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June 1, 2005
Annual water testing begins at Toronto beaches
With temperatures steadily rising, the City of Toronto has begun its annual
water-testing program at Toronto beaches. Starting this week, Toronto’s
beaches will be lifeguarded and put to the test. Today’s test results show
that it is a good day to head to the beach. All Toronto beaches have been
tested and are open and safe (excluding Marie Curtis Park East Beach) for

During the summer, the Toronto Water Division uses boats to collect water
samples from the waterfront beaches every day. The Provincial Health Lab
analyzes the samples and results are reviewed by Toronto Public Health to
assess whether the beaches are safe for swimming. Signs warning against
swimming are posted when E.Coli bacteria levels exceed 100 counts per 100
millilitres of water, the most stringent standard in North America.

"We have continually received good water quality results at several of our
beaches," said Mike Price, General Manager, Toronto Water. Price added that
Clarke (Cherry) Beach, Hanlan’s Point Beach, Ward’s Island Beach, and
Woodbine/Beaches Park had the best results during the last swimming season.

Price also said work is still needed to bring others up to the same levels, or
better. The City has started implementation of its 25-year plan, called the
Water Pollution Solution (formerly known as the "Wet Weather Flow Management
Master Plan"), at a total cost of about $1 billion.

"It’s our goal to make the beaches a source of pride for residents and visitors
alike, but it’s going to take the time and commitment of everyone - including
residents, businesses and the City," he added.

"Swimming in contaminated water can cause ear, nose and throat infections,
stomach upsets, skin rashes or diarrhea," said Mahesh Patel, Acting Manager,
Healthy Environments, Toronto Public Health. "Young children, the elderly and
those who are chronically ill or have weakened immune systems may be more
susceptible to infection from swimming in contaminated water," added Patel.

Before heading out to the beach, call the City’s Beach Water Quality Hotline at
416-392-7161 or visit for beach
locations and updated test results.

For information on how residents can be part of the solution to water
pollution, visit

Media contact:

Paulette den Elzen
Senior Communications Co-ordinator
Support Services

Frank Giorno
Media Relations Co-ordinator
Public Health



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