Woodbine Beach sand circles and sculptures help promote safe distancing as long weekend approaches

Sand circle pods, built safe distances apart, along with a car sculpture were being created at the west end of Woodbine Beach on Wednesday, July 29. Photo by Alan Shackleton.

With the long weekend approaching, and good weather expected, Woodbine Beach is likely to see big crowds visiting over the next several days.

To help set an example on how to keep people safe, an installation is being built in the sands at the far west end of the beach.

Commissioned by Onlia, a safety advocate and provider of digital car and house insurance, the installation features 12 socially distant sand circles and three sand sculptures to call attention to them.

Work was underway at the location on Wednesday, July 29, with the creations expected to be finished by approximately 5:30 p.m.

Along with the 12 sand circles, which are spaced a safe distance apart and are three-feet by eight-feet in size, there were also sand sculptures of a castle, a car and a boat being made.

Onlia commissioned designers Rudin Causi and Jay Melnychuk and their team to build the installation.

“This a blueprint on how to stay safely socially distant,” said Alex Kelly, Onlia Safety Ambassador.

“Onlia is about looking for unique ways to promote safety, and people can use this as a model.”

While it’s unlikely the installation will still be standing by the time the August long weekend arrives, it can still act as a reminder on how to stay safe on the beach.

Kelly said people can create their own socially distant bubbles when they are on the beach by using towels, chairs and other items if they don’t want to build their own sand pod.

“With six swimming beaches in a city that is home to nearly three million people, Toronto beaches have experienced tremendous overcrowding in recent weeks, posing increased concerns during COVID-19,” said Onlia in a press release.

“A compelling visual guide, Onlia’s beach safety concept can also be adapted and implemented at public beaches across Ontario to emphasize the importance of maintaining physical distance while enjoying summer activities.”

This will be especially important as Toronto begins the Simcoe Day long weekend with its entrance into Stage 3 of the province’s COVID-19 reopening protocols on Friday, July 31.

Stage 3 means playgrounds, indoor restaurants and other businesses can be reopened provided they follow enhanced safety rules.

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