Toronto

Leuty Lifeguard Station is being raised to save it from lake damage

In an effort to preserve a historic beach structure, the city will be spending $200,000 this spring to raise Leuty Lifeguard Station off the ground.

Iconic structure in The Beach will be lifted approximately 1-1.5 metres

The city says they want to ensure The Leuty Lifeguard Station is safe from high lake effect in 2018. (Talia Ricci / CBC News)

In an effort to preserve a historic beach structure, the city will be spending around $200,000 this spring to raise the Leuty Lifeguard Station off the ground. 

The Beach icon was impacted by the high lake effect last summer. It was one of the first structures the city noticed was in jeopardy. 

"We were able to do some temporary measures with sandbags and armour stones to stop the waves from hitting the building directly," James Dann, Waterfront Parks Manager with the City of Toronto said.

"But we have recognized for a while we have to raise the structure."

The city plans on raising the station between one and one and a half meters and putting it onto pilings. Dann said they will be moving the structure as little as possible to retain its current location.

"We know it's near and dear to many beachers and Toronto residents alike," Dann said. "We are doing everything we can to make sure it's safe from high lake effect in 2018."

The city says residents will be able to watch and film the construction, but the area around the structure will be fenced off while it's being raised.

A public meeting will be held next month to discuss details.

'We have to keep it'

Christi Johnson owns Still Images in The Beach, a printing and framing shop. She says residents were worried about the potential damage all summer.

"Everyone was paying a lot of attention to it and checking on it regularly like it was their baby and they had to make sure it was okay," Johnson said. "Everyone was keeping track — it was like a constant update on what was going on with it every other day."

The owner of Still Images says the Leuty Lifeguard Station is an icon in the neighbourhood and is one of the most photographed spots in The Beach. (Still Images Facebook )

The shop sells prints and merchandise with images of the Leuty Lifeguard Station, which are often purchased by residents new to the neighbourhood. Johnson said if the city hadn't decided to put money into it, the neighbourhood would have taken action to try to save the structure.

"It's a really important part of our community. I think people would be devastated if it wasn't saved," Johnson said.

"We have to keep it."

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