Public beaches in Georgina to remain closed through Canada Day

Public beaches and waterfront parks won’t be reopening in Georgina on July 1 after all.

According to a media release, the Town has decided that beaches and waterfront parks will remain closed until such time that they can be safely opened following a review of other Lake Simcoe municipalities.

“A lot of work has gone into our reopening plans. We know that opening the beaches and waterfront parks brings a new set of challenges, including enforcement, safety of our staff, traffic management, parking and potential overcrowding,” said Mayor Margaret Quirk.

“If we can’t control the number of visitors to ensure physical distancing, then we need to keep the beaches closed. We received a lot of comments from our residents and we listened to their concerns. We need to remember that we are still in a pandemic and we all have a part to play in keeping us moving forward.”

The media release notes that staff sought legal advice in regards to opening the beaches and waterfront parks for residents only and was advised that it does not have the authority to do so under the Municipal Act. As well, the municipality could potentially be left open to a challenge under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“The Town’s Emergency Operations Centre is reviewing the issue of making some of the waterfront parking resident only. Other concerns raised with the reopening of beaches and waterfront parks included the enforcement of these areas, traffic management, impacts to neighbouring residents, and the safety of visitors and staff,” it reads.

“If it is determined at a future date that beaches and waterfront parks will reopen, further details including permitted park/beach use, parking and new controlled public access measures, will be announced prior to reopening.”
For more information, click HERE.

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