Amanda Jones used to visit “secret beach” when she was in high school. It was a secluded sandy place near the water where she could take time to relax. Today, Jones still likes to visit the beach except now she takes multiple trash bags with her to clean up before she can enjoy it.
This part of the Beach is a not-so-secret location to most local residents, particularly those looking for a quiet place away from crowded beaches during the day. It’s also a popular hang-out in the evening, mainly for teens, too. Located on the shoreline just east of the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant, Jones has noticed a significant difference in how she enjoyed her time when she was young versus how people are doing it now.
She, and many other Beach residents, have noticed that people are leaving excessive amounts of garbage on the beach and don’t pick up before they leave. As a result, Jones and her boyfriend Aaron Russell starting cleaning up the area since
noticing the mess.
On Canada Day alone, they collected over 45 trash bags of garbage she said. On a regular day, they have a minimum of 18 trash bags once they’ve finished cleaning up.
Jones, a resident of the Beach neighbourhood for 28 years, is concerned that people are not taking care of this beach area properly.
“The Beach is a beautiful place, and it’s disgusting that people are leaving all kinds of trash behind them. Everybody wants to use the place and when I’m down there, I spend at least half an hour to clean up before I can enjoy it,” she said.
Since taking up this cleaning initiative, Jones has found everything from pizza boxes and beer bottles to broken glass and cigarette butts and boxes. She has also found trash shoved between rocks and buried in the sand.
Beach resident Iain Bateman has also taken up the initiative to clean up this area of the beach, and says there is always a mess to deal with when he goes there.
“I go down there [secret beach] every week and every time there is something to pick up. I can easily fill up eight bags of garbage,” said Bateman.
People from other parts of the city, such as Scarborough, North York and the west end, come to “secret beach” and Jones has not seen an improvement in how they treat the beach either.
“I just want people to look after the beach and teach their children to take care of it because I’m not seeing any of that right now.”