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

  1. #1

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

  3. #3

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    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 at 05:49 PM.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  4. #4

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    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.
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  5. #5

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    Quote 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.

  6. #6

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    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.
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    Quote 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...

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    Quote 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.

  9. #9

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

  10. #10

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    What the community wanted


    What the City wanted to build
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  11. #11

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    Quote 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 at 09:22 PM.

  12. #12

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    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
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  13. #13

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    Quote 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 at 10:08 PM.

  14. #14
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    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

  15. #15

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    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?

  16. #16
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    I'm not a journeyman carpenter...but that is definitely you get what you pay for.

    That won't last one freeze, one hard rain...and it is not that secure. The stringers are cracked from using the wrong fasteners...

    Sure, the price tag quoted...and yes PRT I completely agree it is also reflected in our LRT costs...is obscene. Stairs shouldn't cost $65,000 to span that distance. However, the city has huge liabilities...and the engineer charges X, the lawyer Y, the consultant Z...insurance Z^2...etc.

    The last 3 steps are going to pack, erode, and create huge depressions to trip in. When you have artificial limbs...slight elevation changes are even more noticeable...

    Good try...but I've learned that cheaping out...gets you in more trouble.
    Onward and upward

  17. #17

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    The idea of using concrete for steps is also troublesome. Great for the first 5 or 10 years and then a potential and rising liability as they crack, crumble, heave... plus the railings loosen...

  18. #18

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    Quote 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.
    Stairs of any nature, no matter how eloquently or by code constructed are recognized as mechanisms of injury. Fall on stairs in any work place and get injured and WCB payout is all but assured. Stairs by themselves are an element of risk. No matter how constructed. A lawsuit can always occur involving ANY stairs no matter how spurious. Worse if the stairs are slippery, improperly maintained, differential height of stairs, negligence is proven etc, the claims can be much greater. Which leads to an interesting last point, that the City of Etobicoke could also be sued if somebody fell down that slope entry to the park due to the negligence of the city not reconstructing ANY stairs down there. In short not reconstructing the stairway is negligent. Not covering the trailway leading down to the park that people use, and could fall down and hurt themselves is negligent.
    Last edited by Replacement; 21-07-2017 at 12:43 AM.
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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    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?
    Why on Earth would the guy arrange the stringers like that? Simply stupid thing to do. I understand the guy is trying to be helpful but this is one of the worst constructed stairways I've seen. Then making the steps support the railing with the steps already subject to force due to how wrong the stringers are laid out.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  21. #21

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    The stairs are a really poor design but he did make a point.

    I recall 8 or 10 years ago when a contractor rebuilt a retaining wall on 76th Ave in the Mill Creek ravine. They closed the road for months while two guys s-l-o-w-l-y rebuilt the wall.

    I wonder what that cost.

    In Edmonton they build stairs and structures out of PT spruce in the parks and then they never bother to come back and paint/stain them to protect them. Even two or three years later, they begin falling apart.

    Many of them are not much better than this guy built.
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  22. #22

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    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.
    Last edited by KC; 21-07-2017 at 08:20 AM.

  23. #23

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    KC wrote "Paint would accelerate problems by trapping moisture. Stain would be nice but shouldn't be needed."

    Partly true

    Pressure Treated wood should not be painted or stained in the first months because it is saturated with moisture. That is well known. BUT after it has dried, it is highly recommended to stain the PT wood.

    Pressure treatment is intended to protect primarily from insects, fungus and bacterial rot. It does NOT protect exterior weather exposure and UV in sunlight will definitely result in checking and splintering of the surface which results in moisture penetration into the wood's interior where there is no PT. The weathering accelerates the degradation and internal rotting of the wood. Proper stains protect the wood from the elements and greatly extends the life of the structure. Applying a paint or stain also reduces the PT chemicals from leaching out, so the wood remains protected, longer. This also reduces ground contamination and reduces exposure to the chemicals to children, people and pets.


    I bought a house with a 7 year old, weathered PT fence. It looked terrible and probably would need to be replaced within 5 years. I applied 4 coats of solid color white stain. The first coat soaked in like mad which reveals how much the wood was weathered and how badly it needed protection. Even the second coat soaked in!

