BEACONSFIELD – A few decades ago, Beaconsfield’s Centennial Park had a swimmable beach. It was a popular spot for West Islanders looking to splash around on a hot summer day. Today, signs warn that swimming is forbidden. But a local environmental group says that should change.
“You can go there but you can’t go in the water, it’s a pity,” says Coralie Deny of the Conseil régional de l’environment de Montréal. “So I think in the future, we have to plan to be sure that the quality of the water is very good. That’s the main thing.”
According to the city of Montreal, the water at Centennial Park is good. That isn’t enough though to convince the city of Beaconsfield to invest in this project anytime soon.
“The beach is certainly not in the top 10 list of issues that we’re really dealing with right now,” says Beaconsfield city councillor Karen Messier. “It’s just not a subject that comes up.”
She explains that reopening the beach wouldn’t be a simple task. It would require a large commitment on behalf of the city.
“We would have to make sure that we have the proper infrastructure to support people coming down here in their cars,” says Messier. “We would need changing rooms, outdoor bathrooms and the like. It would be a costly endeavour.”
Another concern is the traffic it could bring to the residential area around the park.
“The neighbourhood is very quiet,” says Beaconsfield resident Leticia Piedras. “If people hear about a beach here, that could change.”
Though it isn’t in the city’s immediate plans to reopen the beach to swimming, Messier says “anything is possible.”
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