If you plan on visiting one of Calypso’s popular water parks and hotels this summer, either in Ontario near Ottawa or here in Valcartier, Quebec – you might see the results of a new dress code. Not only are men allowed to go shirtless around theirpools, but now women have the right to go topless as well, if they choose to do so. That’s right, ‘Women allowed to go topless at Quebec and Ontario water parks.’
Calypso’s new rules came about after a woman had contacted them, as well as City of Cornwall in Ontario in 2017, and asked if women were allowed to go topless at their pools. According to a report by Le Droit, an Ottawa based daily newspaper, the woman then filed a complaint basing it on the Ontario Court of Appeal’s 1996 decision in Regina v. Jacob, which stated the practice should be tolerated in a public place if ‘the standard of tolerance of the community’ considers that the gesture is not ‘unduly sexual’. Then in July of 2017, the Calypso-Valcartier Group decided that it would still prohibit women from showing off their breasts in all its water parks.
But somewhere down the line it appears that Calypso did indeed change the rules. It was noted in the newspaper’s report that just recently the Calypso Water Park dress code requiring woman to wear tops, no longer mentions this prohibition. Their policy does state that ‘bathers of all genders are required to wear an appropriate swimsuit bottom’ – and also states that it ‘reserves the right to determine if a swimsuit is appropriate’. “Our priority was really to have the most welcoming environment possible,” spokesperson for the group, Marie-Ève Hudon, was quoted as saying. There is no distinction between men and women, everyone is welcome in Calypso, just as in Valcartier.”
Women allowed to go topless at Quebec and Ontario water parks
In 1991, toplessness as an indecent act was challenged in Guelph, Ontario, by Gwen Jacob, who removed her shirt and was charged with indecency. Part of her defense was the double standards between men and women. Although she was convicted, it was overturned by the Court and she was acquitted in December of 1996 by the Ontario Court of Appeal – on the basis that ‘the act of being topless is not in itself a sexual act or indecent’. Court records also state, ‘There was nothing degrading or dehumanizing in what the plaintiff did. The scope of her activity was limited and was entirely non-commercial. No one who was offended was forced to continue looking at her’ and that furthermore ‘the community standard of tolerance when all of the relevant circumstances are taken into account’ was not exceeded. The case determined that being topless is not indecent within the meaning of the Criminal Code. How do you feel about? Especially as a woman, are you ready to remove your tops and feel the freedom – and well, the breeze?