New benches installed in a redesigned Gore Park are raising eyebrows of some poverty advocates.
The benches feature an extra arm rest about two-thirds of the way down, making it virtually impossible to lie down on.
And it has advocates wondering if they’re meant to deter or prevent homeless people from sleeping or otherwise congregating in a certain place.
CBC Hamilton reports that the city’s landscape architect on the project says the design of the bench was chosen in part because it creates obvious places for more people to sit comfortably.
Frances Jewell with the local Mental Health Rights Coalition says she thinks it discourages the use of the park for a vulnerable population.
Greg Tedesco with the Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton says sometimes even unintentional decisions can have an impact of exclusion.