We, the undersigned petition for downtown Toronto’s pebble (sandless) South-facing beach adjoining Ontario Place West Island, known as “Teachbeach” or “Pebble beach” or “Peacebeach” to be and remain public property.
We reject proposals for it being private property, or for privitization of public property that would destroy this amenity.
We respectfully also ask that a right-of-way path not less than 3 feet (91cm) wide, leading to the beach from the street, become and remain public space.
Thousands of open water swimmers use it regularly year-round, including cold-water swimming for essential mental and physical health therapy. We have 1,138 members of the Facebook group SwimOP = Swim at Ontario Place but many more than that use this beach and are not on social media (or not on Facebook). See SwimOP.com
The waters adjoining Ontario Place are the only beach waters in the downtown core area, and moreover, Teachbeach is Toronto’s only pebble (sandless) beach, which has unique geological properties, e.g. crystal-clear grit-free waters that many of us use for swimming, underwater music videos, research, and teachings. No other beach in Toronto has such crystal-clear waters.
Recently while cleaning up garbage, an Ontario Place security guard drove his golf cart onto the beach endangering sunbathers, and called the police on us for cleaning up the beach, even though we’ve been doing beach cleanups for many years. We have seen what the Town of Tiny has done to defend beach access rights against private property owners, and would like to see measures taken here to ensure that public property is not taken over by private interests such as Ontario Place Corporation or anyone else.
Keep Teachbeach public and stop calling the police on swimmers or those cleaning the beach.
Ontario Place is supposed to be the cottage for people without cottages. We have a basic human right to access clean water in the downtown core.