It all started after Véronique Shapiro and her daughter arrived at the John F. Kennedy pool in Outremont, a borough in Montreal, on Wednesday.
“I never put a bikini top on my daughter,” Shapiro said.
This time, however, a lifeguard told her that girls over two years old need to wear a bathing suit top. Shapiro refused to comply.
“It’s a rule that shouldn’t exist,” said Shapiro.
“It’s totally absurd, discriminatory and sexist. They’re sexualizing a three-year-old girl by telling her she needs to hide her private parts."
She said an argument with two lifeguards over her topless toddler became a physical altercation, causing the child to fall down on the concrete and scrape her forehead.
Montreal police are investigating, and the pool was closed for the day.
The girl was brought to the hospital by paramedics.
Shapiro said the rule about wearing a top should apply for older children, perhaps starting at age seven or eight.
Outremont Mayor Marie Cinq-Mars said she could not find a borough rule that states girls over two years old are required to wear a bathing suit top.
“I’m looking, and I don’t see a rule about that. If there is one, it would be the swimming pool’s internal policy,” she said.