Toronto Beaches Awarded Blue Flags
Four beaches measure up to world-class Blue Flag standards
CNW Telbec Newswire
Released June 30, 2005
TORONTO, June 30 /CNW/ - Four Toronto beaches measure
up to world-class standards to fly the Blue Flag, an international
award for clean beaches, Environmental Defence announced
today. Woodbine Beaches (formerly Woodbine Beach and Beaches
Park), Cherry, Wards Island and Hanlan's Point will all
fly the Blue Flag this summer. Toronto is the first municipality
in Canada to receive Blue Flag designation for its beaches.
Environmental Defence - the Blue Flag coordinator in Canada
- presented the City of Toronto with its four Blue Flags
at a special ceremony at Woodbine Beaches this morning.
Deputy Mayor Sandra Bussin, Ward 30 (Toronto-Danforth)
Councillor Paula Fletcher, Beaches-East York MP Maria
Minna and MPP Michael Prue, Toronto-Danforth MPP Marilyn
Churley, and Toronto Water General Manager Mike Price
joined together to raise the Blue Flag at Woodbine Beaches.
"Environmental Defence is delighted to present the
first Blue Flags in
Canada to Toronto's cleanest beaches. Blue Flags flapping
in the breeze will tell Torontonians and visitors alike
which beaches are the best for swimming," said Dr.
Rick Smith, Executive Director, Environmental Defence.
"The City of Toronto is proud to fly the Blue Flag
at four of our
beaches. The waterfront is a vital part of city life,
and we are committed to ensuring our beaches are clean,"
said Deputy Mayor Sandra Bussin, who added that the Blue
Flag designation is another step by the City toward realizing
the goals of the Clean and Beautiful City Initiative.
To qualify to fly the Blue Flag, beaches must meet 27
based on water quality, environmental management, environmental
education and safety and services. Water quality at Blue
Flag beaches must meet Ontario's standards for recreational
water quality (the most stringent in North America) at
least 80% of the swimming season. Blue Flags are awarded
at the beginning of each swimming season. Beaches can
lose their Blue Flags during the season if they fail to
meet the required criteria. Last year, Toronto's Blue
Flag beaches were clean for swimming on average 94% of
"The City of Toronto has devoted considerable resources
to addressing the quality of the near shore water of Lake
Ontario," said Mike Price, General Manager, Toronto
Water. "And, with Council's support, the City is
committed to further improvements in water quality so
that all beaches will receive Blue Flag designation through
the implementation of the Water Pollution Solution."
"Toronto's Blue Flag beaches are a great way for
Torontonians to cool off on hot summer days," said
Ward 30 (Toronto-Danforth) Councillor Paula Fletcher,
whose ward includes Cherry Beach. "I'm proud of the
work being done to make Cherry Beach a world-class beach."
Environmental Defence monitored Toronto's 10 beaches over
the past two swimming seasons to determine which beaches
were eligible to receive the Blue Flag. The final candidates
were reviewed and approved by two independent juries -
the Blue Flag Great Lakes Regional Jury and the International
Blue Flag Jury.
Environmental Defence continues to monitor the City's
compliance with the Blue Flag criteria, including the
daily water quality tests taken by the City of Toronto.
Water test results for each beach are available on Environmental
Defence's new Blue Flag Canada web site, www.BlueFlag.ca.
Toronto Public Health uses water quality test results
to determine if a beach is safe for swimming. Toronto
Public Health will post a beach as unsafe for swimming
if E. coli levels exceed the provincial standard of 100
E. coli per 100ml of water. Before heading to the beach,
check the latest beach postings at www.toronto.ca/beaches
or call the beach hotline at 416-392-7161.
"Blue Flags are Toronto's reward for taking action
to reduce pollution
and protect water quality," said Shelley Petrie,
Executive Director of the
Toronto Environmental Alliance, a Blue Flag local partner.
sailors and local businesses are natural partners in ensuring
the Blue Flags keep flying and can get involved by organizing
beach clean-ups and educating others on how to prevent
About Blue Flag
The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), based
in Denmark, owns and operates the Blue Flag Program. Since
1987, Blue Flag has grown to include more than 2,400 beaches
in 33 countries. Environmental Defence is the Canadian
National Operator of Blue Flag. Our goal is for beaches
across Canada to meet national Blue Flag standards, ensuring
that Canadians enjoy clean beaches.
About Environmental Defence (www.environmentaldefence.ca)
Environmental Defence protects the environment and human
research. We educate. We go to court when we have to.
All in order to ensure clean air, safe food and thriving
For further information: or to arrange interviews, please
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521
(647) 280-9521 (cell); Steve Johnston, City of Toronto,
(416) 553-1076 (cell)