The beaches may be crowded, but it sounds like there's not much more the city can do. Mayor John Tory said on July 28 that staff have no more power left to really limit crowds at Toronto beaches. He says the only thing left for him to do is close them, but he doesn't want to do that either for fear of encouraging more Toronto backyard parties.
The city has been battling with residents over the size of crowds at beaches for the last month, but Torontonians have had a hard time complying.
Beaches have often been crowded, with reports of illegal bonfires and fireworks disturbing some residents.
With beaches crowded and parties ongoing, Tory is at a loss.
He admitted in his daily press briefing on Tuesday that City staff don't have any control over direct enforcement of the beaches, and that there is no additional action that can be legally taken by staff to addres the crowds at the lakefront.
Tory also pleaded for Torontonians to "to avoid holding or attending more informal backyard-type social gatherings which don't comply with health regulations."
He admitted he's hesitant to close the beaches because he fears it could "end up promoting more of these informal backyard gatherings, which won't help things make things better either."
He also noted that such an action would “deny everyone the use of these treasured places during a hot summer.”
So, it seems that the city is between a rock and a hard place, with the rest of the province gradually entering stage three.
Residents of Toronto have taken to social media in the past weeks to post photos of overcrowded beaches, including again this past weekend.
In his briefing, Tory reminded Torontonians of the backlash over the closure of High Park during cherry blossom season, suggesting that beach closures would cause the same reaction.
Toronto has not allowed its citizens to drink in parks, much like Vancouver has, and has cracked down on drinking in public.
This has put anyone without access to outdoor space in a tough position and many residents — thousands, it seems, in some cases — have gone to the beaches to enjoy a cold beer.