With the summer heat still upon us, taking a dip in Toronto’s beaches provides residents with a refreshing way to cool off. At this time, however, two of the city’s beaches have been marked unsafe for swimming.
As of Monday, Sunnyside Beach and Rouge Beach have both been deemed unsafe as E. coli levels exceed the City of Toronto’s established beach water quality standard of 100 E. coli per 100 millilitres of water.
Each of these beaches surpasses the quality standard with Sunnyside Beach’s E. coli level at 275 and Rouge Beach’s at 109.
According to the city, Lake Ontario is experiencing record high water levels, this combined with the heat, are prime conditions for the formation of bacteria.
“The public should not swim during and after storms, floods, or heavy rainfall,” the warnings read. “Cloudy water can be an indicator of high levels of bacteria that may pose a risk to human health.”
From June to Labour Day, the City of Toronto takes daily water samples from all 11 supervised beaches across the city and tests for E. coli bacteria. When E. coli levels are high Toronto Public Health posts warning signs against swimming.
If you’re wondering if your beach of choice is safe for swimming on a specific day, the status of the beach water is updated daily. Visit Toronto’s SwimSafe page for an up-to-date status of all the beaches in the city.
A reminder that swimming at any of the city’s beaches without the supervision of a lifeguard or outside of designated swim areas is not recommended.