Posted: June 10, 2020 at 4:13 pm

Photo by Foundation for Environmental Education

Canada has thousands of kilometers of shoreline, spanning both coasts as well as the many lakes, rivers, and other swimming spots inland. It’s no wonder Canada is home to so many world-class waterfront destinations.

In early 2020, Swim Drink Fish, the nonprofit behind the Swim Guide initiative, became the National Operator of the Blue Flag program in Canada. The Blue Flag program recognizes communities working hard to promote swimmable, drinkable, fishable water.

What is a Blue Flag beach?

When you visit a beach or marina with a Blue Flag, you know that it is being managed sustainably, that it is accessible and inclusive for all, that it has high-quality services and safety procedures, and that it actively monitors water quality.

Blue Flags are only awarded to beaches and marinas for one season. This means that the beach or marina is continually living up to these high standards.

Blue Flag beaches meet 33 criteria across four categories:

  • Environmental Education and Information
  • Water Quality
  • Environmental Management
  • Safety and Services

Blue Flag marinas meet 38 criteria across six categories:

  • Environmental Education and Information
  • Environmental Management
  • Safety and Services
  • Water Quality
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Social and Community Involvement
Swim Drink Fish works closely with Blue Flag International to ensure that the Blue Flag beach near you meets the standards used worldwide.

Aboiteau Beach, Cap-Pelé, New Brunswick. Photo by Photo by cjuneau

Why are Blue Flag beaches important?

Beyond letting you know which beaches in Canada are sustainably managed and accessible, with high-quality services, safety procedures, and water that is being monitored, Blue Flag beaches connect you to your local waters so that you can learn more about them and why access to them is so vital.

At Blue Flag beaches, environmental education activities are offered and promoted in addition to a permanent display of information relevant to the site in terms of biodiversity, ecosystems and environmental phenomena.

Blue Flag beaches and marinas also provide a sense of pride to communities and attract tourism. Blue Flag marinas also help protect the water and local environment by sustainably managing all types of waste, including recyclables, litter, compost, and hazardous waste.


As of 2020, here are all the Blue Flag beaches in Canada

Aboiteau Beach, Cap-Pelé, New Brunswick

Bell Park Beach, Sudbury, Ontario

Bluffer’s Park Beach, Toronto, Ontario

Canatara Park Beach, Sarnia, Ontario

Centre Island Beach, Toronto, Ontario

Cherry Beach, Toronto, Ontario

Gibraltar Point Beach, Toronto, Ontario

Grand Bend Beach, Municipality of Lambton Shores, Ontario

Hanlan’s Point Beach, Toronto, Ontario

Kew-Balmy Beach, Toronto, Ontario

Moonlight Beach, Sudbury, Ontario

Outlet Beach, Sandbanks Provincial Park, Prince Edward County, Ontario

Parlee Beach Provincial Park, Shediac, New Brunswick

Pier Beach (Bayfield Main Beach), Bluewater, Ontario

Plage de l’Est, Magog, Quebec

Plage de l’Ouest, Magog, Quebec

Plage des Cantons, Magog, Quebec

Port Burwell East Beach, Port Burwell, Ontario

Port Glasgow Beach, Municipality of West Elgin, Ontario

Port Stanley Main Beach, Port Stanley, Ontario

Spine Beach, Elliot Lake, Ontario

Spruce Beach, Elliot Lake, Ontario

Victoria Beach, Cobourg, Ontario

Ward’s Island Beach, Toronto, Ontario

Wasaga Beach Area 1, Wasaga, Ontario

Wasaga Beach Area 2, Wasaga, Ontario

Wasaga Beach Area 5, Wasaga, Ontario

Waubuno Beach, Parry Sound, Ontario

Woodbine Beach, Toronto, Ontario


Want to submit a Blue Flag application for your beach or marina? Click here for details on the application process for beaches, and for marinas.

Swim Guide
is supported by
* The RBC Foundation

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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