Toronto beach unsafe for swimming from high E. coli levels

Aug 13 2020, 10:08 am

Beaches and parks offer Toronto residents a chance to enjoy the summer, especially as activities like travel remain unlikely pursuits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But one beach in the city has been marked unsafe for swimming.

As of Thursday, Sunnyside Beach has 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.

City of Toronto

While the beach does actually stay below the quality standard with an E. coli level of 84, the water has gone through fluctuating numbers from day to day, making its safety unpredictable.

Sunnyside Beach has been unsafe to swim in since July 8.

City of Toronto

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 warning reads. “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.

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