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May 31, 2013
Eight of Toronto's beaches will open on Saturday
Eight of Toronto's 11 swimming beaches will be officially open this weekend. Lifeguards will be in place at all but three beaches on Saturday. The remaining three will have lifeguards in place by June 15.

Toronto boasts some of the best swimming beaches around. Eight of Toronto's 11 swimming beaches have earned Blue Flags over the past few years, making them a great choice for family fun and cooling down during the hot summer.

Acquiring a Blue Flag is not easy. The Blue Flag program is a highly respected and internationally recognized eco-label for swimming beaches. An independent agency, Environmental Defence, operates the program in Canada and is responsible for monitoring 31 factors, including water quality, environmental management and education, safety and services. Blue Flags fly across the world, identifying beaches that meet the highest criteria for excellence.

The City is required to apply for Blue Flag status annually and accreditation is still pending for 2013.

Toronto’s beaches are:

- Bluffer’s Beach (Blue Flag 2012) - lifeguards in place this weekend
- Centre Island Beach (Blue Flag 2012) - lifeguards in place this weekend
- Cherry Beach (Blue Flag 2012) - lifeguards in place this weekend
- Gibraltar Point Beach (Blue Flag 2012) - lifeguards will be in place by June 15
- Hanlan’s Point Beach (Blue Flag 2012) - lifeguard this weekend
- Kew-Balmy Beach (Blue Flag 2012) - lifeguards in place this weekend
- Marie Curtis Park Beach - lifeguards will be in place by June 15
- Rouge Beach - lifeguards will be in place by June 15
- Sunnyside Beach - lifeguards in place this weekend
- Ward’s Island Beach (Blue Flag 2012) - lifeguards in place this weekend
- Woodbine Beaches (Blue Flag 2012) - lifeguards in place this weekend

The City’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation division operates and maintains all recreation-related beach facilities and amenities. This service includes regular beach grooming and care of washrooms and change rooms. Toronto Police Marine Unit provides lifeguard services and takes daily water samples on behalf of Toronto Water and Toronto Public Health.

Toronto tests beach water quality daily at its 11 swimming beaches from June through to Labour Day. These samples are analyzed, using the most stringent testing standards in the world, to ensure Toronto’s beaches meet the highest water quality standards for swimming. If water tests show E. coli levels exceed the provincial guidelines of 100 E. coli per 100 ml of water, Toronto Public Health warns against swimming at the affected beach. Toronto's Blue Flag beaches met the criteria for swimming, on average, 96 per cent of the time last summer.

Daily water quality postings are available on the Beaches Hotline (416-392-7161), the web or via an iPhone App available at

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media Contact
Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation media line



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