It can be unsafe to swim, even at designated swimming beaches, for 48 hours after a rainfall due to the possible presence of high levels of bacteria that could pose a risk to human health. The bacteria could be a result from water pollution, which is a complex issue and can come from many sources, predominantly those listed below.

Improving beach water quality has been a priority for Toronto City Council for many years; eight of the beaches used for swimming have been awarded internationally recognized Blue Flag certification. Learn more about water quality at Toronto’s beaches.

In addition to the Blue Flag beaches, there are dozens of active boat clubs and marinas that are safe for recreational activities such as sailing, canoeing and kayaking. Please note that Toronto Harbour is unsafe for swimming at any time.

Where Water Pollution Comes From