OUR BEACHES ARE CLEANER

8 out of 11 Toronto beaches are Blue Flag certified

This means that, thanks to substantial efforts by the City of Toronto and other partners to reduce E. coli levels, most Toronto beaches now meet international certification standards for water quality, beach management, safety, and environmental education.

Implementation of the City of Toronto’s Wet Weather Flow Master Plan, sewage treatment upgrades, beach grooming measures, and cross-connection trackdown efforts have helped to significantly reduce the numbers of unsafe or “posted days” at Toronto beaches.

bar graph showing steady decrease in number of posted days for Toronto beaches from 2000 to 2019

Going for a swim? Check the water quality conditions before you head out.

aerial view of Kew Beach in Toronto

… But We’re Not Done Yet

The City of Toronto continues to work diligently to reduce contamination at waterfront beaches, and to address any remaining sources of E. coli.

The Don and Central Waterfront project is a $3-billion-plus initiative to improve water quality in the Lower Don River, Taylor Massey Creek, and Toronto’s Inner Harbour by improving stormwater management and keeping combined sewer overflow out of Toronto’s waterways. LEARN MORE.

paddle boarders at Kew Beach in Toronto

Beach Closures De-listing Criteria

cover page of Beaches Criteria Update reportIn 2020, the Toronto and Region Remedial Action Plan (RAP) updated the de-listing criteria for Beneficial Use Impairment (BUI) 10 – Beach Closures.

The new criteria were developed with input from the Beach Closures technical working group, and the Toronto and Region RAP team, both of which comprise experts from all three levels of government.

The de-listing criteria are:

“Toronto and Region Area of Concern (AOC) bathing beaches are open 80% or more of the swimming season as determined by Toronto Public Health.

At bathing beaches where this guideline cannot be achieved for 80% of the swimming season:

  • Sources of fecal pollution and impaired water quality must be identified and pollution prevention and remediation plans implemented.
  • Risk management strategies and communication plans must be implemented to protect human health.”

Actions to address these criteria include:

MANAGEMENT ACTIONS

RISK COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CRITERIA.