The Town of Georgina’s three major waterfront parks – Willow Beach, Holmes Point and De La Salle Beach and Park – are opening with restrictions, with parking lots available to resident pass holders only, due to the provincial stay-at-home-order. Parking lots at Bonnie Park and North Gwillimbury Park will also be by permit pass only. The Town has been planning for the summer months with current provincial restrictions, placing public safety at the forefront.
“We know our waterfront parks and beaches are popular destinations for residents and visitors,” said Mayor Margaret Quirk. “Tourists are an integral part to supporting our economy, however in light of the provincial stay-at-home order, we are restricting beach parking lots to resident parking pass holders at this time. We will also be operating at a reduced capacity to manage numbers. Last year, when we opened De La Salle Park and Beach, we did not have a provincial stay-at-home order. This year we do, and we look forward to welcoming everyone back when we are able, and it is safe to do so.”
The beaches and parks will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily with Town staff on site to monitor and control the number of users permitted in the parks. On weekends, police officers will also be on site to monitor and support Town staff where needed, and assist with traffic control. The Town will also be patrolling other waterfront areas and increased staff will be supporting municipal law enforcement officers.
In order to limit crowds at these locations, available parking spaces have been reduced. Once parking lots reach capacity, the parking lots will be closed.
Residents will be required to display their 2021 resident parking pass to park in the lots. For those who have yet to obtain one, 2020 passes will be accepted. Parking passes are available online at georgina.ca/ParkingPass.
Under current provincial guidelines, the beaches and parks will be for active recreation use only, with visitors permitted to walk through. Parents supervising their children for water safety are able to sit on a towel. People with accessibility requirements will also be able to sit. Beach users are encouraged to enjoy the water and share the area responsibly with other users. Coolers, chairs, umbrellas and canopies are not allowed on the beach or in the park at this time. Barbecues and outdoor cooking devices are not permitted. Picnic tables are not to be used under current provincial restrictions, however benches can be utilized.
As a reminder, York Region beaches are currently not being sampled by York Region Public Health and water quality through sampling has not been determined for the season. Beach sampling and monitoring begins in mid-June.
The Town has increased no parking and no stopping fines within the Waterfront Park Buffer Zone. This includes the entire shoreline area of Lake Simcoe and Town roads in lakeside neighbourhoods. Effective May 22, “no parking” fines will increase from $30 to $100 and “no stopping” fines will increase from $50 to $150. Visit georgina.ca/parking for more information.
Traffic will be monitored at each location throughout the summer with areas of concern assessed and necessary action taken.
Motorists are reminded the three-hour on-street parking restrictions will be enforced and to be aware of parking signage that indicates no parking or stopping on nearby streets. All roads need to be kept clear to allow safe access for emergency vehicles.
Everyone is reminded to use the waterfront parks at your own risk. Failure to follow health and safety guidelines could result in the beaches and parks being closed.