It’s important to remember your ABCs — as in Always Be Careful — but an abundance of caution can be taken too far.
And at Rouge Beach Park, at the far end of Lawrence Ave. E., a warning to avoid the beach and an adjoining peninsula due to danger appears to be an unnecessarily dire overstatement.
There’s no shortage of signs telling people what not to do at Rouge Beach Park: no alcohol; no fires; no loitering; no motorized vehicles; no dogs on the beach; no beach access after midnight, no barbecues without a permit; no dumping; no fishing under the bridge and even no swimming in some places.
There are so many prohibitions it seems like the city would prefer that people flock off and find somewhere else to swim, fish, barbecue hotdogs or crack a beer.
Why not go the rest of the way and ban everything that’s fun?
But one sign towers above all others, in terms of fear factor: In large red letters, it warns beachgoers of DANGER, due to the “unstable beach and peninsula beyond this point. Please stay clear.”
We got a note from a reader, saying that “near the lifeguard building, as you walk east, there’s this strange sign that doesn’t seem to reflect the current situation at the beach.”
The reader speculated that the sign may be a leftover from last year, when record rainfall and high water levels in Lake Ontario left parts of the beach and the small peninsula at the mouth of the Rouge River under water.
We went there and found the sign next to the recreational trail at the west end of the beach, ideally positioned to dissuade all but the biggest risk takers from going any further.
The beach was crowded with people, none of whom seem to be in the slightest danger, or worried about impending doom. Even the lifeguard on duty seemed to be relaxed.
STATUS: We got a note from parks supervisor Gord Bacon that said “the sign is for the far east end of the peninsula on the beach by the mouth of the Rouge River. This area of the peninsula is susceptible to being undercut by the waves and has collapsed in the past. The sign is there for public safety. Someone has moved it from it’s proper location. The sign will be returned to the peninsula this afternoon.” But who’d pull a sign mounted on a pole out of the ground, take it a hundred metres away and go to the trouble of hammering it back into the ground? And as for the alleged peninsula peril, it would seem to be right up there with loitering.
Source : TheStar