The intense heat lingering in Quebec led many to seek out a bit of cool relief this weekend. This was the case at the Rawdon waterfalls, where the arrival of dozens of out-of-towners caused many headaches for local residents. On Saturday and Sunday, June 20 and 21, the popular Parc des Cascades, in the municipality of Rawdon in Lanaudière, saw a crowd of tourists arrive in such large numbers that the Sûreté du Québec had to intervene.
Vehicles, in particular, caused problems.
The park's parking lots quickly overflowed and visitors parked their cars on prohibited sites and even on residential lots.
"Approximately one hundred parking tickets were issued and vehicles were towed away by private property owners," Sgt. Marc Tessier told Narcity Québec.
The events of this weekend prompted the launch of a petition on Sunday.
The petition asks the mayors and council of the MRC of Matawinie, where Rawdon is located, to put in place measures to ensure compliance with the law and to mitigate the impacts of visitors on local residents.
The petition has already collected more than 5,300 signatures.
On Sunday afternoon, the site was closed earlier than planned. Narcity has contacted the Rawdon town hall for more information.
Photos and videos posted to social media show the falls packed with visitors.
Many commenters have pointed to a lack of respect for the rules of physical distancing.
Some Rawdon residents reported other inappropriate behaviours, as well.
In addition to illegally parked cars, garbage was allegedly left on-site, and excrement and toilet paper were found on private property.
Some have even claimed to have seen tourists engaging in sexual intercourse on their property.
However, Marc Tessier says no such incidents have been reported to the SQ at this time and no arrests have been made.
This article was originally published in French on Narcity Québec.
This article's cover image is used for illustrative purposes only.