I could not be happier about this ban. I certainly wish it didn’t need to come to this, but clearly there is no other way. On April 19th, 2010, my (then) 3 year old son and I were out for a walk. We were on the sidewalk adjacent to the park when my son stepped into a loop of string on an abandoned kite. At the same time that he stepped into it, the kite was caught on a moving car. Luckily the car was slowing as it came to the intersection at Middlefield and Steeles, but it was still moving fast enough to cause the string to slice through my sons pants, sock and flesh. As I have no vehicle, I was forced to call an ambulance to take us to the nearest hospital. The wound took over a month to heal, and my son (now 4 years old) has a nasty scar and is absolutely terrified of kites AND Milliken Park. Hopefully with this ban, we can begin to use the park again. It’s been a long summer without the use of the park that we live right across the road from.
MOTHER CHEERS BAN
Liam Forbes is terrified of kites. And his mother is furious with kite fliers.
In April, Liam, then 3, was walking home from Milliken Park with his mother when something grabbed his left ankle. He crashed to the ground and was dragged a few metres, feet first.
His mother, Lauren Forbes, reacted quickly and untangled the boy. The cause: kite line. A loose kite had floated to the street and its nylon line sliced through Liam’s pants and sock before gripping his ankle, Forbes said.
Broken kites and metres of tangled line, the aftermath of kite fights, are found on the ground, in the bushes and trees at Milliken Park — the principal reason the city has banned kites there.
“I think the ban is a great thing,” Forbes said. “I know I’m a little biased, but it’s common courtesy to clean up after yourselves.”
Doctors told Forbes stitches weren’t needed because the string cauterized Liam’s blood vessels, effectively burning the cut closed.
Liam limped around for a month and his wound required cleaning and dressing twice a day. That was an inconvenience. The real problem became Liam’s fear of kites — and the park. “He freaks out if he sees a kite now. He won’t even go near one,” Forbes said.
Liam will only venture near the park if he’s wearing his rubber boots so his ankles are protected. The family used to fly their kite at the park, but it now rests under the stairs.
I have been cut TWICE in that park. Once by string with pieces of glass on it, the other time by a really fine but hard wire.
You guys have no idea what the problems are
Do you guys even live in the area to understand what the problems really are? The problem is that kite flyers tend to cut other kites off which then fly off to far flung area with the strings. These runaway kites are the targets of loafers who run after them in streets of Markham, grab the kites and leave the plastic strings all over the place. I live in Markham right next to park have seen my property being over run several times. I have lost two grass cutting machines due to strings left in my backyard, have seen kids fall off their bike because leftover strings entanglement, have rescued three wounded sea gulls whose wings were entangled in the strings. Hoodlums running after the kites endanger their safety as well as those of other drivers. The problem is not kite flying, it is the utter carelessness of those who fly and engage in sporting battles to cut others lines off. Please drive on Steeles between McCowan and Middlefiled and see for yourself how many webs of plastic stings are stuck on utility poles,
Few bad apples spoil the fun.
I work near this park and I can tell you first hand that there are a lot of people that are not cleaning up after themselves in this park. Have had 3 instances this summer alone where we needed to call the humane society to pick up injured birds tangled in kite string. Its too bad that some of these people have ruined it for everyone else, but I wont miss the kite string littering the area.
Addendum May 23 2011: Motorcyclist (companyman) traveling on Baview and Rosedale Valley, Toronto, Canada suffers neck lacerations. This may be caused by kite string. This location is just west of Riverdale Park. Wind conditions for the last few days have been ideal for kite flying.
Addendum August 28 2011: Yet another motorcyclist had his neck sliced open from loose kite string. He was riding north on Warden St and St. Clair Avenue. The kite string just narrowly missed cutting his jugular. This location is just west of a large TTC parking lot for commuters, which has the capacity of 700 cars. The wind was WNW 50 kph, from Hurricane Irene, and provided ideal kite flying conditions. Hopefully the parking lot had cameras.