gord downie pier kingston

Swimming pier named after Tragically Hip's Gord Downie closed due to overcrowding

Sorry The Tragically Hip fans, but you'll no longer be able to visit the Gord Edgar Downie Pier in Kingston, Ontario. 

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. 

"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. 

Photos of massive gatherings at the pier have been popping up on social media throughout the summer. 

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.

Lead photo by

Swim Drink Fish


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