TORONTO, Ont. – It will be a hot weekend and the city of Toronto has some good news. Eight of the city’s eleven beaches are flying a Blue Flag this summer, meaning it will be safe to swim there.
Bluffer’s beach is flying the flag for the first time this summer. Cherry beach, Woodbine beach and Ward’s Island beach have also been cleared for swimming.
The Blue Flag is an internationally recognized eco-label awarded to beaches that achieve high standards in 29 criteria including water quality, environmental education, environmental management, and safety and services.
These criteria are grouped into the following two categories:
Imperative criteria – beach must comply
Guideline criteria – increase the standards at the beach even more but are not mandatory
In addition to meeting these requirements, a Blue Flag beach must be accessible for an unannounced inspection by the Foundation for Environment Education (FEE).
Blue Flag awards are only valid for one season. After each season, a Blue Flag beach must be reassessed and meet all the requirements before an award is renewed. However, if conditions at a Blue Flag beach change or it fails to fulfill the imperative criteria then the Blue Flag award is withdrawn.