Stop the Town of Oakville from deliberately making the waterfront unswimable!
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In 2006 I started swimming at LOST Beach in Lakeside Park, in downtown Oakville, to train to swim the English Channel. Back then nobody swam in Lake Ontario... at all.
A few of us kept swimming the following summer. We have continued to swim every Saturday morning, from June until October, for the past 12 years. The group grew from just me, to become one of the largest open water swimming groups in the world, with over 220 paid members and well known all over the world. We called it the Lake Ontario Swim Team, or LOST Swimming. (LOSTswimming.com)
Some of the founders of LOST even started the Global Swim Series (GSS), which is a series of open water races, including the annual LOST Race. The GSS has become the largest swim series in the world, with over 110,000 participants, in 157 races, in 34 countries!
Many of these races and organizations get support and assistance from their local, regional and national governments. They see the benefits to promoting tourism, healthy, active, living and promoting the environment, specifically water resources.
However, over the past 12 years LOST has received no support, financial or otherwise, from any level of government, most specifically from the Town of Oakville. This despite trying countless times to ask for help to improve the beach for LOST Swimming and the general public, as it is a very popular public beach too.
We have asked for:
1) a breakwater to prevent erosion of the beach and to create a better and safer swim area (two people have broken bones recently on the rocky beach), but the Town and Staff have consistently shown no support.
2) to be allowed to build a small clubhouse and patio (at our cost)... like the rowing club, sailing clubs, power boat clubs, Oakville club, all have. Still no support for our large community group that act as stewards of the waterfront in Oakville.
But now things have gone from ignoring LOST, to actively preventing people from being able to swim in Lakeside Park in Oakville.
The Town has announced plans to rebuild the beach due to the damage caused by flooding last year. And instead of including us in the process to make the beach more erosion resistant (as we have been advocating for years, as nobody knows that beach better than we do!) and better for swimming... the Town has hired Coastal Engineering consultants that have a plan to make the beach unswimmable. For a second time. We weren't consulted the first time either and it was an expensive debacle for the Town.
The Coastal Engineers were not told that people swam there. And did nothing to include swimmers. And we were not allowed to be part of the process or solution.
Help us fix it... to include swimming in the solution.
Please sign the petition.
PS. There is a municipal election in Oct 22, 2018!
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