Ryerson’s administration and student union say they do not know anything about the ban of a school event from Toronto Island.
According to Ryerson president Sheldon Levy, nobody in his administration has been told anything regarding the island’s ban of the annual Parade and Picnic. The same goes for the Ryerson Students’ Union, the host of the event, which has received no formal notice.
“I didn’t know anything about it until you raised (the issue),” Levy said in an interview on Monday. “We had a couple of complaints, but nothing unusual so I’m a bit surprised that it got to that level.”
RSU president Rajean Hoilett said, “We haven’t heard any followup about a ban from doing the Parade and Picnic at Toronto Island.”
Their comments came after the island’s councillor confirmed the ban to The Ryersonian last Wednesday.
In a brief statement, Coun. Pam McConnell’s office said only, “The councillor supports the parks managers’ decision to not permit this event in the future.”
After repeated requests for clarification, McConnell’s office said Friday it had no further comment.
Waterfront Parks manager James Dann, who oversees the part of the island where the event is held, said his office does not want Ryerson back on the island due to the noise.
Dann said his office recommended the event be banned after input from onsite staff and island residents.
He added that the ban is not final, and the event may be welcome back if “substantial changes are made.”
Ryerson’s annual Parade and Picnic is held partially on the island in the form of a concert. It had been held many times there for the past 50 years.
It is yet unclear when Dann made the recommendation or how the event came to be banned.
Ward 16 Coun. Karen Stintz said it is unusual that such a drastic step would be taken before discussions including the people and groups involved.
“Before you’re denied a permit you’ll be notified and have a chance to remedy the situation,” she said.
Stintz alluded to a situation she had in her ward, in which an event held at a church brought about noise complaints and was remedied by changing the hours of the event to coincide with the city’s noise bylaws.
Toronto’s noise bylaws prohibit any music played over multiple loudspeakers in a residential area from 11 p.m. until 7 a.m. Ryerson’s concert was well within these limits, finishing before 6 p.m. on Friday Sept. 5.
Both Levy and Hoilett said that they hope that this issue can be resolved, and intend to look into it.
Levy said that if the RSU reaches out to the administration for support, it would work with the union to help find a solution.