Metropolitan Homesick Blues

Southampton Stories & Other Stuff


with 2 comments

The signs sit prominently at every beach access point along the boardwalk  – Town Beach, Long Dock Beach, Waterworks Beach, South Street and North Shore Beach:


Could we make it any clearer for you…you tourists and summer people who insist on paying no heed, ignoring these signs and breaking the law?

Here’s what I’m talking about.

On a recent Sunday morning stroll along the beach boardwalk we were almost run down by two young BMX bikers. There was no warning. Just the swoosh of air as they zipped by, narrowly missing my wife, almost knocking us into the sand as we tried to avoid them at the last minute.

A short time later we saw one of them standing with his bike in front of an irate grandmother whose grand daughter was tucked in behind her visibly upset. The other boy obviously got away.

The woman had a firm grip on the bike’s handlebars and was sternly dressing down the young rider. We heard her tell him he was breaking the law. She wondered if his parents would be pleased to pay the large fine or if they would just take it out of his allowance.  He hung his head in shame. . Then she let him go, only if he walked his bike.

She told us she was fed up with people riding, roller blading and dog walking on a boardwalk that was meant for pedestrian traffic only. A long time resident of Southampton, she said (in no uncertain terms) she was sick and tired of the same disregard for the law year after year.

We caught up with the offenders a short time later. They were laughing about the whole incident. We vented our anger on them as well. They tried to continue riding on the boardwalk but we pointed out the sign that was clearly posted and made sure they couldn’t go anywhere other then up the street and away from the beach. We stood defiant, pain-in-the-ass-adults making sure they didn’t return.

The next Sunday we encountered a family walking their two dogs on the boardwalk and later down along the beach. The animals defecated in the dunes. The owners just kicked sand over the offense.

Down by the water, people were pushing their bikes (three of them) along the shoreline. Seagulls circled as dogs swam in their lake and played chase and retrieve with their owners. There’s a brand new dog park for that. Not long ago I watched as a black lab jumped off a large inboard anchored just offshore and swam to the beach.

When you politely point out their infractions all you get back is big-city attitude. And I’ve lived in the big city long enough to know how to give it back. (Which I hate to do because, after all, they are our guests.)

This is what its like all summer long. And it is annoying. Nobody, it seems, cares about any stupid bylaw. 

Saugeen Shores recently hired a new By-Law Enforcement Officer to enforce the laws of the town. She needs to spend more time on the beach.

Now I realize the kind of income tourists and summer people bring into Southampton and Port Elgin. But, that doesn’t give them the right to ignore the signs, break the law, and annoy those of us who like to stroll the boardwalk and the beach.

Perhaps an ad or editorial in The Shoreline Beacon, The Saugeen Times and 98 The Beach politely informing folks of boardwalk/beach etiquette might help.  Perhaps renters and B&Bs need to post the bylaws in their homes, cottages and rooms. Perhaps I’m just making a nuisance of myself by going on like this.

But they are too.


 Just read the signs. And do as they say.



Written by metropolitanhomesickblues

August 7, 2008 at 1:22 PM

Posted in Home Town, thoughts, Writing

2 Responses

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  1. You can’t do anything, there is no by-law on the signs so cops can’t do anything either.


    December 30, 2008 at 3:19 AM

    • Hmmmmm..then I guess the signs are pointless.


      December 30, 2008 at 12:17 PM

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