So few people swim in Lake Ontario that ‘it’s as if Jaws is swimming around,’ says Sam Merulla
Samantha Craggs · CBC News
The Beachfront Trail is one of the Lake Ontario beach amenities the city wants to highlight with its new Beach Crawl this year. But it wants someone else to run it. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)
‘When you go down there, it’s as if Jaws is swimming around because no one’s taking advantage of it.’– Sam Merulla, Ward 4 councillor
Officials will issue a request for proposals for someone to run the new crawl this year. The plan is for six “beach days” with music, art, food trucks and hula hoop contests.
“My vision of this has always been for it to be similar to Supercrawl,” said Sam Merulla, Ward 4 councillor, who dreamed up the idea.
The goal, he said, is to promote Hamilton’s Lake Ontario beaches and show the water is safe.
“Born and raised here my whole life, I was told you should never swim in any water around the city — that there was some sort of Loch Ness Monster in there, and you’d come out glowing in the dark,” Merulla said.
‘You can swim in there all you want.’– Sam Merulla
“When you go down there, it’s as if Jaws is swimming around because no one’s taking advantage of it,” he said.
“You can swim in there all you want.”
City council’s general issues committee voted Wednesday to look for a private operator. A staff report suggested other options, but most would cost public money.
One option proposed an awareness program and six Saturday “beach days” this year. Potential programming includes sand castle building and volleyball games, the report says. But it’d cost at least $6,750.
City council will vote next week to finalize the search for a private organizer. Merulla said there’s already interest.
“We want people to put in their bids and see where this heads.”