Concrete banks, benches, walls, planters, handrails - urban terrain has always provided the perfect outlet for the athletic expression of skateboarders.
And with the growth of skateboarding, no part of the urban landscape, from the wind-blown courtyards between office skyscrapers in the city's financial district to the dusty school playgrounds of North York, has been immune to the whims and high-flying wizardry of skaterboarders.
But this is starting to change. Throughout the city, blocks of metal and stone are being glued, screwed, welded and clamped to benches, ledges and rails. They're called skate stoppers, and they are stopping skaters from doing something they all live for: challenging themselves in their natural environment.
All over town, the favourite haunts where skateboarders used to gather to perform their trickery are being "stoppered" to death by big banks and city officials worried about liability issues.
Even after the huge success of the action sports industry, with corporation after corporation trying to jump on the youth culture money train, skateboarding, it seems, is being treated like a crime in Toronto, one that can net you a fine.
Matt Clifford, a 30-year-old who's been skating for 17 years, remembers the first time he saw a stopper about five years ago.
"Originally, I was pretty bummed. But we'd just grab a hammer and whack 'em off. Now they're drilling into the concrete a little deeper, so they're getting tougher to remove."
Clifford says he can understand why property owners are trying to put an end to the damage skating can cause, but he believes the stoppers themselves can be more dangerous to the general public.
"Some of those little planter boxes (they're stopping) are only two feet high," says Clifford. "You get little kids jumping on them and next thing you know little Jimmy needs new front teeth."
Michael Brooke, the editor of Thornhill's Concrete Wave magazine, has watched property owners address the skateboard "problem" with various deterrents. And he understands why they do it.
"It would piss me off if I owned a building and skaters acted like complete dicks," says Brooke. "The problem, though, is that there's no other place for skaters to go."
The estimated local population of skateboarders is 60,000, but there are only a handful of parks scattered across the GTA where kids can skate in peace, only two in the city proper.
Vancouver, on the other hand, with about half as many skaters, has close to 40 parks. In Calgary, where a survey discovered that more and more kids were skateboarding and fewer and fewer playing baseball, they built the Millennium Skatepark in 2000 - the largest of its kind in North America at the time.
"Toronto needs to do what Calgary did and take a good look at building facilities that reflect the fact that tons of people skateboard," says Brooke. "They need to build some world-class parks."
But while more skate parks will reduce the number of skaters being hassled by security guards, disturbing pedestrians or damaging property, some skaters will always prefer exploring - or exploiting - the urban environment.
Kids love to copy what they see in the magazines, and the majority of skateboard magazine photos are of pros skating the streets of cities throughout the world. "Skaters relish their freedom," says Brooke.
Why else would so many kids be drawn to the sport in the first place?