Swimming pier named after Tragically Hip's Gord Downie closed due to overcrowding
On Saturday, the city announced that it would be closing the pier named after the late Canadian singer, as well as the Breakwater Park beach, in hopes of reducing the spread of COVID-19.
At the recommendation of @KFLAPH Medical Officer of Health Dr. Moore, the City of Kingston has closed Breakwater Park beach area and pier. The remainder of Breakwater Park is open but subject to the distancing requirement under the current emergency order. https://t.co/zv5V99JZcR pic.twitter.com/1EHaPZyK8Y— City of Kingston - Municipal Government (@cityofkingston) September 7, 2020
"By amended emergency order, the City is prohibiting the public from using this area of the Park and is looking to the public to comply with the closure for as long as the emergency order is in effect," city officials said in a news release.
"It follows concerns with the lack of adherence to physical distancing recommendations by large numbers of people who have continued to gather at the beach area of Breakwater Park and Gord Downie Pier."
Kingston mayor Bryan Paterson took to Twitter on Saturday to add that large crowds at the pier have made it too difficult to enforce physical distancing.
It's become clear that the very large crowds down at the pier and the beach area have simply made it too difficult to maintain or enforce physical distancing in this area of Breakwater Park. Protecting the health and safety of our community is my top priority.— Bryan Paterson (@MayorPaterson) September 5, 2020
Photos of massive gatherings at the pier have been popping up on social media throughout the summer.
Gord Downie Pier is looking busier than I've seen it all summer. Stay safe Kingston ❤️ pic.twitter.com/uo5OhUSetD— Samantha Butler-Hassan (@samanthabhassan) August 31, 2020
In response, Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Public Health’s medical officer of health, Dr. Kieran Moore, said that these gatherings are counter-productive to the efforts put in place by health officials to protect residents.
"I am urging people to avoid activities that are considered high risk, such as spending time with large groups of people they may not know and being in close contact with multiple people outside of their social circle of 10," Moore said in a statement.
The decision to close the Gord Edgar Downie Pier is an amendment to an emergency order issued in Kingston on Friday to ensure physical distancing is being followed at city parks. While parks remain open, visitors must maintain 2 metres of space between each other.
The pier will remain closed for the duration of the emergency order which is currently in effect for 28 days but may be extended.
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