Son of a beach: Accidental Beach is back — and this time, the city says it's ready

This year, the sand and sun will be accompanied by security measures, parking restrictions, dog laws, booze bans and portable toilets.

For 2018, the sand and sun will be accompanied by security, parking restrictions, dog laws and booze bans

The sandbar known as Accidental Beach has returned to the shore of the North Saskatchewan River, a year after it first emerged. (Travis McEwan/CBC)

The city's most popular unintentional attraction, Accidental Beach, has returned for a second summer, and the city says it's prepared to crack down on rowdy behaviour.

Along the shore of the North Saskatchewan River, the sandbar has returned, yet it's currently like an island. Beach goers have to wade through ankle-deep water to reach it.

Its return may be exciting for many Edmontonians, but not for Lucille Berube.

"I'm worried it's going to be the same thing. We're going to have all kinds of people going there," Berube said. "Young people drinking, partying and noise and all that is going to be back."

The biggest issue was traffic congestion along 98A Street, which is used by residents of the condo building where she lives, Berube said.

"People that live here in this complex, some of them don't have two parking stalls downstairs so they have to have a place to park their vehicle," she said. "Well, last summer they had to park two, three, four blocks away."

Residents were given an opportunity to voice their concerns at city hall on May 23. At that time, Mayor Don Iveson said the behaviour of beach goers would have to improve before the city would consider putting money into making the beach permanent.

Accidental Beach was quiet when this photo was taken in June 2018, but the City of Edmonton expects beachgoers to return soon. (Travis McEwan/CBC)

Now that the sandbar has emerged again, the city has been monitoring its usage, which has been low so far. The new rules are in effect and will be enforced by Edmonton police, park rangers and peace officers.

"No fires will be allowed. Dogs need to be on leash. No loud music and no alcohol. Very similar to a park," said Rhonda Norman with the city's citizen services branch.

Garbage cans, bike racks and portable toilets have been added to the entrance of Accidental Beach.  

"We have some changes to traffic flow as well as parking restrictions that will be implemented over the next couple of weeks," Norman said. "There will be restricted parking for residents only. There will be some unrestricted parking along green spaces if people want to come down and access the beach."

The beach will be open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.

About the Author

Travis McEwan


Travis McEwan is a video journalist who has not won any awards. Originally from Churchill, Man., he's spent the last decade working at CBC Edmonton. Email story ideas to travis.mcewan@cbc.ca