Dear Urban Diplomat: how do I keep my neighbours’ kids off our soon-to-be frozen pond?

Dear Urban Diplomat: how do I keep my neighbours’ kids off our soon-to-be frozen pond?

Dear Urban Diplomat: how do I keep my neighbours' kids off our soon-to-be frozen pond? (Image: Bradley Gordon/Flickr)
 

Dear Urban Diplomat,
My partner and I just moved from ­Lawrence Park to Bradford. Our new place is on a huge lot with a small pond. We were chatting to our neighbour, and she said her kids skate on the pond in winter. Um, no. That’s a huge liability. What if one of her kids falls through the ice or cracks his skull open? How do we tell them to keep off our pond without ostracizing ourselves?

—Skate and/or Die, Bradford

That’s easy: with a fence. Friendly ­relations with the next-doors are wonderful, but someone needs to—pardon the cliché—think of the children. Un­supervised kids and water, frozen or otherwise, are a bad combination. So put a fence around the pond or at your property line and visit the neighbours with a plate of cookies and an ­explanation. If you feel like it, you could always give the scamps access at certain scheduled times, with ample supervision. Hopefully that would thaw any chilled feelings. If not, just remember that an injured (or worse) kid would stir up a lot more neighbourly strife than a fence.

Send your questions to the Urban Diplomat at urbandiplomat@torontolife.com