By: Mike Anderson
The Town of Georgina has closed Sheppard Wharf to all boaters, including Snake and Fox Island cottagers as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It has been determined that Sheppard Wharf is closed to any activity including fishing from the dock and boating,” said a spokesperson from the Town in an email to the Post.
“This includes those boats looking to load and travel to either island. This effort is to further encourage social distancing, and support the critical message of staying home to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
The Snake Island Cottage Association currently leases the Sheppard Wharf from the Town. The lease agreement provides island residents with up to four hours of temporary parking, allowing them to re-supply their cottage properties. That lease agreement is no longer in effect, due to the closure.
The closure will impact approximately 227 cottage leases on Snake Island, and a further 64 on Fox Island.
The Town was earlier considering an arrangement with the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation (CGIFN) to allow their Snake and Fox island leaseholders access to the public wharf. The arrangement would have included signage exempting island residents from the closure. However, that earlier proposal was reconsidered and rejected by the Town’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).
The Post has contacted the Chippewas to find out if any alternative arrangements will be made to accommodate Snake and Fox Island cottagers. As of posting, there has been no reply.