L’Orignal Beach will once again be open to everyone this week, with some restrictions on the number of vehicles and people allowed.

Beginning on Wednesday, June 30, the L’Orignal Beach will be open to all visitors, with a limit of 80 vehicles and approximately 200 people for the beach and boat launch combined. Access will be granted on a first-come-first-served basis.

“Once the capacity has been reached, the gate will be closed,” said Lisa Burrough, Director of Parks and Recreation for the Township of Champlain.

After opening in 2020, L’Orignal Beach was flooded with visitors, which forced the township to restrict access to Champlain residents only. Having learned from that experience, staff at the township took a cautious approach in 2021, opening the beach on June 11 to Champlain residents only. With Ontario moving to Stage 2 of the province’s COVID-19 reopening plan, the time was right for Champlain Township to widen access to L’Orignal Beach.

Burroughs said the township will continue to have staff manage access at the gate to the beach. Their main duties will be to reiterate beach rules and remind residents and visitors of the continued COVID-19 restrictions which are still in place.

There were multiple problems in 2020, when the beach was open to everyone and the site was overflowing with people. Issues with visitors ignoring social distancing rules, sanitary measures and even vandalism had staff at L’Orignal Beach overwhelmed.

“Beach-goers are asked to keep our beach clean and respect the rules, so that everyone can continue to enjoy the beach this summer,” Burroughs emphasized.

Staff from Champlain Township’s recreation department have been consulting with the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) throughout the pandemic. All of the reopening strategies are based on the advice and guidance being provided by the EOHU.