Summer can leave you wondering where to swim. In Great Lakes cities you don't have to wander far. You have the privilege of escaping the pool and jumping into the open water.
With hundreds of kilometres of Lake Ontario shoreline, the opportunity for open-water swimming is all around you. And jumping in is one of the best ways to get to know your local waters.
Here are three things to remember for open-water swimming:
1. Check the water quality
Water quality changes daily, so remember check it before starting your swim. Knowing the water quality helps protect you from exposure to bacteria and waterborne illnesses, and using Swim Guide makes it easy to stay updated.
2. Swim with a friend
Open-water swimming can be a social activity and swimming with a friend improves your safety. Invite a friend to travel beside you on a paddleboard, kayak or canoe. Your friend can help keep you on course and give you a chance to take a break if needed.
3. Know the area
Learn about the area you’d like to swim in. Is there boat traffic? Do lifeguards supervise the water? Are there any stormwater outlets nearby? Can you spot any wildlife? Knowing these details about your swimming route increase your chance of a safe swim and help you learn about your local waters.
Open-water swimming has long been part of Lake Ontario’s history. In fact, Swim Drink Fish ambassador Marilyn Bell became the first person to swim across the lake in 1954. Staying connected with the Great Lakes will help guide us to a swimmable, drinkable, fishable future.
In a recent IJC poll, 89 per cent of participants said they believe protecting the Great Lakes for recreation is important. Swimming builds our connection with the water.
You don’t need to travel far when looking to explore nature. Yes, nature is ‘out there’ but it’s also right here. So jump into Lake Ontario because summer happens by the water.
Ready to take the plunge?