How swimmable are Toronto beaches?

The city tested eleven beaches daily in swim season
Here is a wrap up of how clean the water was summer ’09
Some beaches safe daily, others posted high levels of E.coli
By Kris Scheuer

BW Saundercook2.jpg

Councillor Bill Saundercook swims at Sunnyside in mid-June with his wedding suit on to promote how safe it is. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.

It’s a little chilly for a dive in the lake at any of Toronto’s beaches now, but these hot spots are packed all summer.
Interestingly, most people go down for a stroll on the boardwalk or walk their dog, but not for a swim in the water.
But our beaches are top notch, in most cases. In fact seven of them fly a Blue Flag, which is an international rating.
And the city tests beach water daily from June 1 to the first week of September.
So just how well did Toronto’s 11 beaches stack up this season?
Take a look for yourself.
All results are based on city tests for E.coli levels in the beach water. Anything over 100 E.coli per 100 ml of water was concerned unsafe to swim and anything under that was smooth sailing. All results are for the day they were posted online, but based on water tests from the day before.

June highlights
All eleven beaches okay for swimming on June 1-6, 13-14, 17 and 19.
June 7-12 Marie Curtis Beach East was not safe for example on June 21 this hot spot had 758 E.coli per 100 ml of water.
Woodbine was one of the beaches safe everyday.
Starting on June 22 no beach tests were posted because of the city strike that started the day before.

July highlights
July 10 results are posted again but only twice weekly for five beaches as city strike is still on.
Cherry is one of the beaches still tested and it is okay consistently throughout July.
Bluffer’s Park Beach was not so great. While it had good days, July 25 was just one example of when the city recommended against swims here because of 633 E.coli per 100 ml of water.

August highlights
August 1 results now posted again daily for all eleven beaches plus the Sunnyside Enclosure site: Rouge, Bluffer’s Park, Kew-Balmy,  Woodbine, Cherry, Ward’s Island, Hanlan’s Point, Centre Island, Gibraltar Point, Sunnyside, Sunnyside Enclosure and Marie Curtis Park East.
Aug 1 Marie Curtis Park East Beach has E.coli levels of an incredible 1,252 per 100 ml of water, according to city.
Aug 8-9 all sites safe for swimming.
Aug 12 Rouge Beach has an even more shocking test result of 1,885 E.coli per 100 ml of water, the city’s site shows.
Aug 23 Sunnyside Beach‘s results are also bad with 815 E.coli per 100 ml of water.
Aug 30 Kew-Balmy has E.coli levels of 1,209 per 100 ml of water.

September highlights
Sept 2-5 all beaches okay
Sept 1, 6, 7 Marie Curtis has negative results ranging from 105 to 241 E.coli per 100 ml of water.
Sept 7 is the last posting for beach water tests for the season.

Testing resume June, 2010.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s