Accidental Beach tank tops a hot sell with Edmonton sun seekers
'Edmonton likes to celebrate itself. And I think this is one of the ways we're celebrating'
The new Accidental Beach is at the centre of a new, accidental business venture which has local sun seekers sporting only-in-Edmonton beach wear.
It may be getting colder, but the expansive stretch of white sand which emerged from the waters of the North Saskatchewan River this summer is still getting lots of attention.
It has new hand-carved steps, a new sign, and now its own swag.
An Edmonton printing company has created a line of tank tops to honour the distinctly Edmonton landmark.
The vintage-inspired tops, which harken back to the city's heyday, have proved to be a hot seller even as the weather cools.
'Sales have been brisk'
"We did a throwback to sort of 1980's Edmonton with this shirt," said Vivid Print co-owner, Mark Wilson in an interview with CBC Radio's Edmonton AM.
Vivid Print owner Bee Waeland designed the logo.
"Edmonton likes to celebrate itself," Wilson said. "And I think this is one of the ways we're celebrating."
Wilson said the Whyte Avenue shop sold out of the first run of men's and women's tanks in a matter of days. Hundreds have flown off the shelves, and they are now working on their third production run.
"Sales have been brisk. They're a little less brisk on cold days such as this, but the hoodies are on the way for the fall weather.
Just like the beach, the new duds are a happy accident.
"We did it as a bit of an internal joke and gave it to people who we knew were early adopters of the beach," Wilson said.
"And then people saw them, and we thought 'Ah, now we have to make them.' "
Summer joy, 'not sanctioned'
Wilson said Edmontonians already have a strong sense of ownership of the beach, which was the unintended consequence of LRT construction in Cloverdale.
Since the secret got out out about the new urban oasis, hundreds of people populate the massive white sandbar every sunny afternoon.
The unexpected landmark has become a point of pride, and people are desperate to see it maintained for summers yet to come.
Even if the beach's existence in fleeting, it has already fostered a sense of community, said Wilson.
"Accidental Beach has a certain joy to it because it's not sanctioned," he said.
"People have been self-policing on the beach. You go there, people are enjoying the odd beverage but people are being subtle about it. There is music, but it's not blaring.
"People want to make sure they don't lose this.
"I think there is a sort of a timeline with this thing so we'll enjoy it while we have it."