Two popular beaches in the Muskoka region were shut down this Victoria Day long weekend, a major disappointment to thousands of visitors to Ontario's cottage country.  Officials were reluctant to shut the beaches down, but recent disturbing discoveries gave them no other choice. 

On May 11th, a Muskoka region newspaper received a letter from an alleged terrorist, threatening to "destroy" beaches from Toronto to North Bay. "We have started with the Muskokas and other tourist destinations," the letter said, "Your northern towns are extremely easy targets."

The letter was reportedly sent by the Islamic Revolutionary Force. Muskoka region towns, including Bracebridge and Huntsville, remain on high alert, and the Ontario Provincial Police is in the midst of an investigation. The OPP has yet to confirm the legitimacy of the threat.

Over the last few months, hazardous objects have started popping up all over Muskoka's beaches. Shards of glass and sewing needles were discovered on Kirby's Beach. Broken glass bottles were planted along the shoreline with the sharp edges facing up. 

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"Yes we have destroyed your beaches over the winter months with snowmobiles," the letter stated, "making them unsafe and all but unusable." 

Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith says that it seems "more obvious and deliberate" than what normally washes up on the shore after winter. "It was in a specified area and the sewing needles really are unlikely to appear here through any other means."

A news release by the town of Bracebridge states that Kirby's Beach Park and Bracebridge Bay Park will remain closed as volunteers continue to clean up and investigate the hazardous materials. "The Town continues to work with the Ontario Provincial Police to determine the source of the material," the release says.

Source: Global News

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