‘Ottawa’ New Warning Sign Erected in Constance Bay Where Boy Drowned
A new warning sign was erected Friday near the beach where a 10-year-old Toronto-area boy drowned last weekend.
Coun. Eli El-Chantiry, who represents the area, said the bilingual sign indicates that there are no lifeguards and there is a sudden dropoff and a strong current in the water. It also urges visitors to use caution and supervise children at all times.
None of the beaches at Constance Bay has lifeguards, although the city does provide portable toilets and garbage cans. While the beaches are publicly accessible and the community considers them to be a “public resource,” they are not in the same category as Ottawa’s four “public” beaches — Westboro, Britannia, Mooney’s Bay and Petrie Island — which are supervised.
The boy, who has not been named by police, died Aug. 6 off The Point, a sandy triangle of land that juts into the Ottawa River. The beaches around The Point are on private property, although residents allow visitors to walk on the beaches.
Residents say the beaches have been attracting greater numbers of visitors. Meanwhile, warning signs have been vandalized. The Constance and Buckham’s Bay Community Association has posted a sign indicating the beach is not a City of Ottawa beach and visitors use it “at own risk and liability,” but there is no mention of the dropoff or strong currents.
El-Chantiry said the boy’s family has contacted him and he hopes to meet with them to extend his condolences.
“My heart goes out to them,” said El-Chantiry. “To lose a 10-year-old is a heartbreak.”