Gord Edgar Downie Pier at Breakwater Park

Kingston, Ontario

On July 26, 2018 Swim Drink Fish unveiled the Gord Edgar Downie Pier at Breakwater Park.

This swimming pier is a beacon for everyone who cares about swimmable, drinkable, fishable waters. For decades the city battled water pollution and now the Gord Edgar Downie Pier reclaims Kingston’s waterfront. It is the culmination of over 20 years of work by the Swim Drink Fish movement.

In 2017, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation donated $500,000 to the Gord Edgar Downie Pier and beach improvements at Breakwater Park. The grant was part of the Great Lakes Challenge, a challenge to communities and other funders to do more to restore the lakes. It unlocked further funding from the City of Kingston and the provincial and federal governments for wider park improvements. In June 2017, the project broke ground.

Breakwater Park renovations include a new park promenade, steps and seating along the waterfront, landscaping and tree planting, significant accessibility improvements, and a pedestrian bridge for the pier.

The Gord Edgar Downie Pier proves a swimmable, drinkable, fishable future is possible. And provides an example for cities across the Great Lakes. The Gord Edgar Downie Pier at Breakwater Park is Canada’s first deep-water urban swimming pier.

Learn more about Gord's connection to water and his growth in the Swim Drink Fish movement by watching our video, featuring Gord's words and live performances by friends including Paul Langlois and Sarah Harmer: https://youtu.be/QT4Kig9obAc.

COVID-19

Keep your distance from other people.

Practicing social distancing is still essential. Only go to the beach if you are able to keep 6 feet or 2 meters away from others. Follow the instructions provided by your local health authorities. If your community has asked that you remain indoors and away from others, do so. Spending a day in any crowded place is the worst thing we can do for our most vulnerable right now and will counter our efforts to curb the virus’s spread.

Water Quality
  • Passed water quality tests at least 95% of the time

  • Historical Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample, taken on September 2nd, 2021. Kingston Monitoring Hub updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on September 3th, 2021 at 11:58 AM.
For water quality icon legend, click:  
Monitoring Frequency

Gord Edgar Downie Pier at Breakwater Park is sampled weekly from July 24th to September 15th.

Source Information

KFL&A Public Health monitors recreational water quality at sites in this region. The sampling season starts mid-June and continues to the end of August. Water at all sites is sampled for E. coli and Total coliform at all sites. Water samples are collected weekly. KFL&A Public Health issues beach advisories when the geometric mean concentration of at least five samples is at least 200 E. coli / 100 mL of water or when a single sample is at least 400 E. coli / 100 mL of water. This guideline comes from Canada’s Guidelines for Canadian Recreational Water Quality (2012). It is applied to beaches in Ontario in accordance with Ontario’s Recreational Water Protocol, 2018. Prior to 2018 beaches in Ontario were posted when the geometric mean of 5 samples collected within a 30-day period exceeded 100 E. coli / 100 mL of water. Results are posted to Swim Guide as soon as lab results are available. They are also available at https://www.kflaph.ca/en/healthy-living/public-beach-listings.aspx.

In Swim Guide, a beach is marked Green when the geometric mean of at least 5 samples is below 200 E.coli / 100 mL water and each individual sample concentration is below 400 E.coli/100 mL. A beach is marked Red when the results are equal to or above a geometric mean of 200 E.coli / 100 mL water and/or 400 E.coli / 100 mL. A beach is marked Grey when there are no current results or there is no available information. The Ministry of the Environment F-5-5 Procedure says that a clean beach is open at least 95% of the swimming season, even if it is near a sewage pipe or combined sewer outfall. This rule applies to every place that is public, accessible, and feels like a good place to swim. When all else fails, the Ontario Environmental Protection Act strongly states that no one can interfere with the use that you can make of a public waterway - like swimming! The City of Kingston has combined sewers monitored by Utilities Kingston. Try to avoid contact with the water for 48 hours after a rainfall event. To view Utilities Kingston’s live combined sewer overflow monitoring data, visit: https://utilitieskingston.com/Wastewater/SewerOverflow/Map. DISCLAIMER: Historical data from 2017 and prior reflect the previous Ontario standard of a geometric mean of 100 E. coli /100 mL. Historical data from 2018 onward reflect the new Ontario Operational Approaches for Recreational Water Guideline, 2018: Geometric mean concentration 200 E. coli/ 100 mL and single-sample maximum concentration of 400 E. coli /100 mL.

Read more
Water Quality Graph

Gord Edgar Downie Pier at Breakwater Park

Kingston, Ontario

COVID-19

Keep your distance from other people.

