St. Catharines beaches restricted to Niagara residents only

City of St. Catharines press release – After another weekend of problematic behaviour at its beaches the City will move to restrict access to Niagara residents only, effective immediately.

The temporary restrictions in response to the COVID-19 state of emergency will come into effect Tuesday, July 28/2020. The move coincides with the introduction of stepped up seasonal fines for illegal parking in the areas surrounding beaches and Morningstar Mill. Fines will increase from $30 to $100.

“Since we opened our beaches earlier this summer we have faced a situation where they are overcrowded and under pressure. As we continue under emergency orders, by temporarily limiting access to Niagara residents only we can help limit the risk of spreading COVID-19 in our community,” said Mayor Walter Sendzik. “As long as the virus continues to circulate, community safety will be our priority.”

Issues at City beaches have included littering; alcohol and drug use; instances of crime; and individuals trespassing to access beaches already at capacity. These issues come in addition to rampant parking issues near some beaches, prompting safety concerns
for emergency access. Over the past weekend, over 60 parking tickets were issued in the area of Sunset Beach alone.

With security already on-site checking bags for contraband, adult beach visitors will now be required to provide proof of residence in Niagara when accessing beaches.

Acceptable forms of proof of residence include:

  • Any government-issued identification that includes the individual’s address
  • Vehicle registration
  • Brock University and Niagara College student cards
  • Non-addressed government identification alongside proof of residence such as a piece of official mail with name and address

These measures come alongside numerous other efforts on behalf of the City in recent weeks, including the installation of fencing to limit beach access points, increased parking enforcement, enhanced signage, strict enforcement of capacity limits and the deployment of on-site security.

Increased fines for parking violations will be in effect seasonally in the areas of Jones Beach, Sunset Beach, Lakeside Park and Morningstar Mill from May through September going forward.