The first summer with the Gordon Edgar Downie Pier in Kingston has concluded and now many Kingstonians are voicing their concerns over excessive partying during the nighttime hours — with one longtime resident proposing a solution.
“Young people are going to the bar and then going down to the pier and partying, leaving a large mess. At times, there could be 50 to 60 people down there late at night. What we’re saying is, ‘Let’s put some ornamental gates that close the pier at night,’” said Phillip Brown, a longtime resident who lives near the pier.
Brown is asking council members to consider closing the pier from 10 p.m. to sunrise during the summer months, which he believes will make partygoers much more visible to residents living close by.
According to Brown, if there is a cry for help from Breakwater Park or closer to King Street, someone can actually hear them but if somebody is out on the pier late at night and they have an emergency and cry for help, no one is able to hear them.
Brown’s proposal to shut down the pier during the night hours is something city Coun. Peter Stroud is opposed to.
“To think that if you close off the pier, it would actually improve behaviour is a little bit naive and it sends the wrong message. I think we opened up that place, put a lot of money into that place and it’s wildly successful which is a good problem to have,” said Stroud.
Brown says one of the many reasons why he is pushing for more security measures is that he spoke to a local family who almost lost a family member swimming late at night in the area.
“One family commented firsthand what can happen late at night because two strong swimmers pulled their family member out just in time,” said Brown.
According to Brown, there are 600 signatures for his petition to close the pier at night.
A date has yet to be announced for when council will vote on the pier curfew and gates.
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