With the weather so unseasonably cold in Ontario this spring, it’s hard to even think about going to the beach. However, it's still worth getting excited over some very positive news about the Greater Toronto Area's beaches. As of very recently, several Toronto beaches are now Blue Flag certified. The Blue Flag certification is a prestigious award that marks the area’s beaches as being among the best in the world – so yeah, it’s a pretty big deal.
The Blue Flag indicates superior levels of water quality and safety standards. It's a world-renowned eco-certification for beaches and marinas.
“It is an eco-award that’s awarded to beaches and marinas that meet a really high level of water quality, environmental management and they provide environmental education opportunities and also have high safety standards,” explained Kelsey Scarfone to CityNews, who serves as a water programs manager for Environmental Defence, the organization behind the Blue Flag program.
Among the beaches that are now Blue Flag certified, there's Cherry Beach, Centre Island Beach, Kew-Balmy Beach and Woodbine Beach - and to think we’ve been taking them for granted this entire time.
According to Environmental Defence, there are currently 4558 certified beaches in 44 different countries. Right now, blue flags are flying at 27 beaches and marinas right here in Canada. You can see the full list here.
"When you see a Blue Flag flying, you know a beach or marina is clean and accessible; has great water quality; meets high safety standards; and is working hard to protect local shorelines and ecosystems," reads the description.
The real question is, when are we going to have weather warm enough to enjoy our world-renowned beaches properly? According to 680 News Meteorologist Jill Taylor, an approaching warm front could soon put a major dent in those post-winter blues, paving the way for a beautiful Victoria Day long weekend.
“It could mean having highs in the low to mid teens or highs in the 20s, so still a lot depending on how that warm front tracks. We’ll really have to watch that over the next couple of days,” Taylor explained.
Here's to hoping that we will be able to enjoy Toronto's beaches in the sun sooner rather than later.