews and unique digital engagement tools.
Anchored by this public consultation process, the new vision that has emerged is one that is inclusive, publicly accessible and provides new opportunities for community stewardship. These extensive community consultations for the Council-approved Centennial Park Master Plan identified the needs and desired uses that will proceed in the area currently occupied by the go-kart track and batting cages. The Master Plan reimagines the use of recreational facilities within the park and is informed by the Council-approved Facilities Master Plan.
By implementing this transformational plan, the park will be a year-round destination for residents and visitors to enjoy. The public will have an opportunity to consider the design options later this fall and construction will commence in 2024. The baseball hub aligns with identified community interests and needs and it represents a significant investment in promoting sports and recreational activities that are popular in the area.”
Recently, Rebel News dropped by the park to speak with owner Don Duggan. Duggan told us that Centennial Park’s existing baseball diamonds are hardly used. He is baffled that the city is taking away a popular attraction to implement baseball diamonds that are clearly unneeded.
Duggan believes the city is caving to special interest groups. But who are those groups? It is unknown. As well, what is the real agenda at play here? Toronto city council veers to the left, so is shutting down go-karts being done in the name of climate change? It wouldn’t surprise us given that Toronto City Hall is infamous for its ongoing war on the car.
Clearly given the park’s size, new baseball diamonds AND the go-kart track can easily be accommodated. But the city has made up its mind: the track has got to go – for no good reason.
This is shameful. This is anti-business. This is anti-fun. Maybe Don Duggan needs to establish a so-called “safe injection site” at the track. City Hall councillors seem to be all-in when it comes to these neighbourhood-destroying drug dens.