By John Francis
Everybody asks “what’s there to do?”
The answer is complicated. It depends on when. The province is making adjustments on an almost daily basis. The municipality is fairly nimble in following those directives but sometimes a bylaw has needed updating in order to accommodate. This requires a formal notice of motion so that the item can appear in an Agenda, followed by a vote by Council. MNBP’s Special Council Meeting on May 15 enabled the opening of the boat launches the following day.
Up until May 24, the boat launches were open for day use but not for overnight moorage. But this will change. Tentatively, Tobermory marina will open on crane day, May 25 and Lion’s Head marina on crane day June 6 (please follow the municipal website — www.northbrucepeninsula.ca — for ongoing updates). The docks at both Tobermory and Lion’s Head marinas will be open to boaters and guests only, not as public thoroughfares.
The tennis courts in Tobermory opened on May 21 and have been busy.
Pickleball nets are expected to arrive any day.
Cemeteries are still closed at this writing (May 24) but a motion to open them is on the Agenda for MNBP Council’s May 25 meeting. Watch the municipal website for details.
Black Creek Provincial Park (which includes Sandy Beach) is open however all Provincial beaches remain closed. The Province has explained that hikers wishing to access the Black Creek trail system may walk across the beach but activities such as loitering, sunbathing and swimming are forbidden by the Province.
The Bruce Trail is open in a few locations: Lion’s Head Provincial Park, White Bluff/Smokey Head Provincial Park and Hope Bay Forest. All other sections of the Bruce Trail remain closed, including those which cross provincially-owned properties. (Watch Bruce Trail website for changes.)
Paid parking in Tobermory is scheduled to begin June 15.
A number of other places you might want to go are unavailable. Dunks Bay beach is closed. The park at Big Tub Lighthouse in Tobermory is closed and the parking lot is barricaded. All national park facilities and locations remain closed. Lion’s Head Beach remains closed except to people walking by or using the picnic shelter. All municipal buildings and facilities remain closed.
But it’s not all bad news. Community Services Manager Ryan Deska provided an update on the rebuilding of Lion’s Head lighthouse: the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), which runs the Coast Guard, has approved the plans for the lighthouse. The construction process can begin soon.
Lion’s Head Beach campground has been plagued by electrical problems and is closed until further notice while the municipality decides how to proceed.
MNBP Council is expected to decide on May 25 to proceed with construction of Phase I of the Isthmus Bay Road reconstruction. The project should be substantially complete by Christmas.