July 20 (UPI) — A Canadian man spent $550 building a set of stairs in his community park after the city estimated it would cost $65,000.
Adi Astl, a retired mechanic, said he decided to build the stairs himself after one of his neighbors fell down a steep incline leading to a community garden in Tom Riley Park. The city of Toronto later warned Astl the stairs may be torn down since they weren’t built according to the city regulation standards.
“I’ve seen so many people fall over that rocky path that was there to begin with,” Gail Rutherford, Astl’s wife, told CTV News. “It’s a huge improvement over what was there.”
Astl told Global News he contacted his councillor Justin Di Ciano about having the city build the stairs and was told it would cost between $65,000 and $150,000.
“I thought maybe they put escalators in here,” Astl said.
Astl hired a homeless man to help him construct the staircase and they completed the project before the end of the day.
“It took us all together 14 hours. It took us eight hours before they got in and then we had to modify it, and the railings and all that stuff,” he said.
City bylaw officials taped off the staircase while officials determined what to do with it, but Astl was not charged with a violation.
“I think everyone will understand that it will be more than $550,” Mayor John Tory said. “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.”