Fact Sheet

July, 2017

There are 11 designated swimming beaches in the City of Toronto. The City is committed to maintaining high standards for beach and water quality.

The 11 swimming beaches are inspected regularly and their status (open/partially open/closed), including water quality and lifeguard supervision, is posted online: http://bit.ly/2eLPcXz.

Toronto beaches are considered safe for swimming and recreation when posted open or partially open.

Visitors should always take all normal safety precautions: check the beach status and water quality before visiting, obey signage, ensure appropriate supervision, watch for hazards such as sharp rocks or quick drop-offs, never swim alone.

The City of Toronto takes daily water samples from the supervised beaches across the city and tests for E. coli bacteria.

When E. coli levels are high, Toronto Public Health posts warning signs against swimming.

Water quality might be compromised by storm water run-off or other contaminants.  The public should not swim during and after storms, floods, or heavy rainfall. Cloudy water can be an indicator of high levels of bacteria that may pose a risk to human health.

Open beaches are supervised from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The beach season, which begins in early June, continues until Labour Day.

This year, the unprecedented water levels in Lake Ontario and the wet conditions have affected the city’s beaches and waterfront areas.

Many beaches have large areas that remain underwater due to high lake levels.

Regular grooming is not currently feasible at all of the zones of the beaches due to the high lake effect. Wherever possible, grooming continues at all beaches.

Blue flag status will be possible once lake levels recede.

Toronto’s swimming beaches are well-recognized for their quality and standards.  In June and July 2016, the city’s 11 swimming beaches were open over 96% of the time and five of those beaches were open 100% of the swimming season.

Toronto’s 11 Swimming Beaches:

  • Marie Curtis Park
  • East Beach
  • Sunnyside
  • Hanlan’s Point
  • Gibraltar Point
  • Centre Island
  • Ward’s Island
  • Cherry Beach
  • Woodbine Beaches
  • Kew Balmy
  • Bluffer’s Park

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Media contact: Wynna Brown, Strategic Communications, wynna.brown@toronto.ca, 416-919-6503.