“We feel like they’re only here for a show”: what Hanlan’s Point nudists think about clothed beach-goers

“We feel like they’re only here for a show”: what Hanlan’s Point nudists think about clothed beach-goers

On Sunday, the city’s only clothing-optional strip of sand was packed with more fully dressed folk than exposed beach bums—to the surprise of no one. The increasingly common sight of non-nude visitors had a couple naturists so riled that they posted signs, ordering everyone to strip down or (ahem) butt out. We hit the beach to ask some of the folks baring it all what’s so great about being naked—and whether or not clothing at Hanlan’s should even be an option.


Morgan Servinis

29, hairdresser, from downtown Toronto
“This feels like a community where we’re celebrating the human body. If someone’s uncomfortable with the idea, there are other beaches. It’s uncomfortable for the nudists when clothed people show up because we feel like they’re only here for a show.”

What now? “The city should have some sort of security guard patrolling the area, so people have someone to report to.”

Ksenia Blinova

35, hairdresser, from downtown Toronto
“I feel like a kid again—it’s liberating to be nude. Last summer, I saw a lot of transgender kids here, and I think it’s because they felt safe. Not a single person gave them any looks. I don’t think everyone who comes to this beach needs to be nude, but they should be at least partially nude. If a non-nude person came with a friend who was nude, I would feel better.”

What now? “There should be someone here to prevent confrontations between nudists and non-nudists. However, I think it would change the whole vibe of the beach.”

Gene Dare

56, web designer, from Mississauga
“This is more of a segregated beach than a clothing-optional beach—the city designed it to have a clothing-mandatory side and a clothing-optional one. The problem is, that people from the clothing-mandatory side are coming over to our side. I’ve seen women leave because they were surrounded by gawking men.”

What now? “The city should give the nudists the north part of the beach and keep the clothing-mandatory side. Also, every beach in Toronto should be clothing-optional.

Nature Boy

57, IT professional, from Brooklyn
“There’s nothing sexual about being nude. How many erections do you see? A lot of people like to say that they don’t have the body to be a nudist. What they really mean is that they don’t have the body for porn. Anyone who has a body can be a nudist.”

What now? “It would be helpful if the city changed the sign from ‘clothing-optional’ to ‘nude.’ They should also add a sign that indicates how nude people need to be, sort of like the sign that tells people how tall they need to be to go on a ride (I’m being facetious). The city should have someone patrolling the area to handle people who refuse to remove their clothes. But that costs money, so I don’t see it happening.”

Donnie D.

34, engineer, from High Park
“The only reason I’d want everyone who comes here to be nude is because of the limited space. I’m okay with fully clothed people, but on nicer days, it can get completely packed.”

What now? “I have no problem with people who want to keep their clothes on. I don’t think everyone should be pushed out of their comfort zone. It does take a certain level of comfort to be at this beach, even clothed, not to mention nude.”

Galen L.

29, marketing professional, from Summerhill
“I’m not a nudist—I just want to even out my tan because I was cycling all day yesterday. I’m also just having fun, playing cards with my buddies with my bum in the air.”

What now? “Nobody should be allowed to tell you to take off your clothes, even at a clothing-optional beach. It’s 2016. My body, my choice.”

Rob G.

29, management consultant, from downtown Toronto
“I’ve been to this beach before, but this is my first time being nude. It’s kind of fun to have the option of doing so in a comfortable environment. It’s also liberating.”

What now? “You can’t ask everyone to conform to what you want. From what I’ve seen, it’s mostly gay men here, or straight men with their partners.”

Victoria Chapman

60, unemployed, from downtown Toronto
“I like the freedom and comfort. I call bras harnesses, and to be strapped up in harnesses all day is uncomfortable. Nowadays, you see mostly naked people during the week and clothed people on the weekends. There should be a place where people can go to be naked without having to worry about someone taking out a camera.”

What now? “My opinion is that the current ‘clothing-optional’ sign should be changed to ‘totally nude,’ and the ‘clothing-mandatory’ sign should be changed to ‘clothing-optional.’ There’s no right way to handle this problem—in the same way that we continue to have dogs here despite the ‘no dogs allowed’ signs.”