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Toronto Man builds 65,000 dollar stairs in park for $550

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  • Toronto Man builds 65,000 dollar stairs in park for $550

    Classic - good on him. Sure, maybe they aren't perfect / to code, but what a perfect illustration of why governments run massive deficits:

    http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/toronto...mate-1.3510237

    Retired mechanic Adi Astl says he took it upon himself to build the stairs after several neighbours fell down the steep path to a community garden in Tom Riley Park, in Etobicoke, Ont. Astl says his neighbours chipped in on the project, which only ended up costing $550 – a far cry from the $65,000-$150,000 price tag the city had estimated for the job.

    “I thought they were talking about an escalator,” Astl told CTV News Channel on Wednesday.

    Astl says he hired a homeless person to help him and built the eight steps in a matter of hours.

    Astl’s wife, Gail Rutherford, says the stairs have already been a big help to people who routinely take that route through the park. “I’ve seen so many people fall over that rocky path that was there to begin with,” she said. “It’s a huge improvement over what was there.”

    Astl says members of his gardening group have been thanking him for taking care of the project, especially after one of them broke her wrist falling down the slope last year.

    “To me, the safety of people is more important than money,” Astl said. “So if the city is not willing to do it, I have to do it myself.”

    City bylaw officers have taped off the stairs while officials make a decision on what to do with it. However, Astl has not been charged with any sort of violation.

  • #2
    Aren't perfect? They won't last a single ground freeze. Yes, 65k is ridiculous. But so is $550.

    Comment


    • #3
      Its pretty odd way to build some stairs. Of particular note strange that he wouldn't have just bought 9ft posts and dug holes and cemented them in? More cost, sure, but more stable than what he's built. For the small amount of posts it is you could just buy the steel post spikes, pound them in 3ft, and secure the posts to those anchor spikes.

      That said frost wouldn't be as bad in Etobicoke.

      In anycase the effort is positive, and I think needed from time to time to help publicise how much bloated civic costs for minuscule projects often are. For 1K here he could probably have built some pretty solid, and well anchored stairs.

      Just as an aside we have orgs like habitat for humanity building homes and with volunteer labor. In National Parks, even Jasper, volunteers help with trail renewal, repairs, and even some minor creek crossing.

      Civically I think there could be an org where people help to build or repair some park infrastructure to help keep costs down. I think I'd be into volunteering in such a thing.
      Last edited by Replacement; 20-07-2017, 04:49 PM.
      "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

      Comment


      • #4
        In southern Ontario the frost level is only 36 to 42 inches.

        I was going to post this thread as well. Some bids came in at $150,000

        Now you know why our LRT costs so much.
        Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
          Aren't perfect? They won't last a single ground freeze. Yes, 65k is ridiculous. But so is $550.
          Yes, the $550 was probably a bit on the cheap side. However, even if they have to be replaced every single year, just take a moment to do the math:

          $550/yr x say 20 years = $11,000.

          That is still a heck of a lot less than the 65K figures for the city to do it.

          I suppose we should be somewhat reassured that the City of Edmonton is not the only municipality that is not completely competent in dealing with capital project budgets. I guess bureaucratic ineptitude is not just a local phenomenon. The City of Toronto should be rightly embarrassed by this stupidity.

          Comment


          • #6
            It is a simple set of stairs not the Taj Mahal.

            I bet the bids to the City did not even include a coat of stain to make it last longer.
            Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Dave View Post
              Originally posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
              Aren't perfect? They won't last a single ground freeze. Yes, 65k is ridiculous. But so is $550.
              Yes, the $550 was probably a bit on the cheap side. However, even if they have to be replaced every single year, just take a moment to do the math:

              $550/yr x say 20 years = $11,000.

              That is still a heck of a lot less than the 65K figures for the city to do it.

              I suppose we should be somewhat reassured that the City of Edmonton is not the only municipality that is not completely competent in dealing with capital project budgets. I guess bureaucratic ineptitude is not just a local phenomenon. The City of Toronto should be rightly embarrassed by this stupidity.
              A million-dollar lawsuit against the city from someone who got hurt by "something" that wasn't done right would wipe out any savings. Buddy and his renegade Stairway to Heaven wouldn't have that problem, though he might now that his work has been revealed.
              I am in no way entitled to your opinion...

