Mono Council listens to complaints of trespassing, approves creation of no parking zone

October 5, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Peter Richardson

The issue of unauthorized parking and trespassing at the Scott’s Falls-Canning Falls location was brought before Mono Council on Sept. 22, with the owners of the site seeking resolution to the problem. 

Located near the Hockley Valley Provincial Nature Reserve, the four falls are on private property and trespassing has been a serious problem of late, with both damage to the environment and litter being the main issues. Don Sinclair and his wife Janet, a local resident, and Adam Brylowsk,i from the Bruce Trail Conservancy, the current land owners, were present at Council to outline the problems and show a presentation of the damage and the trespassing and unauthorized parking.

The issue of the parking had been brought to Council’s attention earlier this year. A motion was presented by Coun. Fred Nix to post no parking signs for a kilometre in each direction from the trespass entry point on 1st Line EHS. Don Sinclair whose family had owned the land for almost 100 years, explained that they had always tried to accommodate public access until it became too hard to manage. This situation has only been exacerbated by the site being posted on the internet.

One of the largest issues is the amount of litter dropped at the site, as well as some damage that has been caused to the land. Added to this is the painting of graffiti and slogans on the surrounding rocks, many of which are of a provocative to pornographic nature.

Earlier this spring, Don found 60 people trespassing at the falls. All but one group were quite happy to leave, but the OPP had to be called to remove the holdout group of people. Before July of this year, the OPP have been called for trespassers nine times. Don has distributed Coun. Nix’s motion to all his neighbours, who might be affected by it. He claims that all are supportive of the no parking area. Also the Dufferin OPP Detachment Commander, Staff Sargeant Nikki Randall, has offered her support to the endeavour also.

Adam Brylowski from the BTC went on to explain that they acquired the property under their mission to protect conservation land along the Niagara Escarpment, and that they were happy to have the land in their portfolio. He continued to add that a full management plan for the area was being developed, which would allow public access, while protecting the land and falls. 

The BTC had hired private security, round the clock, during the summer and they reported turning away 60 to 80 cars per day on weekends and 30 to 40 on weekdays. All of these were people wanting to visit the falls.

In subsequent discussion, Council heard from CAO Mark Early, that this was really a land management issue and that in conjunction with better management, as proposed by the BTC, the no parking zone could be quite beneficial. Mr. Early also pointed out that these same parking issues occur in other areas of Mono, such as on 3rd Line at Mono Cliffs Provincial Park, when the parking lot is full. 

Coun. Nix stated that his main intent was to stop the partiers. He felt that people would be less inclined to carry in a pizza and a case of beer if they had to walk a kilometre to do so. Deputy Mayor John Creelman added that, where he lives, road allowance parking is also a problem and there it is caused by the fact that the Bruce Trail advertises that site as a parking opportunity. His suggestion was to not have this be the case on 1st Line as well as the no parking restriction, thus perhaps presumptively preventing some of the parking problem.

At the end of the discussion, Council voted in favour of creating the no parking zone along 1st Line.

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