print header

Public Beaches

Beach water testing

The public beach monitoring program has ended for the 2022 season and will resume in June 2023.  

Every summer between June and September (Labour Day weekend), we collect water samples from public beaches within Simcoe and Muskoka. We test the water samples for levels of E. coli bacteria. When elevated levels of E. coli are present in the water samples, the beach may be posted with an advisory warning indicating it is unsafe for swimming, or the beach may be closed. Bacteria levels can increase in recreational beach water due to heavy rainfall, cloudy water, a large number of swimmers, a large number of birds, shallow water, wet sand, wind and high waves.

Beach water may also be unsafe due to excessive weed growth, oil, floating debris, turbidity and blue-green algae blooms. In addition to water sampling, we conduct observational safety assessments of beaches as part of our summer beach program. To help protect your health, please see the list of designated beaches included in our sampling program and their status.


safe-to-swim This beach is open.

Due to the delay in receiving lab results, you cannot rely only  on water samples to know if it’s safe to swim. Learn how to make an informed decision about beach water quality before swimming.

advisory A swimming advisory is posted.

During a swimming advisory, the beach is posted with warning signs that the most recent water samples showed bacteria in numbers that may increase your risk of developing minor skin, eye, ear, nose or throat infections or stomach illness. If you choose to swim during a swimming advisory avoid dunking your head or swallowing the water.

beach-closedThis beach is closed.

A beach is closed when a significant risk to health and safety has been identified or when a potential adverse event occurs such as a sewage or chemical spill. Beach closures are rare. Municipalities may also choose to close beaches for a variety of reasons.

 *Provincial Park beaches (i.e.Wasaga Beach) are monitored by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks. Beach water quality for these parks can be viewed here:

Testing results by area

Inspection types

  • Routine: A regularly scheduled water sample collection and inspection of the beach.
  • Follow-Up: When previous water samples have shown high levels of bacteria, follow-up tests are taken.
  • Complaint: An inspection is conducted when we receive a complaint about a public beach.


Did you find what you were looking for today?
What did you like about this page?
How can we improve this page?

If you have any questions or concerns that require a response, please contact Health Connection directly.

Thanks for your feedback.
Failed to submit comment. Please try submitting again or contact us at the Health Unit.
Comment already submitted ...