Residents and visitors to the famous Signal Hill in St. John’s, N.L., say a new fence erected at the national historic site is an eyesore that ruins the view of the city’s harbour.

Parks Canada said it put up the fence for safety reasons and to improve the experience of paying guests watching plays and historical reenactments in a nearby field.

One park goer told NTV News she was “surprised” at the government agency putting it up near the visitors centre.

Before the fence was erected over the past several days, she said people could take in the “beautiful view” from atop the hill.

But the fence effectively blocks off non-paying patrons from the performance site, which hosts productions from Shakespeare by the Sea and those put on by the Signal Hill Tattoo, a historical group which reenacts scenes from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Parks Canada told NTV News the fence was designed to improve the experience of those taking in those shows.

The agency also said it was intended to prevent a number of close-call vehicle accidents since drivers tended to slow down to allow passengers to take in the view.

But one park goer said that the fence is “so antithetical to what I understand about Newfoundland, which is this open-friendly place.”

She called it an “eyesore” and said there was “something that was so in your face about it.” One man said the new design didn’t compliment the more historic buildings in the area.

Despite the grumbling from visitors and residents, the government agency said it has no plans to remove the wooden fence.

With files from NTV News