Green means the beach’s most recent test results met relevant water quality standards.
Red means the beach’s most recent test results failed to meet water quality standards.
Grey means water quality information for the beach is too old (more than 7 days old) to be considered current, or that info is unavailable, or unreliable.
When swimming season is over or when a beach's water quality data has not been updated frequently enough (weekly) it goes into historical status. This means that rather than displaying current data it displays the beach's average water quality for that year.
Green means the beach passed water quality tests 95% of the time or more.
Yellow means the beach passed water quality tests 60-95% of the time.
Red means the beach failed water quality tests 40% of the time or more.
We may manually set the status for a specific beach if we have concerns about the sampling protocol, if there is an emergency, if monitoring practices don't exist or have recently changed, or other reasons that render this site "special."
Green means the beach has historically excellent or pristine water quality, but there is no current data.
Red means the water at the site has water quality issues or there is an emergency.
Grey means there is no current water quality information, the beach is under construction, there has been an event that has rendered water quality information unreliable or unavailable.
See the beach description for more information regarding their special status.
Here at Swim Guide we want Torontonians and Toronto visitors to find a great place to swim this August long weekend! That’s why we have made a list of Toronto beaches with up-to-date information on their current state. At the top of the list you will find beaches with higher water quality results and ones least affected by the spring flooding. We have also listed the closed beaches at the bottom of the list, so make sure you don’t plan a trip to one of these locations.
Flooding and Toronto Beaches
During the spring and into summer, Lake Ontario experienced very high water levels. Toronto beaches bore the full effects of the historic water levels. The water level had major impacts on many bathing beaches and recreational water spots in the city. The majority of beaches were closed for the first half of summer and some will remain closed for the remainder of the swim season. The City of Toronto reopened the Toronto Island Park on July 31st, just in time for the August Long Weekend. However, even though beaches are listed as open or partially open by the city, some beaches are not in the best of shape to host a beach day because of the flooding.
Just a reminder to check for up-to-date water quality results on the Swim Guide website, or download the app. Also, because so many beaches are only partially open make sure to check this City of Toronto website for information on beach closures during the August Long Weekend.
Here’s a list of the beaches of Toronto along with their current state of beach day readiness.
Passed 2017 water quality tests 92.98% of the time
Flooding Status: the City of Toronto opened this beach July 31st. The beach area is much smaller than in previous years. The lifeguard towers and signs are below the water line (photo below taken August 2nd). Arrive early to get a spot for your towel at Ward’s Beach. The space is limited due to the flooding.
Passed 2017 water quality tests 92.98% of the time
Flooding status: the city of Toronto opened this beach July 31st, the access point being at the north end of the beach. A large portion of the north end of the beach is still covered in water (see photo below taken August 2nd). The southern part of the beach (the clothing optional beach) is severely affected by flooding. Access is prohibited to the southern area of the beach.
Passed 2017 water quality tests 91.84% of the time
Flooding Status: this beach is closed to the public from 5:30 am on August 2nd through August 4th for maintenance and repair work. The beach is expected to be open by August 5th. Portions of the beach have been affected by flooding, and some standing water remains on the beach. There is ample space, but arrive early for the premium spots. In addition to a sandy beach, lookouts, and trails there’s a grassy picnic area to enjoy.
Passed 2017 water quality tests 91.23% of the time
Flooding Status: the shoreline of Cherry Beach is narrower and shorter than previous years due to flooding, but the area still gets a lot of use. You will see people swimming between the buoys, and also laying on the beach. There is a nearby grassy area with picnic areas and wood BBQs.
Swim Guide shares the best information we have at the moment you ask for it. Always obey signs at the beach or advisories from official government agencies. Stay alert and check for other swimming hazards such as dangerous currents and tides. Please report your pollution concerns so Affiliates can help keep other beach-goers safe.
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