COVID-19

As of Friday, June 19, access to Centennial – Cedar Bay Beach access is open for residents.

Attendees are reminded to continue to practice physical separation. Cedar Bay Beach is not staffed and attendees are to use at their own risk. While the tennis courts at Centennial Park are open, the playground remains closed due to provincial guidelines.

Niagara Region Public Health will begin beach testing this week, however, results will not be posted online until Friday, June 26, 2020. Beach water testing information is also available through the beach hotline at 905-688-8248 ext. 7789 (or 1-888-505-6074). A reminder for attendees that the unsafe for swimming warning signs are no longer posted onsite at the beaches.

City staff are finalizing plans to open Nickel Beach safely and will be making an announcement in the coming days.  

Anyone taking advantage of these spaces are to follow the best practices as outlined by Niagara Region Public Health to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community. These include frequent washing/sanitization of hands, physical separation, avoiding touching of shared surfaces, and staying home if displaying symptoms or having been in contact with cases of the virus.

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

For more information about COVID-19 and City updates, visit www.portcolborne.ca/page/covid-19.

 
 

Nickel Beach

Nickel Beach where Lake Erie water meets more than a mile of white sand providing great windsurfing, swimming and sunbathing. Picnic areas along with rest room facilities and volleyball courts provide visitors with a natural recreation facility.

Located at the end of Welland Street, close to downtown on the east side of the canal.

On Friday, June 26, 2020, Nickel Beach will be reopening, just in time for summer. In an effort to keep the residents and visitors safe, staff has implemented changes to Nickel Beach operations for the 2020 season.

What can residents and visitors expect this season?

Hours of operation
Monday – Thursday - 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Friday – Sunday (and holiday Monday’s) - 9:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Beachfront parking fees

The City of Port Colborne will not be selling 2020 seasonal passes for beachfront parking. Beachfront parking for cars, motorcycles and ATV’s will be limited to day pass sales for all interested beach goers under a resident and non-resident fee structure.

Niagara residents will continue to pay the current fee structure of $15, Monday – Friday, and $20 on weekends and holiday Monday’s.

The non-Niagara resident fee for beachfront parking is $50 throughout the week, Monday through Sunday.

Cash will be accepted for all daily pass sales; however, beach goers are encouraged to bring exact payment of fees to limit as much cash handling as possible.

Beach goers 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 beach goers. As natural factors, such as lake levels, affect the beachfronts total usable space on a daily basis, staff will monitoring beach use and overall spacing available to beach goers. Therefore, it is likely that total capacity may vary.

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.

Alternative parking

As there will be limitations on the daily numbers of beachfront parking passes sold, the City of Port Colborne is permitting walk-on beach goers to park along the south side of Lake Road on a temporary basis for the 2020 season, without being subject to parking violation fees. All vehicles parked on the north side of Lake Road, or anywhere else that obstructs Lake Road, will be subject to parking violation fees.

Washroom facilities

There will be public access to washroom facilities and hand sanitation stations on the beachfront. Signage at the entrance of the washroom facility will outline reminders for physical distancing, proper handwashing/hand sanitizing, and one-person occupancy limits to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Beach goers are to use public washrooms at their own risk, however, in accordance with public health guidelines, washrooms will be cleaned twice per day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

What you can bring to Nickel Beach

Personal hand sanitizer, towels, water toys, a cooler with snacks and non-alcoholic drinks, umbrellas for shade.

What to leave at home

Alcohol, cigarettes and cannabis (smoking is not permitted in municipal parks), dogs, and horses.

Playground equipment

Under Provincial guidelines the playground equipment at Nickel Beach will remain closed until further notice.

Beach water testing

Niagara Region Public Health has resumed beach testing, and starting Friday, June 26, 2020, results will be posted online. Beach water testing information is also available through the beach hotline at 905-688-8248 ext. 7789 (or 1-888-505-6074). A reminder for attendees that the unsafe for swimming warning signs are no longer posted onsite at the beaches.

Niagara Region Public Health

Anyone taking advantage of Nickel Beach is to follow the best practices as outlined by Niagara Region Public Health to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community. These include frequent washing/sanitization of hands, physical separation, avoiding touching of shared surfaces, and staying home if displaying symptoms or having been in contact with cases of the virus.

Enforcement

By-law enforcement staff will be patrolling Nickel Beach twice daily to enforce physical distancing. Nickel Beach staff will also be monitoring attendees’ compliance of physical distancing and public health guidelines. Staff have also advised Niagara Regional Police Services of Nickel Beach’s opening and will be making efforts to attend regularly.

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.

More information

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

For more information about COVID-19 and City updates, visit http://www.portcolborne.ca/page/covid-19/RecreationandParks.

 

 
 

Centennial - Cedar Bay Beach

Part of Humberstone Centennial Park, with tennis courts, playing fields, and washrooms on site.
Located at the southern end of Cedar Bay Road, off Highway #3 on the east side of the canal.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Long Beach Convservation Area

Located in Wainfleet, Long Beach is part of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority parks system. An admission fee is required for entry.
 
Phone: 905-899-3462
 
 
 

Is Lake Erie Safe for Swimming?

Generally the beaches of Eastern Lake Erie are safe throughout the summer. Problems develop during periods of hot weather when warm and cold layers of water stay separate. This phenomenon deprives the warm upper layer of oxygen.

The Niagara Public Health Department 'posts' beaches as unsafe for swimming when the water contains levels of bacteria that may increase a bather's risk of developing a variety of irritations and infections. Most common are minor skin, eye, ear, nose and throat infections and occasional stomach disorders. Sometimes a beach may be posted unsafe because of floating debris, oil, scum, excessive weed growth, bad odors and general turbidity.

The status of local beaches is rated by the Department of Health each Friday during the summer.
 
To obtain information on the status of beaches in the Niagara Region call toll free 1-888-505-6074, ext. 7789.

 
 

Right of Passage along the Shoreline of Lake Erie

By-law Enforcement Division staff have been asked multiple times about the rights of people who want to walk along the Lake Erie shoreline. In some cases, property owners along Lake Erie own all or part of the beach and in some cases into the Lake - this is private property and those who walk along the water’s edge on their property are trespassing. However, passersby assume that the beach is public property and that they are able to walk along the water’s edge. The issue in question is whether there are any laws permitting the public to walk along beaches located on private property. Staff research indicates that the Province has considered legislation in the past to allow the public to pass freely along the shoreline of Lake Erie but the legislation was never enacted. The City has determined conclusively that no legislative right of passage exists to walk the beach over private property. To provide access to Lake Erie for residents and visitors, the City does operate two lakefront beach parks - Cedar Bay Centennial Park and Nickel Beach. Questions? Contact the By-law Enforcement Division by email at bylawenforcement@portcolborne.ca or call 905-835-2900 ext. 207.