Published Tuesday, June 9, 2020 6:00PM EDT
With Toronto under a heat warning through Wednesday, spots near the water are expected to be busy. But the city says lifeguards are currently off duty at all beaches and taking a dip without one present is not recommended.
In normal circumstances city beaches are supervised from June to September between 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Toronto Public Health (TPH) also takes daily water samples from all beaches and measures the level of E. coli bacteria during the summer months.
But according to a city spokesperson testing is currently not underway. TPH is expected to resume water quality testing sometime this summer to correspond with lifeguard supervision. The city plans to share more information on beaches and pools later this week.
In Durham Region, water testing is also on hold. The region’s health department says it’s reviewing the program but does not know when testing will begin. It adds beaches in Durham are the responsibility of individual municipalities.
The reopening of Toronto beaches comes after the town of Cobourg decided to close Victoria Beach until August 31., 2020.
Cobourg’s council voted unanimously last week to shut down the beach in order to ensure residents and visitors comply with provincial orders and physical distancing guidelines.
“The beach is a popular gathering area starting around this time of year, and for the time being, we want to continue to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within our community.” Cobourg Mayor John Henderson said in a press release. “During these unprecedented times it is the health and safety of our citizens that will always come first.”
The 11 beaches open in Toronto are: Bluffer’s, Centre Island, Cherry/Clarke, Gibraltar, Hanlan’s Point, Kew-Balmy, Marie Curtis Park East, Rouge, Sunnyside, Ward’s Island and Woodbine.
The city is reminding beachgoers to practise physical distancing by staying 2 metres apart from others.
People with COVID-19 symptoms are urged not to go to the beach until they have been tested.