woodbine beach toronto

Toronto plans to crack down on crowds and bad behaviour at city’s most popular beach

Don't litter, don't get obnoxiously wasted, and for the love of all that is good, please don't go murdering baby foxes at Toronto's Woodbine Beach this summer.

Not only will your fellow citizens appreciate the decent behaviour, you might actually save some money (and face.)

The City of Toronto will be stepping up its enforcement of "litter, alcohol and bonfire orders as well as any provincial public health restrictions" throughout the Eastern Beaches beginning this May in an effort to discourage the kind of "disruptive activity" that was widespread at Woodbine throughout the warmer months of 2020.

"Last summer, we saw firsthand the problems that can arise when thousands of Torontonians come to the beach each weekend or on holidays," wrote Ward 19 - Beaches East York councillor Brad Bradford in a Facebook post on Thursday.

"This year, we're getting ahead of the crowds with a plan in place to manage crowding, littering, and enhance by-law enforcement."

Working with city staff and Toronto Police Services, Bradford says his team has come up with a proactive plan based on last year's pain points to keep Woodbine Beach clean, safe, and healthy this summer.

"Staff will be stepping up litter pick-up and bin collections during peak periods for litter across the Eastern Beaches (from Ashbridges to RC Harris)," reads the plan, per Bradford's website.

These efforts will include:

  • Adding more litter bins in clusters/high-use areas.
  • Replacing full bins at 5:00 p.m. and early collection at 5:00 a.m.
  • Allocating dedicated staff to address litter in and around bins (not just collecting the bins but also picking up the litter around them).
  • Being active in picking up and preventing litter on the beach.
  • Monitoring busy times and changing/increasing collections as the season goes on.
  • Hiring additional seasonal staff to make sure the resources are in place for all of this to happen.

Staff from Toronto's Municipal Licensing & Standards department will also be "actively patrolling and deploying additional resources to hot spots" based on previous data and real-time reports to the city (people can call 311 if they note some unlawful rambunctiousness.)

Dedicated officers will patrol all the Eastern Beaches from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. Fridays through Sundays and on statutory holidays, according to Bradford.

These officers will be looking specifically to enforce litter, alcohol, bonfire and any pandemic-related laws that are in place at the time. Currently, the Province of Ontario permits the use of beaches, but social gatherings are still prohibited and physical distancing measures remain in effect.

Bradford says that the city will once again erect large mobile signs in parking lots to notify people of the enhanced restrictions, provincial regulations at the time, and beach access points.

These enhanced enforcement efforts are scheduled to begin in late May, but the councillor says that the date could be moved up if "negative activity" poses a problem sooner.

"Now more than ever, we should be making the most of this beautiful resource for our physical and mental health," said Bradford in his post on Thursday. "I hope you'll help the City in working together to make the best of Summer 2021 at the Beach."

Lead photo by

Jeremy Gilbert

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