By Kris Scheuer
The city’s diving head first into a pilot project to make Sunnyside Beach more swimmable.
In the past poor water quality has forced the city to issue warnings against swimming at Sunnyside, keeping the beach closed. Between 2005 and 2008, the local hot spot was only open for swimming between 31 and 65 percent of the season.
But it could soon be smoother sailing for the popular beach as the city has allocated $1 million to install a curtain to keep pollution from the Humber River away from a swimming section of the beach.
“The goal is to be swimming by mid to late June,” said Parkdale-High Park councillor Bill Saundercook. “So I intend to jump in that lake as soon as I get the green light to make a splash in more ways than one.
“This is a good expenditure to get citizens of Toronto to be swimming in front of Sunnyside Beach.”
Sunnyside resident Mark Ellwood is cautiously willing to extend a toe to test the waters, but not quite committed to taking the plunge. “It would be great to swim in the lake if you knew that the water was crystal clear and pristine and you could drink it,” he said. “A lot more people would swim there.”Due to effluent from the Humber River, Sunnyside has not had a good reputation, he said.
“It has this massive history of pollution,” Ellwood said.
“It will take a lot of convincing for people to trust it and swim there.”
Starting in June, the city will posts daily updates on swimming conditions at www.toronto.ca/beach.
(Originally published at http://www.mytowncrier.ca on May 27/09)