• David Armstrong

Canal Beach

My question today is how much longer will the Canal Beach Gate remain locked. It’s the most popular beach in all of eastern Charlotte. The weather is beautiful with weekend temperatures reaching as high as 30 degrees Celsius. People want to get out to the beach, cool down, and have some fun…

I took a drive out to the canal on Sunday. Unfortunately, the gate is locked. There were over 60 cars parked up and down each side of the roadway. Barely enough room to squeeze by and trucks and trailers are trying to maneuver around to get their boats in the water. The floating docks are laying upside down and partially stuck out onto the roadway surface. It was complete chaos and to make matters worse, you got families with little kids, carrying their chairs and towels having to walk over a km to get to the beach.

The gate being closed is not only a major inconvenience for beach users and boaters, but this situation is also an accident waiting to happen.

Just think about this for a moment. You have a narrow roadway and due to the gate being locked, the street is now a dead end. You have cars parked on each side of the road and you are left with this narrow strip down the middle, barely enough room to squeeze a car through, and on top of that, families with kids are trying to maneuver through that mess.

I’ll tell you folks, we all know drivers who can’t back up and believe me, you would not want to put them there in those types of conditions.

I had a chance to speak to a few of the beach users and they all had the same question, how long will the gate remain locked. We do know there was over $360.000 being spent on beach upgrades and that over the past several weeks there had been some gravel placed on the parking lot, but when I walked around a bit and flew my drone, other than a small pad being prepared for new washrooms, I did not see anything that would be a reason for not opening the gate on a nice weekend.

So I contacted the mayor and asked the question, how long was the gate going to remain closed. He stated that the construction was being overseen by a local engineering company and that they would be responsible for deciding if the gate would be opened.

So, I met that engineer on Monday morning and asked him the same question. When can the general public expect the gate to be opened? especially on weekends. I could not get a definite answer, but he did say that he was informed by the CAO that tradition has always been, that the gate is officially opened during that 1st week of June.

It's been a tradition that the gate remains locked until the 1st week of June! Come on folks, we have global warming taking place, and temperatures are reaching 30 degrees Celsius in May. We have been couped up in our homes for the past 2 years and families now want to get out to the beach and socialize.

Come on Mr. Mayor and Councillors, the heck with tradition. Step outside the box, be adventurous, and show a little compassion to our community.

Get in your car, drive the 3 minutes and unlock the gate. Is that too much to ask?

Or at least, put up some signage to explain to folks what is going on. It's time we become a little more transparent, and a whole lot more considerate to our residents.

That’s how I see it.

David Armstrong

St George News Network

(The voice for ordinary folks)

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