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

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  • KC
    replied
    Originally posted by Drumbones View Post
    This Astl guy said the estimate was 65,000 for going up and 65,000 for going down for a total of 130. I thought that was funny. The guy definitely was no carpenter but there are probably a lot around that would do it or at least give advice.
    In terms of shaking things up, and opening eyes, it was the best $550 spent in a long long time!

    I still think that these outrageous estimates are meant to quash any thought of doing them in order for the bureaucracy to do what they want to do.

    Similarly the repurposing of the Rossdale Power Plant...
    Last edited by KC; 22-07-2017, 07:33 AM.

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  • Drumbones
    replied
    This Astl guy said the estimate was 65,000 for going up and 65,000 for going down for a total of 130. I thought that was funny. The guy definitely was no carpenter but there are probably a lot around that would do it or at least give advice.
    Last edited by Drumbones; 22-07-2017, 05:27 AM.

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  • Drumbones
    replied
    Habitat for Humanity does it. They have lots of volunteers right up to presidents and star celebs. I doubt the city would allow it because it could be a movement that grows. People may volunteer cutting grass, moving snow, doing computer and office work etc right up to volunteer mayor and council. Imagine saving billions as the volunteering public runs the city. Welders and iron workers volunteering to build bridges in faster times than they do now. Volunteer retired inspectors and engineers doing it for the community. They could never allow such a thing to take root. All the existing civil servants could not find high paying jobs elsewhere.
    Last edited by Drumbones; 22-07-2017, 05:10 AM.

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  • The_Cat
    replied
    I wonder if there could be volunteer carpenters that could help build community or school playgrounds, especially in the newer schools.

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  • Replacement
    replied
    Originally posted by Channing View Post
    Originally posted by champking View Post
    I've built a few hundred thousand steps in my day . I doubt wheelchair access would pertain but even so : double the price tag to a thousand dollars . For lighting , use a solar panel and some LED lighting . No architect or engineer required
    Have you built any steps in a city park in Ontario recently? Built anything with the accessibility standards that are changing in Ontario recently? Do you know the codes? You going to put batteries in your lighting system so that the lights work at night? Are you producing the lighting levels diagram to prove you have enough light? What are the costs at now? Oh a ramp is only $500? Really? With handrails on both sides, in that tight space with multiple switchbacks required (with landings) and what are you building this ramp out of? And how are you supporting it? Maybe there is a better place for the ramp. Have you surveyed the property? Produced a site plan?

    Are you willing to be liable for the design? Liable for the construction? Do you have insurance?

    **** off with your $1000.
    Sounds like Ontario has gotten crazier than even I had thought. You sound like a perfect contracting bureaucrat justifying the outrageous costs which not too curiously got cut down to a tidy 10K and with that even being for a contracted IMMEDIATE build.

    This was a standard step down into a local park. The kind of which you can find all over Edmonton and with just dirt path trail and not steps and just access. NOT WHEELCHAIR ACCESS EITHER as theres precious little point providing wheel chair access to a dirt trail that is not wheelchair accessible..
    Last edited by Replacement; 21-07-2017, 01:02 PM.

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  • Gemini
    replied
    Originally posted by Dave View Post
    Originally posted by Gemini View Post
    Originally posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    I will say that not every place needs or should be wheelchair accessible.
    Regressive statement.
    You should be saying 'Let's try to find away to make this place wheelchair or disability accessible'.
    I don't think there is anything stopping the city from putting something to make the location wheelchair accessible if that is appropriate.

    Of course, the city will probably dither about it forever and cite an exorbitant cost as an excuse to do nothing, which is what prompted the individual to put in something that made the location at least accessible to some rather than having to slide down the hill and slip and fall on the wet grass (probably a million dollar law suit there too if someone wanted to go after the city for doing nothing).

