The Gordon Edgar Downie pier has quickly become one of the most popular spots in Kingston since its opening this past summer.
Now, a petition is gaining momentum to have the waterfront area closed at night. More than 400 Kingston residents have signed the petition.
The petition says Kingston residents are finding young people partying late at night at the pier and often leaving behind broken beer and liquor bottles, cigarette butts, damaged recycling bins. There are even reports of hypodermic needles found at the waterfront.
Phillip Brown, a Kingston resident, started this petition after he spoke to several other community members who also share his concerns.
“I’m proud of what the city has accomplished with this project. The pier is an amazing attraction within a beautifully renovated park that needs to be treated specially. If you look at other famous piers or attractions around the world, you will see that they are well maintained, supervised and secured. You can’t just use them in the middle of the night and throw a party for someone else to clean up afterwards,” Brown says.
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Residents are also voicing their concerns on social media, saying the often-dirty state of the waterfront park is not surprising.
Others worry for the safety of young people who are on the pier partying after dark.
“My personal concern, which has been expressed by many during this process, is that someone will be seriously injured or will drown off the pier late at night. Time is not on our side,” Brown says.
And safety concerns remain for those going for a jog or a stroll in the morning who have to deal with broken glass and other items.
“Obviously, there are people doing things that aren’t great at the pier, but you shouldn’t stop everyone from going to the pier,” says Paul Santilli, a student at Queen’s University.
“I think they just have to consider what safety measures they want to put in place so no accidents occur. … Unless something really bad happens, it should stay open as it is now,” says Isabelle Caladhan, a third-year computer engineering student at Queen’s University.
Brown plans to present his concerns, along with the petition, to Kingston’s administrative policies committee on Nov. 8.
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