It was a busy Canada Day at Ottawa’s Mooney’s Bay. On Wednesday evening, local police were forced to shut down the area after up to 5,000 people reportedly gathered. Ottawa Police described the scene as “causing disorder and health concerns.”
On July 1, at around 10:50 p.m., Ottawa Police confirmed that Mooney’s Bay had been shut down, and all locals were asked to avoid the area.
While Ottawa Police are yet to confirm numbers, CBC Ottawa journalist Kimberley Molina tweeted, “Police estimate there were 5,000 people on the beach.”
CTV Ottawa reports that while thousands of people were using the beach, proper physical distancing was not happening.
Beach-goers are also accused of leaving a considerable mess behind after their Canada Day celebrations.
Radio station Rebel 101.7 tweeted on Thursday morning, “If anyone's missing their fast food bags, empty liquor bottles, red plastic cups, PBR box, and I assume probably a few dirty diapers, you can come get them at the radio station parking lot - conveniently located within walking distance of Mooney's Bay.”
There was a large gathering at Mooney’s Bay this evening which was causing disorder issues and health concerns. Th… https://t.co/cFDV5Hqy2P— Ottawa Police (@Ottawa Police)1593658581.0
This came just hours after Ontario Premier Doug Ford had urged people to celebrate July 1 responsibly by continuing to follow public health advice.
“Wear a mask when physical distancing is a challenge, and wash your hands frequently. Being considerate of others is the Canadian way,” he said.
Happy Canada Day! 🇨🇦 Today we celebrate all of the things that make us proud to call this province and country ho… https://t.co/io2F0eEnot— Doug Ford (@Doug Ford)1593608620.0
Mooney’s Bay wasn’t the only place in Ontario to get slammed with visitors.
Thousands of locals gathered on Toronto’s Grand Bend Beach on July 1, with lifeguards estimating that up to 7,000 visitors had descended onto the shores to celebrate.
Just a week earlier, Ontario's Sauble Beach was similarly shuttered by police. The shutdown was caused by the "recklessness of beachgoers."
https://t.co/ygM10c3ZNb— Tim S (@Tim S)1593654573.0
Back in May, Mooney’s Bay was one of the first areas in the city to get social distancing circles.
The circles were painted on the grass areas to encourage social distancing, although it seems they were not particularly useful on Canada Day.
In response to the City’s tweet about the incident, several local people called for the beach to be shuttered until the end of summer.
*This article's cover image is for illustrative purposes only.