    Unfortunately, while bureaucrats don't forget anything, they also don't seem to learn from things like this either so I doubt much of benefit will be done by the city here to make this place accessible for anyone.
    One would think that a place like Toronto who likes to promote itself as a progressive city that they maybe have a rule on their building codes that if stairs are build in public places they also must include a ramp or equivalent to accommodate the disabled. I'm all for it

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  • KC
    replied
    Originally posted by champking View Post
    Originally posted by KC View Post
    Paint would accelerate problems by trapping moisture. Stain would be nice but shouldn't be needed.

    A potential problem is using the wrong limber. There's different types of PT with the ground contact having twice the concentration of preservative and with the new stuff it's a necessity to get the PT concentration for underground use. Even for wood close to the ground, I'd try to use the below ground type of boards (with the little holes all over them).

    Cut a common PT / 'above ground' / deck or framing board into pieces and you'll see that the stuff barely penetrates the surface in places. So in my mind using this stuff where moisture is frequently present means this cheap stuff becomes similar to or worse than a dam developing holes because it would let water in and rot expand unseen below the surface. Do ctitical framing or retaining pieces unexpected might fail. To me it's not much better than the using untreated boards with the old oil based stains which would also soak in but would fail at every spot where they were laminated or nailed. Water just bypasses the treatments.

    Also, I know nothing about retaining walls but imagine that if I built one, I'd want to first put layers/overlapping rows (shingle style to avoid trapping water and letting let water deep in) of plastic - probably cut up pieces of that corrugated plastic sheet stuff - against the dirt then have a space for backfilling with gravel to allow for drainage, (maybe even another separator say a layer of landscape fabric against the wood as well, then build the wood wall - with drainage at the base. I'd guess that keeping water and mud away from the actual wood would increase its life. I might even cap the top back to any ground slope so flowing surface water from rains would flow over and not behind the wall. Basically why let the gravel fill with muck and plug it all up.
    I would have dug the dirt out to form the steps , then shore with 2x6 similar to bottom half . Done for less than $100.
    Excellent! Maybe just some bags of gravel fill. Often less is more.

    I once dug in some big rocks as steps. Clearly they are what they are, and there's no false impressions.

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  • Dave
    replied
    Originally posted by Gemini View Post
    Originally posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    I will say that not every place needs or should be wheelchair accessible.
    Regressive statement.
    You should be saying 'Let's try to find away to make this place wheelchair or disability accessible'.
    I don't think there is anything stopping the city from putting something to make the location wheelchair accessible if that is appropriate.

    Of course, the city will probably dither about it forever and cite an exorbitant cost as an excuse to do nothing, which is what prompted the individual to put in something that made the location at least accessible to some rather than having to slide down the hill and slip and fall on the wet grass (probably a million dollar law suit there too if someone wanted to go after the city for doing nothing).

    Unfortunately, while bureaucrats don't forget anything, they also don't seem to learn from things like this either so I doubt much of benefit will be done by the city here to make this place accessible for anyone.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gemini
    replied
    Originally posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    I will say that not every place needs or should be wheelchair accessible.
    Regressive statement.
    You should be saying 'Let's try to find away to make this place wheelchair or disability accessible'.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gemini
    replied


    If they are going to build a stairway built it right.

    https://www.google.ca/search?q=reces...w=1280&bih=523

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  • Edmonton PRT
    replied
    Rex Murphy chimes in on this issue of National importance.


    Rex Murphy: One man and his staircase is a threat no city bureaucrat could abide
    Mayor John Tory gave voice to a common dread: "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"

    It’s a rather more local story, launched — credit where credit is due — by Sue-Ann Levy of the Toronto Sun. She reported a couple of days ago that a 73-year-old man, Adi Asti, approached the Toronto City Council after becoming fed up by having watched, for eight years, fellow seniors scramble down a park embankment, clutching a rope as their only guideline (undignified at best, a few falls for some, a broken wrist for another). Asti, a perceptive man, suggested the council build a few steps on the slope. Nothing magnificent or overblown. No Hoover Dam or Taj Mahal, no “world-class architect” like that fellow from the ROM. Just a few plain steps to cover a couple of yards of downward slope to ease access for the old folks into the park.


