New Water Quality App Finds Best Beaches for Swimming

Ward's Island Beach, Toronto, photo by Itdan
Ward's Island Beach, photo by Itdan
Sunnyside Beach, Toronto
Sunnyside Beach, Toronto

With temperatures hitting the mid forties Celsius factoring in the humidity, many Torontonians are hitting the beaches to cool off. Lake Ontario Waterkeeper has developed the new Swim Guide app. The free app shows the closest public beaches with the cleanest water and also indicates other features of nearby beaches. Water quality information is updated daily during the summer season.

The app shows a green, red or black symbol (for no data available) for the water quality at each beach and when the information was last confirmed. Other details include the history of the beach, whether activities such as barbeques, kite-surfing and volleyball are allowed and an image of the beach. You’ll also learn whether a beach is a Blue Flag Beach, which meet strict standards for water quality. The app also displays how often the beach was unsafe for swimming in the last year.

Ward's Island Beach, Toronto, photo by Itdan
Ward’s Island Beach, photo by Itdan

Mark Mattson, President of the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper and Krystyn Tully, Vice President built the Waterkeeper Swim Guide, which is being used throughout Canada and the United States. You can also access the app on the Waterkeeper Swim Guide website.

In addition to the new Swim Guide app, there’s also a new Waterkeeper Drink Guide, which keeps track of drinking water advisories including Boil Water, Blue-Green Algae, Water Shortage and Do Not Consume. They are updated daily based on data from official government sources.

Lake Ontario Waterkeeper is a Canadian charity working for a day when every person in our watershed can safely touch the water, when the water is pure enough to drink, and when the lake is clean and wild enough that you could toss in a line anywhere and pull out a fish.