Swimmable beaches are often used as an indicator of Toronto’s environmental
performance and quality of life. Over the past five years, the City has taken many steps to improve its 11 designated swimming beaches, and work continues on projects to reduce beach pollution from combined sewer overflows and stormwater discharges.
The Toronto Beaches Plan identifies actions to further enhance beach water quality, maintenance and operations, facilities and amenities, programming, and education and communications. The Plan is driven by a vision of getting all Toronto swimming beaches to and beyond the Blue Flag standard – the international eco-label for quality beaches. Coupled with existing operations and other planned continuous service improvements, the actions outlined in the Plan will maintain the Blue Flag status of six City beaches, bring five others up to the Blue Flag standard and potentially create a new swimming beach at Colonel Samuel Smith Park.
The General Manager, Toronto Water and the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation recommend that:
1. Council approve the action plan outlined in attachment 1 to improve Toronto’s
swimming beaches in 2009-10.
2. A three-year pilot project be undertaken at Sunnyside to enclose a portion Beach
of the swimming area and provide water that meets Ontario’s recreational water
quality standard at a cost not to exceed $1,000,000.00 (net of GST) in 2009;
3. Subject to City Council adopting Recommendation 2, the General Manager of
Toronto Water be given authority to sole source the design and/or construction
and/or operation of the facility if necessary in order to have the enclosed
swimming area at Sunnyside in operation for the 2009 swimming season; Beach
4. Opportunities to include Blue Flag quality swimming beaches in the development
of the Arsenal Lands/Marie Curtis Park West, Colonel and Samuel Smith Park
Port Phase 2 be investigated in consultation with adjacent Union Waterfront Park
communities and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority;
5. An international design competition be held in 2009 to develop a new prototype
lifeguard stand for future use at Toronto beaches;
6. The Chief of Police be requested to extend lifeguard hours during Extreme Heat
Alerts at selected Blue Flag beaches that are not posted against swimming;
7. As planning work is completed, the General Managers of Toronto Water and
Parks, Forestry and Recreation report back to the appropriate Standing Committee
to identify the capital budget requirements and operating impact on Parks,
Forestry and Recreation services and programs to implement the Toronto Beaches
8. The appropriate City officials be authorized and directed to take the necessary
action to give effect thereto.
Full report available http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2009/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-18572.pdf