City lifeguards set to return to Toronto beaches this weekend

People enjoy the sun at Woodbine Beach in Toronto on Tuesday, June 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin

The City of Toronto says lifeguards will return to the city’s beaches this weekend.

In a press release Friday, the city said lifeguards will be on duty and will supervise “designated swim areas” seven days a week from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The city said lifeguards will be on duty at Bluffer’s Park, Cherry, Centre Island, Kew-Balmy, Marie Curtis, Sunnyside and Woodbine beaches.

Read more: Lifeguards return to 6 Toronto swimming beaches

“From Saturday, June 4 to Sunday, June 19, Ward’s Island and Hanlan’s Point Beaches will be supervised exclusively on weekends, with weekday supervision starting on Monday, June 20,” the release reads.

The city said Gibraltar Point — a less-used beach on the island — will not be supervised until “later in the season.”

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According to the city, the beaches will be supervised each day until September 5.

The city said residents and visitors are reminded to only swim in designated areas with lifeguard supervision and to stay within arm’s reach of children who are in or near the water.

The city also reminded the public to drink water, wear sunscreen and not to swim while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Swim zone boundaries at Toronto’s swimming beaches are marked with red and yellow flags.

“Floating swim markers show the swim zone boundaries in the water,” the release reads. “Swimming past or outside of these markers is not permitted.”

The city said lifesaving stands across the waterfront will be marked with a Parks Locate Point and 9-1-1 sings to “further support public safety” and will have lifesaving equipment.

The release said if no flags are flying at a Toronto beach, that means lifeguards are not on duty and “people should not swim.”

“Residents should stay within the clearly marked swim zones to avoid the dangers of being struck by vessels,” the release said. “Undesignated areas can have dangerous water conditions, such as undertows and rip currents.”

In a statement, Toronto Mayor John Tory thanked city staff for “ensuring we can safely open our swimming beaches this summer.”

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“Torontonians and visitors can soak up the lakeside atmosphere, safely enjoy beach season, swimming and other water activities, while knowing we regularly test beach water quality and we ensure swimming beaches are supervised by lifeguards,” he said.

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