As sweltering heat is about to overcome Toronto this weekend, the City of Toronto announced it will officially open its supervised beach program at all 10 of Toronto’s swimming beaches beginning Saturday, June 5. Lifeguards will be on-duty at these beaches and will supervise designated swim areas seven days a week, from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. With hot summer weather on the way, it’s important for Torontonians to have opportunities to cool down and stay active outdoors.
Although Toronto’s beaches have remained open so that the public can get fresh air and exercise, swimming is not permitted in undesignated areas. Swimming in these areas can be dangerous due to unseen hazards and boaters may not be able to see swimmers in time to avoid collision. Residents and visitors are encouraged to enjoy the beach safely by swimming only in designated swimming areas with lifeguard supervision. Parents and caregivers are reminded to supervise children at all times and stay within an arm’s reach of children who are in or near the water.
“We’ve worked throughout the pandemic to make sure our city is safe and open for everyone within the public health advice. I want to thank City staff for ensuring we can safely open our swimming beaches again this summer. Toronto boasts some of the best beaches in Ontario and beach season is well under way. We want everyone to be safe when swimming and enjoying other water activities. This is why we regularly test beach water quality and ensure swimming beaches are supervised by lifeguards.”– Mayor John Tory
The City’s beach water quality testing program, which includes daily water sample analysis by Toronto Public Health, and lifeguard supervision, will ensure people can swim safely at Toronto beaches. Learn more about beach water quality testing.
City designated swimming beaches include:
- Bluffer’s Park Beach (Blue Flag)
- Centre Island Beach (Blue Flag)
- Cherry/Clarke Beach (Blue Flag)
- Gibraltar Point Beach (Blue Flag)
- Hanlan’s Point Beach (Blue Flag)
- Kew-Balmy Beach (Blue Flag)
- Marie Curtis Park East Beach
- Sunnyside Beach
- Ward’s Island Beach (Blue Flag)
- Woodbine Beach (Blue Flag)
While visiting a beach or park, residents must ensure that they follow provincial guidelines pertaining to outdoor gatherings and are reminded to practise physical distancing and avoid crowding to stop the spread of COVID-19. If the beaches are full, return at another time when the beach is less crowded.
“Swimming is a great way to stay healthy and keep cool this summer. Eight of Toronto’s beaches are supervised by lifeguards and are Blue Flag certified, meeting high standards for water quality. I hope everyone has a chance to get outside and safely enjoy the water!”– Councillor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rough Park), Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee
Toronto boasts some of the best swimming beaches around. Eight of Toronto’s beaches have been awarded Blue Flag certification, meeting high standards for water quality, environmental management and education, and safety and services, which makes these beaches perfect for swimming during the hot summer months.
The City is working with the Lifesaving Society of Canada on a comprehensive public education campaign about beach and water safety to help residents better understand safe beach practices, which include staying hydrated, wearing sunscreen and not using substances while spending time at the beach or while swimming. The campaign highlights the importance of swimming only in designated areas, supervising non-swimmers and children at all times and information about the flag system to understand the dangers of swimming in a lake. Each lifesaving stand across the waterfront will be marked with a Parks Locate Point (PLP) and 911 signs to further support safety measures for the public this coming beach season.
Throughout the summer, people gather and enjoy City beaches in larger numbers, and a consequence is increased litter. Each day, park staff groom beaches, empty waste bins and use tractor-mounted grooming equipment to remove beach debris, in addition to the manual collection of larger items. People can do their part to keep beaches clean by properly disposing of waste in the bins provided and “packing out” if bins are full. Note that there are more than 10,000 waste bins all across the park system. Any overflowing bins or litter hotspots should be reported to 311.
More information about the City’s swimming beaches is available at www.toronto.ca/beaches or by calling 311.