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Several GTA beaches awarded Blue Flag certification

Woodbine Beach on March 19, 2016. CITYNEWS/Diana Pereira

The countdown to the long weekend is on and for some it means spending time outdoors and, if you are brave, even a little dip in the water.

If swimming is on your to do list, there’s good news.

Several GTA beaches have just been Blue Flag certified – a prestigious international certification that makes them among the best in the world.

“It is an eco-award that’s awarded to beaches and marinas that meet a really high level of water quality, environmental management and they provide environmental education opportunities and also have high safety standards,” Kelsey Scarfone, water programs manager with Environmental Defence, explained.

Among the Toronto beaches recognized are Centre Island, Cherry, Kew-Balmy and Woodbine.

But will you need to take advantage of those beaches to cool off this long weekend?

680 NEWS meteorologist Jill Taylor says the movement of a warm front could mean a big temperature difference.

“It could mean having highs in the low to mid teens or highs in the 20s, so still a lot depending on how that warm front tracks. We’ll really have to watch that over the next couple of days,” she explained.

Right now the weekend forecast calls for cloudy skies on Saturday with a high of 13 C, showers on Sunday with a high of 12 C and more showers likely on holiday Monday and a high of 13 C.

As for Lake Ontario, right now it’s more suited to polar bears with the water temperature in the single digits.

For more information on the Blue Flag program, click here.