    5 years after I painted it, I still get raves on how well the fence looks and several people asked if it was made from plastic. The original owner did not recognize it as the fence that he had installed 12 years earlier. He thought it was a new fence!

    Pressure-Treated Lumberhttps://www.dulux.ca/diy/tips-tricks/painting/filler-shows-through-the-paint-(10)
    Pressure-treated lumber is kiln-dried wood (usually spruce or yellow pine) that is pressure treated with chemical preservatives dispersed in water. To check if the wood is dry enough for stain or paint, put water drops on the surface. If it soaks in, it’s ready. When the wood is dry, it can be painted or stained like any other wood surface. Pressure-treated wood that is not painted or stained will weather, crack, and check as badly as untreated wood over time.
    also
    https://www.yellawood.com/resources/...-treated-wood/
    http://www.naturalhandyman.com/iip/infxtra/infpre.html
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 21-07-2017 at 08:55 AM.
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  24. #24

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    Quote 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.

  25. #25

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    plus your labour and $64,900 in profit! With that in your pocket, champking, you are buying the beer tonight for all of us!
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    There were no bids on this project yet. Just an estimate, for what scope we have no idea.

    Just 8 stairs keeps getting referenced. But this is not just 8 stairs. This project may also require a ramp. (Accessibility standards in Ontario) Maybe they need lighting? (Are you familiar with the relevant codes in Ontario?) Also maybe after all of that, landscaping might be required?

    You also need to factor in money for the Engineer and Architect.

    And profit for the contractor. And profit for any of the subs they might have.

    So how do any of you know what this costs without an actual scope?

  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Channing View Post
    There were no bids on this project yet. Just an estimate, for what scope we have no idea.

    Just 8 stairs keeps getting referenced. But this is not just 8 stairs. This project may also require a ramp. (Accessibility standards in Ontario) Maybe they need lighting? (Are you familiar with the relevant codes in Ontario?) Also maybe after all of that, landscaping might be required?

    You also need to factor in money for the Engineer and Architect.

    And profit for the contractor. And profit for any of the subs they might have.

    So how do any of you know what this costs without an actual scope?
    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

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    Quote 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.

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Channing View Post
    Quote 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.
    I could do it for less than a thousand bucks. Solid steel ! last a hundred years !

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Channing View Post
    There were no bids on this project yet. Just an estimate, for what scope we have no idea.

    Just 8 stairs keeps getting referenced. But this is not just 8 stairs. This project may also require a ramp. (Accessibility standards in Ontario) Maybe they need lighting? (Are you familiar with the relevant codes in Ontario?) Also maybe after all of that, landscaping might be required?

    You also need to factor in money for the Engineer and Architect.

    And profit for the contractor. And profit for any of the subs they might have.

    So how do any of you know what this costs without an actual scope?
    Maybe through in a funicular as well...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Maybe through in a funicular as well...
    I don't believe in this case one would we warranted.

    Oh wait, were you being facetious...

  32. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Channing View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Maybe through in a funicular as well...
    I don't believe in this case one would we warranted.

    Oh wait, were you being facetious...
    Shiny balls anyone

  33. #33

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    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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    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.
    They're going to park their car over there. You're going to park your car over here. Get it?

  35. #35

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    I will say that not every place needs or should be wheelchair accessible.
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  36. #36

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    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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  37. #37

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    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!
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  38. #38

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

    https://www.google.ca/search?q=reces...w=1280&bih=523
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

  39. #39

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    Quote 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'.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

  40. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    Quote 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.

  41. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by champking View Post
    Quote 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.

  42. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    Quote 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
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

  43. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Channing View Post
    Quote 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 at 03:02 PM.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  44. #44
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    I wonder if there could be volunteer carpenters that could help build community or school playgrounds, especially in the newer schools.
    "Talk minus action equals zero." - Joe Keithley, D. O. A.

  45. #45
    I'd rather C2E than work!
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    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 at 07:10 AM.

  46. #46
    I'd rather C2E than work!
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    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 at 07:27 AM.

  47. #47

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    Quote 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 at 09:33 AM.

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