Access to Cambridge-area lake closed

by Editorial Staff | July 21, 2020
a muddy waterbody with littered bottles
Garbage on a beach in Ontario

The only public boat launch on a popular recreational lake just east of Cambridge was closed earlier this month after abuse of the adjacent small beach area and neighbouring private property created safety concerns.

The Puslinch Lake property is owned by McClintock’s Trailer Resort and McClintock’s Ski School, which is now only permitting access to trailer park tenants, ski school participants, and The Old Marina restaurant patrons after “multiple incidents” of disrespectful behaviour.

Public access is no longer permitted for shoreline fishing, boating, swimming, stand-up paddle boarding, canoeing, and kayaking, the 165-site park posted on its website.

Numbers surged

McClintock’s Water Ski School & Pro Shop owner Jamie McClintock also posted the notice to the Facebook group The Voice of Puslinch on July 15.

“The small beach with a capacity of about 25-30 had over 100+ people a day who were littering, swearing, smoking weed around kids, drinking, throwing their empties in the bush, and swimming out far past the swimming area without looking to see if any motor boats were coming,” McClintock wrote.  

Public access has been allowed since the 1970s, according to a July 20 story in The Wellington Advertiser. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, brought too many people to the area, posing a safety risk, it reported.

Puslinch Lake was recently featured in quarantine videos by pop star Justin Bieber, who owns a large property on the lake. That also reportedly drew visitors and paparazzi, prompting the involvement of police and private security, Guelph Today reported.

Crown land closed

A surge in visitors and unsanitary conditions also recently prompted the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) to close a chunk of popular Crown land next to Burleigh Falls, northeast of Peterborough, to the public.

The MNRF notified Peterborough County OPP and Selwyn Township of the decision July 7 after numerous complaints about alcohol consumption, parking violations, excessive noise, littering, outdoor urinating and defecating, and mischief at the popular tourist attraction.  

The decision was a difficult one, but it’s a step in the right direction, as a long-term solution for the area needs to be established, Conservation Officer Mike Duncan told The Peterborough Examiner.

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  1. Thomas Barrett wrote: After 20 yrs supporting the dredging of Puslinch Lake with my hard-earned money and also using the lake for a little kayaking, the McClintock family has decided to close the lake to its neighbours and community. They were very happy to set up the means to support the lakes clean-up by putting on concerts, tours, ski shows. They asked all who enjoyed the lake to support the work needed. Over the years thousands of people have invested hard-earned money in the clean up effort. Now, just because of an issue they had with Toronto people, all those who invested but do not live directly on the lake, whose funds were used in clean it up, the McClintock family has decided to bar us all entrance to the lake. This is an absolute travesty to all those who helped clean up but are now barred from using the lake.