Two popular water parks in Ontario and Quebec have quietly changed the rules when it comes to what women can wear, or in this case, not wear when on the premises.
Women — and men, for that matter — are now allowed to go topless at both the Village Vacances Valcartier (VVV) near Quebec City and the Calypso Theme Waterpark in eastern Ontario.
Both parks are owned and operated by the Calypso Valcartier Group.
The new rules don’t specifically state that visitors to the parks can bare their breasts — in fact, bathing suit tops aren’t mentioned at all. Instead, visitors are asked to wear appropriate swimwear.
“Thongs and transparent clothing are not permitted. Bathers of all genders are required to wear an appropriate swimsuit bottom. We reserve the right to determine the appropriateness of swimwear,” reads a section on the website’s safety rules.
The dress code was updated following an out-of-court settlement stemming from a complaint filed with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario in 2017.
The complaint targeted the city of Cornwall, Ont., over its policy of not allowing women to go topless at municipal pools more than two decades after it became legal for women to bare their breasts in public in the province.
Calypso’s water park in eastern Ontario and seven hotel companies were also named in the complaint.
VVV spokesperson Marie-Ève Doyon confirmed Calypso Valcartier Group had reached an agreement in the case, but would not comment on the specifics.
“This issue was settled outside the courts and we will not comment further,” she said.
Doyon did say, however, that the company’s dress code “makes no distinction between the treatment for a man and the treatment for a woman.”
Doyon didn’t confirm exactly when the new rules came into effect but said the organization hasn’t received any requests from guests about going topless.
“People know we are family parks and they behave accordingly,” she said. “If clients act inappropriately, we will ask them to change the way they are behaving or leave the premises.”
The French-language newspaper le Droit first reported on the changes on Thursday.
The company has since taken to social media to address the issue, where reaction has been mixed.
“In accordance with the law, we can not forbid anyone from being topless on our grounds,” a statement on Facebook reads. “However, such requests from our clientele are extremely rare since we are a recognized and respected family destination.”
— With files from The Canadian Press