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June 8, 2009
Great City, Great Beaches: Toronto's beach season starts with a splash
City Councillor Paula Fletcher (Ward 30 Toronto-Danforth), Chair of the Parks and Environment Committee, will kick off the 2009 beach season at Centre Island Beach, the perfect place to highlight City of Toronto swimming beaches and Toronto Island Park as the ultimate components of an affordable summer “staycation.” This event is a joint initiative of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation, Toronto Water, Toronto Public Health, Toronto Police Service and Environmental Defence.

Date: Wednesday, June 10
Time: 9 a.m.
Location: Centre Island Beach

Councillor Fletcher, Toronto Water General Manager Lou Di Gironimo and Dr. Rick Smith of Environmental Defence will raise a Blue Flag, City staff will take water samples, lifeguards will perform drills and the City’s border collies will demonstrate how they herd geese and gulls off swimming beaches.

This event is rain or shine. Media are encouraged to take the 8 a.m. ferry to Centre Island or the 8:45 a.m. ferry to Ward’s Island from the Toronto Ferry Docks at the foot of Bay Street. There will be a shuttle service from both Centre Island and Ward’s Island to Centre Island Beach. If you need to bring a vehicle to the Islands for this event, please call ahead to make logistical arrangements.

The Blue Flag program is a highly respected and internationally recognized eco-label for swimming beaches. Environmental Defence operates the program in Canada and is responsible for monitoring 27 factors including water quality, environmental management and education, safety and services.

June is Recreation and Parks Month. Participation in parks and recreation activities builds healthy communities and enhances quality of life for all Toronto residents. To find out more, visit

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Parks, Forestry and Recreation media hotline, 416-560-8726,



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