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Thousands flock to Simcoe County beaches during long weekend

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The Victoria Day long weekend brought crowds to Simcoe County, with beaches and highways bustling with activity.

Travellers across southern Ontario made their way through Barrie's OnRoute, including Oakville resident Alex Muroh, who was heading to the cottage with his wife.

"We're going to our piece of land with a trailer close to Parry Sound, so we're going to spend the weekend there," Muroh shared.

Sunday saw an influx of beach goers at Centennial Beach in Barrie and Wasaga Beach, where people from all over the province gathered to enjoy the shores of Simcoe County, engaging in activities such as racquet sports, football, jet-ski rides, and basking in the sun.

For businesses in Wasaga Beach, the long weekend forecast meant the potential for significant profits or losses.

Natasha Hirlehey, Front House Supervisor at Saga Resort, emphasized that the weather has dramatically impacted customer turnout in past years.

"This weekend is very weather-dependent for all of Wasaga Beach; people like to come, go down to the beach and enjoy the festivities; if it's raining, people are less likely to go," said Hirlehey.

The Saga Resort was fully booked, with most reservations made in the last few days as favourable weather became likely.

The surge in visitors also meant that beachfront eatery Ciao Pizza was preparing over 500 servings of Gelato ice cream, with a neighbouring fast food establishment holding a grand opening.

"Our owner owns three stores on the beach; we are very excited it's hectic this weekend," shared a staff member from Ciao Pizza.

As the weekend came to a close, most stores along the beach prepared to remain open for Victoria Day Monday, as businesses in the area confirmed that Victoria Day weekend is one of their most crucial summer occasions, alongside Canada Day and Labour Day.

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