A woman who went topless on a Montreal beach says it’s unfair she was told to cover up and has complained to the Quebec Human Rights Commission.
Rebecca Anne Clark says she was at the beach last week with her boyfriend when she opted to take off her dress and stroll topless along the Cap-St-Jacques beach.
But when she walked over to the main beach area, Clark says a lifeguard told her to put her top on.
“She said…'it's a family beach. I’m sorry, but that's the rule here,'” Clark told CBC’s radio show Daybreak.
Clark says she took it for granted that women no longer had to cover their breasts.
“I was under the impression that it was established that female toplessness was kosher at this point,” she says.
“When we say this is not family-appropriate we typically think of violence or drug use, and it’s a little bit demonizing to be told that your body is in the same category.”
The Cap-St-Jacques beach is controlled by the City of Montreal.
CBC reached out to officials with the city as well as beach management, but they refused to do an interview about the incident.
A spokesperson for the city did point out that there is a city rule against swimming without a bathing suit.
In her letter to the human rights commission, Clark says she points out that if men are allowed to go topless, the same should apply to women.
Clark says she hopes to visit Cap-St-Jacques again, and while she doesn’t want to be a troublemaker, Clark says she is willing to deal with police if it means being able to dress the same as any man.
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Crystal Crescent Beach, Nova Scotia
Known as Halifax’s formal nude ocean beach, Crystal Crescent is located in the aptly-named Crystal Crescent Beach Provincial Park which is close to Sambro, Nova Scotia. The beach offers great scenery and can get quite busy on weekends with up to 300 visitors. Photo Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/bigtzr45/" target="_blank">bigtzr45</a>
Oka Park, Quebec
Referred to locally as Okapulco, this beach is on the shore of the Lac des Deux Montagnes, and is one of the best known nude beaches in Quebec. The beach offers a pleasant and peaceful atmosphere naturists have frequented the area for over 20 years.
Hanlan’s Point Beach, Ontario
Located on the Toronto Island, the southern portion of Hanlan’s Beach has been officially designated as a sandy, clothing-optional beach for 14 years. The beach is maintained by the City of Toronto’s Parks Department and rules are enforced so that only a designated beach portion is clothing-optional and clothes must be worn everywhere else.
Beaconia Beach, Manitoba
On the southeastern shore of Lake Winnipeg, you will find Beaconia Beach. The beach is often visited by clothed families, so it is recommended that naturists walk about 15 minutes south of the parking lot prior to undressing.
Patricia Beach, Manitoba
This beach is located within a provincial park, and is recognized as a clothing optional beach on both weekdays and weekends. That being said, tourists are recommended to walk further north on weekends to avoid commotion with local residents or the RCMP.
Paradise Beach, Saskatchewan
Located on the Saskatchewan River, Paradise Beach is a well recognized clothing-optional beach despite does not have an association to advocate for naturalists. Also worth noting is the beach is patrolled by local police to maintain the family-friendly atmosphere. Photo Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/cdnboyfotos/" target="_blank">BFRE</a>
Wreck Beach, British Columbia
As the second largest clothing-optional beach in North America, Wreck Beach receives over 100,000 annual visitors. The beach is located in Pacific Spirit Regional Park on the shore of the Georgia Strait and the north arm of the Fraser River.
More Nude Beaches Around North America
Haulover Beach, Florida
Gunnison Beach, New Jersey
Rooster Rock Beach, Oregon
Hippie Hollow, Texas
Baker Beach, California
San Gregorio Beach, California
Robert Moses & Lighthouse Beaches, Fire Island, New York
Collin's Beach, Sauvie Island, Oregon