Residents unhappy as Toronto-area tourists descend upon Ontario hamlet

Click to play video: 'Town overrun by tourists from Toronto seeking fall colours'
Town overrun by tourists from Toronto seeking fall colours
WATCH: For a neighbourhood in Caledon, a large number of tourists coming to see the fall colours has proven overwhelming. Albert Delitala has the story – Oct 26, 2019

An increasing number of Toronto-area tourists are visiting the hamlet of Belfountain, Ont., in search of fall colours, leaving residents unimpressed.

Mike Morro and his partner, Holly, say they’ve had to deal with a lot of noise lately, as visitors zip by their property along Forks of the Credit Road.

“It’s more of a little race track it’s been turning into,” Morro said.

“So that’s been happening the past couple years. There’s been at least five, six accidents in the area.”

Morro, who has lived in the Belfountain and Caledon area for about 20 years, says the changing fall colours are becoming increasingly popular, especially to those from the Toronto area.

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“I don’t know if it’s websites or communication but there are a lot more people coming up here in the fall,” he said.

To help deal with the number of tourists, the area launched Project Colours about 20 years ago, which included a seasonal boost in the presence of Ontario Provincial Police, Caledon regional councillor Ian Sinclair told Global News.

Click to play video: 'The science behind fall colours and why this is going to be a great year'
The science behind fall colours and why this is going to be a great year

Despite this, he said a growing population in the GTA has made it difficult to keep up.

“We just don’t have any more space in this road — and these scenic drives — to take [more] people,” he said.

Sinclair wants to see less promotion of the area, which he said receives many thousands of tourists over several weekends each year.

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He also wants those who visit to show more respect.

“They start picnicking on people’s lawns, they’ll bang on people’s doors to use the washroom — lots of litter, and [they] trespass,” he said.

In an email, the OPP said it is working with community partners to identify and respond to tourism-related resident concerns.

“Public safety is a priority for the OPP and each year the police work diligently to ensure that residents and visitors alike can enjoy the changing fall colours within the Town of Caledon,” Const. Iryna Nebogatova wrote.

Back at Morro’s place, he said he welcomes the tourists — as long as they behave themselves.

“Just please respect the neighbours, the speed limits, and don’t litter,” he said.

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