How a Toronto plumber is making Halloween safer — by installing ‘Candy Chutes’

A Toronto plumber is helping to make Halloween a bit safer by rigging up an alternative for handing out candy to local trick-or-treaters in his neighbourhood.

Geoff Burke is working to install something called “Candy Chutes” — an inventive way to get candy to kids while practising physical distancing. 

“It brings a little bit of joy, and it’s relatively safe,” Burke said.

Made out of basic PVC pipes, the chute is attached to a stair bannister in front of a house. 

Residents can stand at the top of the stairs and send down treats to trick-or-treaters, who wait at the bottom with their bags to ensure physical distancing. 

In true Halloween fashion, the pipes are spray-painted orange and spiralled with black duct tape to make them look more festive. 

Geoff Burke launched the Candy Chute Challenge — with the goal of raising $10,000 for the Daily Bread Food Bank by installing candy chutes for his neighbours. (Paul Borkwood/CBC)

Burke launched a fundraising campaign called the Candy Chute Challenge — offering to install the chutes for families in his neighbourhood for a minimum $25 donation to the Daily Bread Food Bank. 

Two days later, he received more than 400 requests. 

“I was definitely surprised at how quick it got attention,” Burke said.

“I knew there would be some standing behind it, but to have the 400 in the two days was pretty outstanding.”

The idea came after Burke saw an online post of a father in Ohio doing something similar.

With the goal of raising $10,000 for the local food bank, Burke decided to take that idea and use it in his own neighbourhood.

Made out of basic PVC pipes, the chute is attached to a stair bannister in front of a house so residents can stand at the top and send down treats to kids, who wait at the bottom with their bags to ensure physical distancing. (Paul Borkwood/CBC)

He has stopped taking requests, saying he’s at capacity to get the 400 completed by Halloween evening, but the project can be easily done with some basic materials from the hardware store and a bit of DIY spirit.

All you need is five feet of four-inch PVC pipe and some zip ties, Burke said.

Halloween gets creative around Ontario

Halloween festivities are getting creative around the province as well, as COVID-19 cases surge and health officials encourage vigilance during the spooky holiday.

A family in Ottawa will be dressed in their costumes for a haunted house event in their own basement with hidden treats.

Others are staying indoors for such activities as pumpkin decorating, virtual costume parties and scavenger hunts.

For those who decide to venture outdoors to trick-or-treat, safety precautions should be taken, such as maintaining a physical distance, wearing a face mask (a costume mask does not count) and limiting the group to members of your immediate household.

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