Published August 18, 2023

Wasaga Beach getting tough on illegal car rallies

Wasaga Beach getting tough on illegal car rallies

The Town of Wasaga Beach has put together a comprehensive plan to deal with illegal car rallies.

It's a three-tiered approach beginning with a cease-and-desist order, followed by vehicle inspection stations at key points in the town and some road closures, and then, an increased police presence, containment strategies and additional road closures.

"Illegal car rallies, organized by people that do not have permits and do not respect the law, are not welcome in Wasaga Beach," said Mayor Brian Smith. "They threaten the safety of our residents, visitors and local businesses. They damage our brand as a safe, iconic tourist destination as well as our economy, municipal infrastructure and private property – and they risk people’s lives.”

Proactive, Tiered Emergency Response Plan
At the lowest tier, when the Town and OPP become aware that an illegal event is likely to occur,
the coordinated response will include:

  • Activating the Incident Management Team
  • The Town issuing orders to cease and desist to organizer(s) of illegal car rallies under the
    authority of the Municipal Act, with the intent to pursue maximum penalties in all cases
    At a higher tier, when there is a high level of risk to public safety or an illegal event is imminent, the
    coordinated response may also include:
  • OPP/MTO vehicle inspection stations set-up at main access points to Town
  • Proactive, full-scale road closures that would see the Town’s main access points limited to
    local traffic only
  • Traffic diversion zones in effect
  • Specific Town properties activated as vehicle impound lots
  • Maximum “illegal car rally” towing and impound fees in effect
  • Parking lot closures
  • Beach Drive open to pedestrian traffic only (especially on long weekends or during special
  • Coordinated Town and OPP communications on social media channels and through local
    media, to keep local residents, businesses and visitors informed
    At the highest tier or highest level of risk to public safety, the coordinated response may include all
    of the above, plus:
  • Increased OPP presence
  • Containment strategy with additional road closures and traffic diversion zones in effect

Downtown Community Safety Zone

The Town is adopting this highly coordinated, tiered emergency response plan in addition to
pursuing new measures – including a Downtown Community Safety Zone that would impact
specific areas of concern.

While the emergency response plan aims to prevent illegal events from taking place by issuing
orders and conducting vehicle inspections on organizers and participants outside the municipality –
the proposed Downtown Community Safety Zone will make it easier for the OPP to fine and
charge illegal car rally organizers and participants within the Town of Wasaga Beach. It would also
double minimum fines and penalties for speeding and stunt driving

  • The proposed Downtown Community Safety Zone would protect the main arterial roads in the
  • Downtown area. These may include:
  • River Road West: East of Blueberry Trail to Village Gate Drive
  • Mosley Street: East of 18th Street North to Main Street
  • Old Mosley Street: East of 18th Street North to 13th Street South
  • Main Street
  • Beach Drive
  • 3rd Street North
  • Spruce Street
  • River Road East: East of Main Street to Zoo Park Road

The maximum penalty for violating the Town of Wasaga Beach Car Rally Bylaw is $25,000.

banner image: file photo

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