Cobourg, ON (May 20, 2021) – During yesterday’s Special Emergency Council Meeting it was decided that Cobourg’s Victoria Park Beach will be temporarily closed to the public until June 7, 2021. This Council decision is an interim measure to assist in the mitigation of community spread, limiting out of town travel and to discourage individuals from congregating in one place in alignment with the current Provincewide Stay-At-Home Order.
Although provincial beaches fall under the same category as parks under the province’s guidelines for outdoor recreation, due to the size and popularity of Victoria Park Beach lingering and congregating on this popular warm-weather spot is inevitable.
“These decisions are not easy and I appreciate everyone’s time and recommendations including the Town of Cobourg’s Emergency Control Group and the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit,” said Mayor John Henderson for the Town of Cobourg. “Our beach is already seeing hundreds of visitors daily and with the upcoming long weekend we want to ensure our community remains safeguarded against further potential spread of this virus.”
Municipal Council will convene once more at the Committee of the Whole Meeting on Monday, May 31st to make a final decision in respect to the continued operations of the Victoria Park Beach moving forward.
Although the Victoria Park Beach will remain temporarily closed, the boardwalk and over 230+ acres of green space including 15 playgrounds, 28 parks, and an off leash dog park, trails and conservation areas will remain open. Residents are encouraged to continue exercising and to ‘walk through’ these open public spaces but not to ‘lay towels down on the sand’ for the day.
Mayor Henderson adds: “I echo the Honourable Sylvia Jones when she states that we are so close to getting the vast majority of people vaccinated and to not throw all the good work we’ve done away by congregating this May long weekend.”
Shortly after the Solicitor General’s warning the Cobourg Police Services’ Chief of Police Paul VandeGraaf says his service will continue to take a balanced approach when called about private gatherings and will only ticket or charge when necessary. “We know that there are a small percentage of individuals who overtly continue to breach the Reopening Act of Ontario. Our Police Officers and the Town of Cobourg’s Bylaw Enforcement Officers will use their best judgement to protect our community.”
Today, Town of Cobourg Parks staff will begin to fence off Victoria Park Beach complete with signage and emergency exits located at either end. In order to ensure the crew’s safety please allow for physical distancing while the fencing is being installed.