Practicing social distancing is still essential. Only go to the beach if you are able to keep 6 feet or 2 meters away from others. Follow the instructions provided by your local health authorities. If your community has asked that you remain indoors and away from others, do so. Spending a day in any crowded place is the worst thing we can do for our most vulnerable right now and will counter our efforts to curb the virus’s spread.

Water Quality
  • Passed water quality tests at least 95% of the time
  • Historical Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample, taken on September 2nd, 2021. Kingston Monitoring Hub updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on September 3th, 2021 at 11:58 AM.
For water quality icon legend, click:  

On July 26, 2018 Swim Drink Fish unveiled the Gord Edgar Downie Pier at Breakwater Park.

This swimming pier is a beacon for everyone who cares about swimmable, drinkable, fishable waters. For decades the city battled water pollution and now the Gord Edgar Downie Pier reclaims Kingston’s waterfront. It is the culmination of over 20 years of work by the Swim Drink Fish movement.

In 2017, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation donated $500,000 to the Gord Edgar Downie Pier and beach improvements at Breakwater Park. The grant was part of the Great Lakes Challenge, a challenge to communities and other funders to do more to restore the lakes. It unlocked further funding from the City of Kingston and the provincial and federal governments for wider park improvements. In June 2017, the project broke ground.

Breakwater Park renovations include a new park promenade, steps and seating along the waterfront, landscaping and tree planting, significant accessibility improvements, and a pedestrian bridge for the pier.

The Gord Edgar Downie Pier proves a swimmable, drinkable, fishable future is possible. And provides an example for cities across the Great Lakes. The Gord Edgar Downie Pier at Breakwater Park is Canada’s first deep-water urban swimming pier.

Learn more about Gord's connection to water and his growth in the Swim Drink Fish movement by watching our video, featuring Gord's words and live performances by friends including Paul Langlois and Sarah Harmer: https://youtu.be/QT4Kig9obAc.

Monitoring Frequency

Gord Edgar Downie Pier at Breakwater Park is sampled weekly from July 24th to September 15th.

Source Information

KFL&A Public Health monitors recreational water quality at sites in this region. The sampling season starts mid-June and continues to the end of August. Water at all sites is sampled for E. coli and Total coliform at all sites. Water samples are collected weekly. KFL&A Public Health issues beach advisories when the geometric mean concentration of at least five samples is at least 200 E. coli / 100 mL of water or when a single sample is at least 400 E. coli / 100 mL of water. This guideline comes from Canada’s Guidelines for Canadian Recreational Water Quality (2012). It is applied to beaches in Ontario in accordance with Ontario’s Recreational Water Protocol, 2018. Prior to 2018 beaches in Ontario were posted when the geometric mean of 5 samples collected within a 30-day period exceeded 100 E. coli / 100 mL of water. Results are posted to Swim Guide as soon as lab results are available. They are also available at https://www.kflaph.ca/en/healthy-living/public-beach-listings.aspx.

In Swim Guide, a beach is marked Green when the geometric mean of at least 5 samples is below 200 E.coli / 100 mL water and each individual sample concentration is below 400 E.coli/100 mL. A beach is marked Red when the results are equal to or above a geometric mean of 200 E.coli / 100 mL water and/or 400 E.coli / 100 mL. A beach is marked Grey when there are no current results or there is no available information. The Ministry of the Environment F-5-5 Procedure says that a clean beach is open at least 95% of the swimming season, even if it is near a sewage pipe or combined sewer outfall. This rule applies to every place that is public, accessible, and feels like a good place to swim. When all else fails, the Ontario Environmental Protection Act strongly states that no one can interfere with the use that you can make of a public waterway - like swimming! The City of Kingston has combined sewers monitored by Utilities Kingston. Try to avoid contact with the water for 48 hours after a rainfall event. To view Utilities Kingston’s live combined sewer overflow monitoring data, visit: https://utilitieskingston.com/Wastewater/SewerOverflow/Map. DISCLAIMER: Historical data from 2017 and prior reflect the previous Ontario standard of a geometric mean of 100 E. coli /100 mL. Historical data from 2018 onward reflect the new Ontario Operational Approaches for Recreational Water Guideline, 2018: Geometric mean concentration 200 E. coli/ 100 mL and single-sample maximum concentration of 400 E. coli /100 mL.

Read more
Water Quality Graph

  Beach Location Water Quality
Kingston, Ontario
Kingston, Ontario
Kingston, Ontario
Kingston, Ontario
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