Beaconsfield boaters upset over restricted access to launch ramps

In Beaconsfield, Que., boaters are frustrated with new restrictions preventing them from launching larger crafts from trailers from two ramps in that city — one at Lakeview Boulevard and a second at Angell Avenue .

The two locations had been used for decades, and some pleasure craft owners can’t understand why it’s suddenly a problem.

“The houses have always been here, people have always been here we have always gotten along really well,” said Bill Cordner as he surveyed four large concrete barriers at the water’s edge next to Lakeview.

“At 74 years old, this is one of the pleasures I have in life, is to be able to take my square stern canoe and go on the lake, and I can’t do it.”

Beaconsfield city officials say they closed the ramps because residents in that area complained about the number of cars with large trailers clogging up the streets.

“So people from all around Beaconsfield, not only in Beaconsfield, were coming at the ramps and using the ramps,” explained city director general Patrice Boileau.

People living close to the boat launches are thrilled with the restrictions.  They claim that it has been getting worse over the years and that it was particularly bad in the last few weeks.

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“Well it’s been absolutely crazy since the nice weather started,” said Marie-France Leduc who lives across the street from the Lakeview ramp.

She pointed out that the large number of cars with trailers, especially on weekends, made it unsafe because the streets are small with many pedestrians and cyclists.

Her neighbour Michel de Geyter said noise was another factor from loud watercraft in the vicinity.

“You couldn’t even relax,” he said.

“We literally had to go in the house to relax because they were like, it was like a wild party.”

Boileau noted that boaters with trailers do have an option, though, because they can launch their vessels from the Lord Reading marina.

“They could get a seasonal pass and use a ramp on a daily basis,” he said, adding that it would cost just over $100 for the season.

Pleasure craft owners think it’s too expensive for residents and believe there’s another solution the city hasn’t thought of.

“There’s too many people coming from other municipalities and launching here,” noted Scott Cordner, “but that can be fixed with a parking sticker in the windshield of the car.”

He said he’d be willing to pay $25 a year as a resident to use the two ramps, similar to what neighouring Pointe Claire charges to launch from their marina.

According to the Pointe-Claire website, a seasonal permit is $22, and after June 30 a second residential pass is $45.  For non-residents the cost is $143.

Boaters who oppose the new restrictions hope the city will consider the option of providing cheaper permits.

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