gatemcleodparkA gate separates McLeod Park in the City of Kenora from neighbouring CPR lands, where two young men fell in the water and drowned last week.Kenora Mayor Dave Canfield says there's only so much council can do to safeguard swimmers.

"We have hundreds of miles of shoreline," he said at city hall Tuesday. "I mean it's about being aware. When I grew up, my parents said you have to be aware of your actions, and if you don't know don't go."

The mayor says the cost of putting lifeguards on public beaches has become prohibitive.

"You can't. It's impossible. The costs are astronomical. You'd have to shut your beaches down, and I don't think anybody wants to do that," the mayor continued.

The mayor's comments come after a pair of drownings last Thursday at McLeod Park, a death at Goshawk Landing in Whitedog Friday and a near-drowning Monday at Anicinabe Park.

On Monday, fire chief Todd Skene noted the young men who drowned last week near McLeod Park were actually on CP Rail land, when they slipped and fell in. The city notes there's a gate between the park and the private land belonging to the railway.

Last August, members of the Kenora OPP attended Bruin Lake in the MacNicol Township, and learned that a male and a female's kayak had capsized. The male survived, but the female passed away at the scene. It was the second water-related death in the last two weeks, after a 27-year-old male drowned on Darlington Bay.

A 17-year-old from Winnipeg drowned at Anicinabe Park in 2015. A toddler drowned at Tulabi Park in Manitoba on the May long weekend.

Police also recorded the death of a young Manitoba man last Thursday near Dogtooth Lake. However, the cause of death was not released.

For more information:

Close call for six-year old

Drownings spark lifejacket reminder

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