More than 30 new pickleball courts could soon open in Toronto
Published Tuesday, May 30, 2023 1:04PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, May 30, 2023 1:12PM EDT
Pickleball, a paddle sport that includes elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, could soon be played at more City of Toronto-run courts.
On Monday, Parks, Forestry and Recreation released an eight-page staff report that recommends ways to meet the increasing demand for the sport by installing 31 new pickleball courts at outdoor skating rinks, under-utilized tennis courts, and other city-owned flat surfaces throughout Toronto by the end of the year.
The report, which also calls on the city to construct three purpose-built pickleball facilities by 2026 in the south, north and east ends of the city, is set to be considered by the Infrastructure and Environment Committee next Monday. If adopted, it will go before City Council for final approval on June 14.
Last spring, Coun. Paula Fletcher (Toronto-Danforth) introduced two motions that asked city staff to look at expanding the number of pickleball courts. Both were adopted without amendment.
"It’s just great the city is committed to growing this popular sport by looking at affordable ways to permit playing on under-used outdoor flat surfaces," Fletcher said in a May 28 news release.
"It's also another example of how we can provide affordable recreation opportunities for Torontonians.”
Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in North America. It is affordable and accessible, and especially popular among seniors.
More than 72,000 Torontonians are estimated to have played pickleball last year, Fletcher said in a release.
According to the staff report, Toronto has expanded its outdoor pickleball courts from one to 165 in the last five years. In response to demand, pickleball programming has also been offered at more than 50 community recreation centres across the city since 2008.