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Town fields numerous complaints over crowded beaches in Innisfil

'I have had numerous complaints and not just from Innisfil Beach Park,' says mayor

On the first weekend that Innisfil’s beaches reopened for residents only recently, Innisfil Beach Park wasn’t all that crowded.

Beach-goers seemed to be practising physical distancing and were respectful of the rules. Some of those out and about were even wearing face masks.

But it was a different story this past weekend.

More than two-dozen boats of all sizes and types moored off the beaches at Innisfil Beach Park on Sunday, two of them inside the buoys that are designed to separate boaters and swimmers.

Beaches were crowded, not only with people, but with beach umbrellas and tents.

A game of beach volleyball was taking place at the volleyball courts.

On the grass, at least one large group of more than 10 people had gathered for a picnic and a barbecue – outside of the authorized barbecue area.

And there were no face masks to be seen, even when physical distancing was impossible.

In theory, the beaches and parks remain open for “residents only,” but signs posted at the entrances to Innisfil Beach Park only state that boat launches and parking lots are reserved for local residents.

There were plenty of vehicles dropping off their passengers near the park entrances and then driving off to find alternative parking away from the waterfront.

Some decided to risk it and parked illegally — only to be ticketed. 

And although municipal bylaw officers were out and about, turning away non-resident vehicles from the park entrance, there was no way to stop out-of-towners from walking in.

When contacted, Innisfil Mayor Lynn Dollin said there was an issue this past weekend. 

"I have had numerous complaints and not just from Innisfil Beach Park," Dollin said. "Staff that were on duty are having a debrief today (Monday) and we have an emergency control group meeting tomorrow, where we will get more details about number of tickets, issues with enforcement, vehicles turned away, etc., and plans moving forward."

With prospects for another steamy week of summer weather, she reiterated something she has said before: "I'm praying for rain and cold!"



Miriam King

About the Author: Miriam King

Miriam King is a journalist and photographer with Bradford Today, covering news and events in Bradford West Gwillimbury and Innisfil.
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