Even though it's not clear whether Edmonton's accidental beach will stay yet, bits of infrastructure are beginning to pop up — including a set of carved-out stairs at one of the entrances.
The City of Edmonton placed extra garbage cans and porta-potties on the trails near the beach area for public use. But one of the entrances to the beach got a brand-new set of stairs, thanks to Cloverdale resident Jamie Young.
Young said he and his family had used the beach for a couple of months. He has two kids, aged six and three, and found it a task to go to the beach with them due to the steepness of the western-most entrance.
"I thought, 'Well, this is not easy for me and the kids,'" Young told CBC News Sunday. As a co-founder of Safeopedia, a safety-oriented website, he felt he needed to make the entrance safer.
But a few weeks passed, and Young said he kept putting it off. Then, this past Wednesday, he and his family were visiting the beach when what he feared would happen, did happen.
"On Wednesday, we went and my wife bit it down the hill," he said, though he added she was OK. But he wondered how many people had fallen already, and how many more could fall and hurt themselves.
On Saturday, Young decided to get to work.
100 thank yous
Young brought his shovel and began carving the stairs out. It took him two hours, and the amount of foot traffic up and down his project slowed him down. But he said everyone who passed him was grateful.
"Everybody was saying, 'Ah, this is great, thanks so much,'" he said, adding he received 100 thank yous and an offer of a bottle of water.
After the stairs were complete and he saw his three-year-old walk up and down them with ease, he felt like the entrance was a lot safer. "We've been there a few days where it has been packed, like a beach in Hawaii," he said.
Young isn't sure about how long the stairs will last or whether they'll get washed away by rain, but for now, the stairs make the trip up and down much easier.
He's just mad he didn't do it sooner.
"I just think it's funny that the owner of a safety website took so long to fix an obvious problem," he said, laughing. "It's embarrassing, almost."