Walking, but no swimming at Toronto's beaches after the torrential rain on July 8th
Photo Credit: courtesy of CBC

Toronto beaches closed to swimmers following storm


Elevated E. coli counts have raised concerns at eight of Toronto’s 11 lakefront beaches.  This is the result of Monday’s torrential downpour when more than a month’s worth of rain fell in one day.

In an interview with CBC news, Mark Matson of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper explained, “The other day we saw a huge explosion of sewage from the city discharged into the rivers … and into the harbour,”

Safe E. coli levels are normally below the 100 level — but at one of the central beaches on Thursday the E. coli levels were measured at 1,784.

While city-life is returning to normal with electricity restored and most roadways and underpasses re-opened, the city’s beaches have now been declared unsafe for swimming.  Even the beaches on the Toronto Islands nearby have been closed, which is a rare occurrence.

“In my experience I’ve never seen E. coli or bacteria at those numbers on Toronto Island beaches,” said Matson.

A few swimming areas are still safe, including Woodbine Beaches, Kew Balmy Beach and Bluffer’s Beach Park which is good news for a weekend that promises to be sunny and hot.

Categories: Environment & Animal Life, Health, Society

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