May 19, 2017 10:18 am
Updated: May 19, 2017 10:20 am

Clean, safe beaches to visit across Canada this summer

WATCH: Travel expert Claire Newell has etiquette tips for visiting beaches and swimming pools around the world.


As Canadians celebrate their country’s 150th birthday this summer, many will be able to cool off in clean and safe beaches across the country.

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Environmental Defence has released a list of 27 beaches and eight marinas in Canada that have earned Blue Flag status. The internationally renowned eco-certification acknowledges a beach or marina is clean, swimmable and meets high safety and environmental standards.

In order for a beach to receive a blue flag, it has to meet standards on four major issues: water quality, safety, environmental education and environmental management.

RELATED: 4 more beaches, marinas in Manitoba and Ontario earn Blue Flag status

“For instance, the beach has to have lifeguards or life-saving equipment,” said Brett Tryon, Environmental Defence’s Blue Flag program manager.

“Grand Beach [in Manitoba] has a very robust program that is very impressive. There’s lots of recycling on site and educational facilities for visitors,” she said.

The complete list of beaches and marinas that received Blue Flag status in Canada this year:

British Columbia

Gibsons Marina (Gibsons)


West Grand Beach (Grand Beach Provincial Park)
Winnipeg Beach (Winnipeg Beach Provincial Park)

Nova Scotia

Birch Cove Beach (Dartmouth)
Halifax Waterfront (Halifax)


Bayfield Main Beach and Bluewater Marina (Municipality of Bluewater)
Bell Park Beach and Moonlight Beach (Sudbury)
Bluffer’s Park Beach, Centre Island Beach, Cherry Beach, Gibraltar Point Beach, Hanlan’s Point Beach, Kew-Balmy Beach, Ward’s Island Beach and Woodbine Beach (Toronto)
Canatara Park Beach (Sarnia)
City of Barrie Marina (Barrie)
Colchester Harbour Marina (Town of Essex)
Grand Bend Beach, Grand Bend Marina and Port Franks Marina (Municipality of Lambton Shores)
LaSalle Park Marina (Burlington)
Outlet Beach (Sandbanks Provincial Park)
Port Glasgow Beach (Municipality of West Elgin)
Port Stanley Main Beach (Municipality of Central Elgin)
Victoria Beach (Cobourg)
Wasaga Beach areas 1, 2 and 5 (Wasaga Beach Provincial Park)
Waubuno Beach (Parry Sound)


Plage de l’Est, Plage de l’Ouest, and Plage des Cantons (Ville de Magog)

Not on the list?

If a beach or marina is not on the list (and would like to be), Tryon said the organization helps provide guidelines. For example, Blue Flag Canada may provide the beach with material for environmental education.

However, if a beach does not meet the provincial standards for water quality, then the location automatically cannot qualify for the certification.

“It’s very important that people have access to clean and sustainable water,” Tryon said.

International initiative

The certification has been around for 30 years and and there are 47 countries that have 4,000 blue flags flying around the world.

“So you can plan a vacation where the blue flags are,” Tyron said. “No matter where you go, if there is a blue flag at the beach, you can expect the same set of standards.”

RELATED: Canada’s best beaches for water quality, safety

Check out the interactive map of blue flags across the world.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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