Photo essay by Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. This photo by Duke, January 2006
Ontario Place West Island Beach
Swim Drink Fish’s Waterkeeper initiative has been testing the water at Ontario Place weekly during the summer of 2019. Test results show that these are some of the cleanest waters in the city.
To get to Ontario Place, you walk across a pedestrian bridge to one of the park's three islands. These islands were created to protect the foundation of the "pod" buildings built over Lake Ontario back in 1971.
Ontario Place's west island beach
It's a 500-metre walk or bike ride from the closest bridge to the west beach.
A water community
Around 35-40 water-lovers gathered on a beautiful Saturday to imagine what could be at this location.
A swimmable Ontario Place
It was a gathering to imagine a swimmable Ontario Place.
Knowing the status of water quality is the first step to getting people back in the water.
Ontario Place water monitoring
Elise Mackie and Lake Ontario Waterkeeper have been sampling this exact site since June. The results can be found on Swim Guide.
A new swimming hole
So far, Ontario Place West Island Beach water quality is as good or better than other Toronto beaches. That’s great news.
What could be already is
People already spend time at this Ontario Place beach.
Some of the cleanest water
It’s hard to resist the allure of Lake Ontario on a hot summer day.
Not swimmable yet
The west beach today has some issues that need to be addressed for it to be an official swimming destination.
Accessibility is a problem
As much as the good water quality makes this beach seem swimmable, there are still barriers and hazards that prevent people from accessing the water. One solution could be a pier-like access point. It worked in Kingston, so why not Toronto?
Once upon a time, Ontario Place had four beautiful beaches open to the public. Why not make Ontario Place swimmable again?