    Well, word came back from the Parks, Forestry and Recreation Department of the greatest city in the world that such a project, say eight or nine steps in all, max, would set back the city $60,000-150,000. After a few preliminary questions (did they plan on flying in the Carrera marble by private jet? Were the railings to be of gold or diamond? Were they planning to give the contract to Bombardier?), Asti was flummoxed and nonplussed, gobsmacked and flabbergasted.
    Choking on tears of astonishment, he fled the meeting in horror and shame. Upon recovery, being a man of resource, Asti went out and bought a few 2x4s, a fistful of nails and screws, hired a homeless man (good citizen he, spread the wealth where it is needed), and built the damn stairs himself. Fourteen hours it took, $550 dollars it cost: almost 120 times cheaper than the city’s lowest estimate. MORE http://nationalpost.com/opinion/rex-...5-7bbb54b180b1
    Taj Mahal is referenced again on this issue, from Rex himself. I have trademarked the term so he owes me money! LOL Rex had the term "lummoxed and nonplussed, gobsmacked and flabbergasted" trademarked years ago and he uses it nearly every time.


    Maybe we need this Mr. Asti to come to Edmonton to build us the Walterdale Bridge, LRT line or _______(insert Project here)______.

    Might be built out of chewing gum and popsicle sticks but if the next day the COE tears it down and builds a bridge or LRT for 6.5 times less, then it is all worth it!

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  • Edmonton PRT
    replied
    In the news

    City of Toronto tears down handyman's park stairs
    If you build it, they will come -- and tear it down.


    A City of Toronto work crew was seen in Etobicoke’s Tom Riley Park early Friday morning, removing a staircase that had been erected by maverick local handyman Adi Astl. Construction on new stairs, Mayor John Tory promises, will begin immediately. http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/city-of...airs-1.3513388
    In a written statement released Friday, Mayor Tory called the original price tag for the project “absolutely ridiculous and out of whack with reality.”
    “I want to thank Mr. Astl for taking a stand on this issue,” Tory added. “His homemade steps have sent a message that I know City Staff have heard loud and clear.”
    According to Tory, construction of new stairs will begin Friday and be completed within days.
    “The new stairs will be safe, durable and reasonably priced,” Tory wrote.
    The City estimates that the new stairs will cost $10,000. In an interview with CTV News Channel from Toronto City Hall, Tory vowed to make sure that cost estimates are more reasonable in the future.
    “We’re also going to take a look at how this process works today so that we can make sure that these kinds of crazy estimates don’t become just a continuous part of how things happen because they shouldn’t,” he said.
    As for Etobicoke’s stair master, Astl holds no grudges after seeing his handiwork demolished.
    “If you come, we have steps like Taj Mahal! Can you imagine that?” Astl said with a broad grin. “The story is so big, I guess they had to rectify it quickly… Which is amazing. Thank you, Mayor!”



    Note 'worker' in the middle on his cell phone as the two others tear the stairs down...




    It is funny that the guy used the same reference as I did on post#6 earlier regarding the Taj Mahal...

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  • Edmonton PRT
    replied
    I will say that not every place needs or should be wheelchair accessible.

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  • Gord Lacey
    replied
    The stairs have been ripped out. Someone went to the site and posted a thorough assessment on Twitter. Basically the thing wasn't secure, wasn't level, had a TON of hazardous edges, and wasn't up to code of any kind. It was also behind a wooden fence (which you can see in post 10). It never should have been built, and the media certainly never should have advertised it the way they did. This isn't comparable at all.

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  • Gemini
    replied
    Gotta give the guy top marks for trying. On the other hand there is a fair amount of gouging going on in those quotes. Another thing, if the City of Toronto did build those steps I should imagine if would have to build a ramp alongside it for people with disabilities and wheelchair accessible. That would up the cost.

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