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Spudly View Post
                Originally posted by Dave View Post
                Originally posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
                Aren't perfect? They won't last a single ground freeze. Yes, 65k is ridiculous. But so is $550.
                Yes, the $550 was probably a bit on the cheap side. However, even if they have to be replaced every single year, just take a moment to do the math:

                $550/yr x say 20 years = $11,000.

                That is still a heck of a lot less than the 65K figures for the city to do it.

                I suppose we should be somewhat reassured that the City of Edmonton is not the only municipality that is not completely competent in dealing with capital project budgets. I guess bureaucratic ineptitude is not just a local phenomenon. The City of Toronto should be rightly embarrassed by this stupidity.
                A million-dollar lawsuit against the city from someone who got hurt by "something" that wasn't done right would wipe out any savings. Buddy and his renegade Stairway to Heaven wouldn't have that problem, though he might now that his work has been revealed.
                Perhaps, but spending 65,000 on it wouldn't necessarily guarantee no one would get hurt or that there would be no $1 million lawsuits either. I am not arguing the $550 steps are the best or even adequate quality, but that $65,000 is excessive.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ribbon it off.... now that it's safer ?
                  Stupid burocrats

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What the community wanted


                    What the City wanted to build
                    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by champking View Post
                      Ribbon it off.... now that it's safer ?
                      Stupid burocrats
                      Tens of thousands of dollars? That's total nonsense. Plus I love the idea of initiative but....


                      Better than nothing - no way. Safer? It's a higher risk now because from above it looks safer while increasing the risk of serious injury. The dirt slope provided a safer more obvious risk.

                      Geez I worked with paper most of my life and looking at its construction scares me. Just a few more bucks and some common sense was needed.

                      Every second tread/step is a risk. The railing and posts would combine to lessen some of the risk from those steps.

                      Look at their placement of the stringers. Two and not three? Plus a large overhang to lever the screws out of the parallel stringer. The downward force of a jogger hitting the edge could collapse a board (teetotter effect) and break a leg or neck.

                      Is it treated wood? What treatment? What screws and/fasteners did they use? Some combinations could fail in just a couple years.

                      A big person may be a wide person, so they will step to the outer side of the railing. Put 250 - 300+ lbs with downward force on the outer edge, maybe not this year but in a couple years and what will happen?


                      Then there's the railing mounted to the treads. It's not a deck with corners providing strength. (The could have run them to ground level and put in those steel post brackets and then anchored the posts beside the treads.



                      Corrosion with ACQ.


                      http://www.bsa-reno.com/images/rottedhanger_b7fv.gif
                      Last edited by KC; 20-07-2017, 08:22 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I agree the design he used is pretty unconventional and not suitable for the site but $65,000 - $150,000 bids are just nuts.

                        There were only 10 steps. You could do a solid poured concrete staircase for under $10,000 c/w railing
                        Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
                          I agree the design he used is pretty unconventional and not suitable for the site but $65,000 - $150,000 bids are just nuts.

                          There were only 10 steps. You could do a solid poured concrete staircase for under $10,000 c/w railing
                          Or simply reinforce this one for a few hundred dollars more. Slide in two or three more stringers and ensure the right screws are used. Put in a bit of concrete to support them. Properly cap and reinforce the railing...

                          Fix the risers to whatever code requires.



                          https://cdnph.upi.com/svc/sv/i/18915...ated-65000.jpg




                          But what were they thinking? 'Who ya gonna sue?' The NeckBusters


                          https://localtvwtvr.files.wordpress....=770&strip=all

                          Two people stop and lean on the railing... and over they go...
                          Last edited by KC; 20-07-2017, 09:08 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Read this twitter string to see how ridiculous are the City of Toronto and the Stairs builder. Check out the lawsuit waiting to happen...

                            https://twitter.com/zchamu/status/888076067168301056

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well he used ground contact PT treads and that's smart when they are close to the ground.

                              Compatible screws? Sealed the seam on the stringers?

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