City implements changes to Nickel Beach operations

The City of Port Colborne has announced that starting Friday, July 10/2020, there will be changes to the operations at Nickel Beach.

“These changes are in an effort to serve Port Colborne residents and continue to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines while remaining an inclusive and welcoming community,” a City of Port Colborne press release said. “The influx of beachgoers due to COVID-19 and recent heatwave, in addition to concerns expressed by residents, has City staff working to find solutions to ensure public safety, while still providing visitors the opportunity to escape the heat and enjoy their summer on the shores of Lake Erie.”

Beginning Friday, Port Colborne residents will be able to get season passes, valid Mondays through Thursdays, excluding Civic Holiday Monday (Aug. 3) and Labour Day (Sept. 7.) The passes can be purchased at the beach gate with proof of residency (drivers licence, water, hydro, phone bill etc..) for $100 + HST.

Note: Season passes do not guarantee beach access.

Season pass holders who attend Friday through Sunday will still be required to pay the resident fee.

Early entry to Nickel Beach for residents of Port Colborne will be Fridays through Sundays from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. At 10:30 a.m. the gates then open to Niagara residents and non-residents.

At Lake Road, a new entry point will be established.

Lake Road will be available for extra parking for walk-on beachgoers, parking is free for Port Colborne residents and $10 for non-residents. Accessible parking is available inside the front gates by the playground area, staff can direct those who need it.

There will be more garbage receptacles throughout the beach and Lake Road, beachgoers are asked to use the receptacles provided.

“The City has requested additional support from Niagara Regional Police to help enforce physical distancing regulations, while City By-law staff will be increasing patrols in the Nickel Beach neighbourhood to enforce parking for beachgoers intending to walk to the beach,” the press release said. “If beach attendees do not comply with regulations outlined by staff and public health the City is prepared to proceed with reinstating the closure of Nickel Beach. We all have a responsibility to be both healthy and safe while we PORTicipate this summer.”

Hours of operation:

Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Friday – Sunday (and holidays) 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Port Colborne residents entry, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. for all resident and non-resident beachgoers.

Beachfront Parking Fees

Niagara residents, including Port Colborne residents who do not have a season pass, will be charged $15 per day, Monday – Friday, and $20 per day on Saturdays, Sundays, and holiday Mondays. The non-Niagara resident fee for beachfront parking is $50 per day, Monday – Sunday. Cash will be accepted for all daily pass sales; however, beachgoers are encouraged to bring exact payment of fees to limit as much cash handling as possible. Resident and non-resident beachgoers can walk on to Nickel Beach for free.

This seasonal fee structure may be subject to change beyond the 2020 operating season.

Daily beach capacity

There will be a limit for total capacity on the beach daily, in order to ensure the safety of all beachgoers. As natural factors, such as lake levels, affect the beachfront’s total usable space on a daily basis, staff will be monitoring beach use and overall spacing available to beachgoers. Therefore, it is likely that total capacity may vary. If/when Nickel Beach reaches beachfront parking capacity and/or walk-on capacity updates will be shared on the City’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. Like and follow for up-to-date information.

For those paying for beachfront parking, staff will be spacing cars from one another to ensure physical distancing is maintained and that there is always a usable beach footprint for both walk-on visitors and those visiting by water.

The playground equipment will remain closed due to Provincial guidelines, the washrooms are open for use at beachgoers own risk.

A reminder that Alcohol, cigarettes, cannabis and vaping devices are not allowed at the beach. Dogs and horses are not allowed either.

For more information about recreation and park amenities open and/or closed in Port Colborne amid COVID-19, visit www.portcolborne.ca/page/covid19/RecreationandParks.