Now serving 8 countries around the world, Swim Guide’s roots are in the Great Lakes.

Did you know that Swim Guide was born and raised in the Great Lakes? Swim Guide was launched in 2011 with water quality for 1,000 Great Lakes beaches. The Guide’s mission was to better protect public health from contamination, and at the same time, help people connect to these magnificent bodies of water. Our love for these lakes inspired the Swim Drink Fish movement, and is at the heart of the Swim Guide initiative. Downtown Toronto, on the shores of Lake Ontario, continues to serve as Swim Guide’s headquarters.

The world’s most significant fresh water resource, the Great Lakes watershed spans over 520,000 kms, and has a water surface area of 244,000 square kms. Also known as the Great Lakes water basin, the system includes the smaller watersheds of the 5 great lakes, and the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers.

Situated between Canada and the United States, outdoor recreation possibilities are endless across this transnational watershed. This is particularly true of recreational water activities, such as swimming, paddling, and boating, which are all integral to the regions culture. From the western shores of Lake Superior to the far reaches of the St. Lawrence, the beaches of the Great Lakes watershed are as diverse as the 40,000,000 people who call the region home.

2018 Great Lakes Beach Report

Swim Guide has been sharing recreational water quality information for beaches across the Great Lakes for over 8 years. This year (2018), more users than ever used our platform to learn about their local waters. In fact, beaches across the Great Lakes were clicked over 1,500,000 times in 2018 alone. The Great Lakes Beach Report employs user data from Swim Guide to determine the top beaches for each individual lake and river watershed.

Great Lakes Watershed

Beaches: 1543
Clicks: 1,593,301

Top 10 Beaches

1. Woodbine Beach
Lake Ontario Watershed
Clicks: 11866

2. Bluffers Beach
Lake Ontario Watershed
Clicks: 10382

3. Sandy Beach
St. Lawrence Watershed
Clicks: 10168

4. Big Sandy Bay – Wolfe Island
St. Lawrence Watershed
Clicks: 9357

5. Lac Philippe, Plage Breton
St. Lawrence Watershed
Clicks: 8663

6. Sandbanks Provincial Park – Lake Ontario Beach
Lake Ontario Watershed
Clicks: 8073

7. Kinsmen Beach
Lake Ontario Watershed
Clicks: 6684

8. Wasaga Beach – Zone B
Lake Huron Watershed
Clicks: 6179

9. Lac Meech, Plage O’Brien
St. Lawrence Watershed
Clicks: 6169

10. Victoria
Lake Ontario Watershed
Clicks: 6044

Photo by Parker Muzzerall, Killarney Provincial Park

Have you heard of Great Lakes Guide yet? The first comprehensive digital guide to the Great Lakes Region, Great Lakes Guide includes all 1543 Great Lakes beaches from Swim Guide, as well as national parks, provincial parks, conservation authorities, Indigenous traditional territory, and more. Create an account today and start exploring all the Great Lakes have to offer!

**Swim Guide compiles data from regional and municipal health authorities, other governmental bodies, community monitoring programs, and other organizations conducting accredited recreational water quality monitoring.

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* The RBC Foundation

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