Canadian man built stairs in park for $550 after city estimated $65,000

Canadian man built stairs in park for $550 after city estimated $65,000

A Canadian man built steps for his community park, but the City of Toronto is angry that he went ahead and did so even though city officials had estimated the project would cost $65,000 to complete.

Adi Astl, a retired mechanic, told Global News that he decided to build the stairs himself after one of his neighbors fell down a steep incline leading to a community garden. The city of Toronto later warned Astl the stairs may be torn down since they weren’t built according to the city regulation standards.

Before he built the stairs, he said there was nothing but an embankment with rocks and a yellow rope.

Astl paid $550 in materials and also received private donations. He hired a homeless person and together the two built the eight steps.

“It took us all together 14 hours. It took us eight hours before they got in and then we had to modify it, and the railings and all that stuff,” Astl said.

Toronto officials had estimated the construction of the stairs would cost from $65,000 to $150,000.

“I thought they were talking about an escalator,” Astl said.

City bylaw officials put up yellow caution tape and signs saying the steps are unsafe while officials determined what to do with it. But, the tape and signs have been torn down and people continue to use the stairs.

“I think everyone will understand that it will be more than $550,” Toronto Mayor John Tory said.

The mayor said that while he appreciates that Astl wanted to solve a problem, Toronto residents cannot be taking matters into their own hands.

“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.”

Astl has not been fined and is not facing criminal charges.