MEDIA RELEASE: Municipal Land Closure

print-logo September 02, 2020

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, September 2, 2020 - Port Hope, ON

At their regular meeting on September 1, 2020, Council authorized the temporary closure of all lands and parks, under ownership of the Municipality, that border the Ganaraska River, effective September 2, 2020 until October 15, 2020, in an effort to limit group gatherings during the annual salmon migration while the global pandemic is ongoing. This closure includes all green spaces and trails from Molson Street to Lake Ontario and prevents access to the River through municipal properties.

“After a lengthy community consultation, it was clear that most residents who shared their comments and feedback with Council preferred the option to restrict access to the River in response to the ongoing global pandemic,” explains Bob Sanderson, Mayor of the Municipality of Port Hope. “While temporarily restricting municipal land is not a common practice, it is a measure that we have taken to reduce the anticipated number of residents, tourists, and anglers from gathering in and along the Ganaraska River during the annual salmon migration. From experience we know that our annual salmon migration attracts thousands of people from far and wide. This year, we must remain vigilant in our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Municipal staff have installed temporary fencing, barricades, and signage along the River’s path to alert residents and visitors of the new land use restrictions in place. Unfortunately, these properties include the closure of the Municipality’s trail network along the River, except for the Waterfront Trail. Access to the Fishway (also known as the Fish Ladder and/or Corbett’s Dam) is also closed.

The municipal boat launch and the parking lots located immediately north and south of the fish cleaning station and the parking lot at Riverside Park are exempted from the closure and remain open.

“In the last six months, we have endured a great deal of upset and disappointment over the shuttering of businesses, restriction of travel, closures of beaches and so much more,” continues Mayor Sanderson. “Given all of the other restrictions and closures in our community, this closure is understandably difficult; however, it is necessary to discourage non-essential travel to our Municipality and large group gatherings along the River.”

The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority has also closed off access to their properties, including Ganaraska Millennium, Port Hope, Sylvan Glen and Thurne Parks Conservation Areas until October 1, 2020.

Questions about the land use restrictions may be directed to Jim McCormack, Director of Parks, Recreation, and Culture for the Municipality of Port Hope at jmccormack@porthope.ca

- 30 -

For more information, please contact:
Kate Ingram, Communications / Community Engagement Coordinator
905-375-8321
kingram@porthope.ca