Wasaga Beach, we hardly knew you. The Ontario town announced on July 2 that Wasaga Beach is closing parts of its main beach area by July 9. The decision comes one day after Canada Day saw huge crowds at Wasaga and other Ontario beaches.
It was announced that Wasaga Beach would be reopening most of its beach and lakefront areas last month as much of Ontario entered stage two of the reopening framework.
However, after huge crowds swarmed to the popular area for a baking hot Canada Day this week, "Wasaga Beach" was trending on Twitter in Toronto.
Now, the town's council has been pushed into making a drastic decision.
In an emergency special council meeting called on Thursday, July 2, emergency management coordinator, Deputy Fire Chief Craig Williams said: "Over the last two weekends and especially yesterday on Canada Day, we saw human behaviour at its worst, quite frankly.
"Many visitors displayed a reckless disregard for public health guidelines when ignoring physical distancing recommendations."
Williams emphasized that "it's clear the public is unable to safely manage themselves."
As a result, council has agreed to move to shut the majority of the main Beach Drive area within the next week, by July 9. The capacity of parking lots in those areas will be halved to limit access.
The Town of Wasaga Beach is reducing the number of beachfront area municipal parking spaces by 50 percent effective… https://t.co/kof7qEKdyw— Town of Wasaga Beach (@Town of Wasaga Beach) 1593725020.0
So, from that date onwards, visitors will only be able to access three walkways to reach the water at Beach Area 1, along with nearby businesses.
The near-kilometre of beach area under the municipality's control will be closed to the public by July 9 "for the foreseeable future."
It should be noted that the decision does not affect the beach areas that are run by the province via Wasaga Beach Provincial Park.
In the meeting, certain councillors noted that Ontario's decision to reopen provincial parks a few weeks ago made no sense for Wasaga Beach, where part of the beach is run by the municipality and part is operated by Ontario Parks.
That mess came just one day after a young man from Barrie, Ontario, tragically drowned at the beach.
Wasaga isn't the only Ontario beach to take drastic action in the face of "reckless" crowding.
Sauble Beach, less than two hours' drive west of Wasaga, announced in recent days it's closing again due to the hordes of people who keep showing up and not social distancing.
Now, another popular hotspot has rolled back its own reopening because people just won't play ball.