Several Toronto beaches awarded prestigious ‘Blue Flag’ award

When it comes to ranking Canada's cleanest beaches, nearly 10 beaches in Toronto have been awarded the prestigious 'Blue Flag'. Afua Baah has the details.

By Afua Baah

Nearly 10 Toronto beaches have received the prestigious Blue Flag distinction this year.

Out of 16 beaches, and nine marinas in the country that have earned the award, eight beaches and one marina are found in the city, including Kew-Balmy Beach, Hanlan’s Point and Centre Island Beach.

Blue Flag is an international award given to beaches and marinas that meet high environmental, safety, and cleanliness standards.

Swim Drink Fish, the National Operator for Blue Flag Canada, tells CityNews many people think that Toronto isn’t a swimmable city, but it has been for a number of years.

“We’re also blessed with this incredible great lake, Lake Ontario, and so a lot of the public spaces and beaches in Toronto are sort of away from the pipes and the water’s very clean,” said Mark Mattson, President of Swim Drink Fish Canada.

Blue Flag Canada said there’s several criteria a beach must meet in order to receive the distinction. “Water quality is really central to a Blue Flag beach but in addition, there’s other things like access, lifeguards, garbage, are they cleaned up?” said Mattson.

Mattson also said taking a dip in clean water, is a boost for small businesses.

“Blue Flag international has done some studies on that, that people spend about $50-$60 dollars when they come to the beach so it’s a real boost to the local economy.”

The organization regularly checks beaches for water quality, meaning the certification can change.

“We keep track of the litter, floatable plastics in the water, water temperature, all these other indicators that help us understand is the water getting better or do we need to invest in more to protect our water,” said Mattson.

Many people are expected to head to the waters over the coming days when all city beaches are set to open this weekend.

Here is the full list of beaches and marinas in Toronto who received the “Blue Flag” distinction:

  • Bluffer’s Beach
  • Kew-Balmy Beach
  • Centre Island Beach
  • Cherry Beach
  • Hanlan’s Point
  • Gibraltar Beach
  • Royal Canadian Yacht Club
  • Ward’s Island Beach
  • Woodbine Beach

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today