Social distancing sand-castles popped up at this Toronto beach

Aug 5 2020, 1:30 pm

Summer in Ontario is synonymous with beachside lounging alongside a group of friends. But this year, locals are asked to keep their bubble small and practise physical distancing at outdoor spaces amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Several beaches in Toronto have already seen overcrowding this season, which made it difficult for many sun-seekers to maintain a safe distance from one another. Ahead of the August long weekend, provider of online home and auto insurance and safety advocate, Onlia, is looking at innovative ways to create a safer environment for its customers and the wider community.

To encourage beachgoers to follow proper safety precautions, Onlia hosted a one-day activation at Ashbridge’s Bay — featuring custom social distancing sand-sculptures and sand-circles.

Onlia’s activation is a visual reminder for Ontarians to maintain physical distancing methods, and it conveys how locals can enjoy the outdoors safely and responsibly this season.

The sand-circles created at Ashbridge’s Bay were approximately 5 ft x 5 ft in size, and they were inspired by the physical distancing circles painted on grass in key Toronto parks, like Trinity Bellwoods Park.

Currently, Ontario’s municipalities have varying beach rules to keep overcrowding at bay. The City of Toronto, for example, has a physical distancing bylaw in place. Under the bylaw, any two people who are in a park, beach, or public square — who don’t live together — and fail to keep a two-metre distance between each other could receive a $1,000 ticket.

However, the safety concept Onlia is experimenting with can be adapted by local governments and used as a safety blueprint at public beaches across the province. It could also help to communicate the importance of maintaining a safe physical distance while still experiencing and enjoying outdoor summer activities.

As Ontarians adjust to a new normal, Onlia is continuing to pursue its safety mission by providing safety tools and solutions for its community.

The company was founded in 2018 on the belief that Canadians deserve safer roads and communities. Its products and services include Onlia Sense (an app that coaches and rewards drivers for good habits behind the wheel), all-online car and home insurance, and on-demand roadside assistance.

Although relatively new, Onlia is a joint venture between Canadian financial holding company, Fairfax Financial, and Achmea, the largest insurance group in the Netherlands.

The company is dedicated to listening to the needs and ideas of Canadians and having meaningful conversations about safety, testing, and learning. Anyone who joins Onlia is part of a group that’s working to see the creation of collision-free roads nationwide.

To be a part of the conversation around safe social distancing and following safety precautions, connect with Onlia on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. And for more information about the services offered by Onlia, head to

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