Dog walkers, beachgoers, kids on bikes and adults on phones – everyone crossing Hammersmith and Hubbard is a little safer this summer thanks to a trio of kid campaigners.
Snow and ice were still on the ground when Olivia, Isobel, and Eddy Forrest trekked door-to-door to collect some 120 signatures calling for an all-way stop at the bottom of their street.
“They were very polite,” says Susan Alexander, one of the many residents who met the three on her doorstep this winter.
“They knocked on the door and said, ‘We feel that the street is unsafe compared to all the other corners,” she said.
“They’re kids, so they would know.”
Isobel, 10, said Hammersmith Avenue was the only street that crossed Hubbard Boulevard without a stop sign. That confused many drivers, she said, especially tourists.
“When we tried to cross the street, there were some people that stopped, some people that didn’t, and we almost got run over by cars,” she said. “Or you would just wait a really, really long time.”
Parents Kevin and Susan Forrest said their kids were quite determined to see the petition through – they did all the talking themselves, and visited some houses three or four times to find people at home.
A petition that makes sure people get to the beach in one piece would have certainly won support from the kids’ late grandfather, Ivan Forrest.
“Dad’s life was in parks, and that sort of thing was bred in the bone for him,” said Kevin.
A former Toronto parks commissioner, Ivan Forrest was known to champion youth recreation programs as well as free outdoor rinks and pools. He is the namesake of the nearby Ivan Forrest Gardens on Queen Street East.