Category Archives: Waterfront

Toronto’s Blue Flagged Beaches

As we enter a hot summer, swimming in a beach is one the ways to relax and cool off.  Fortunately, 8 of Toronto’s 11 swimming beaches and 2 of Ward 32 beaches have earned Blue Flags, making them a great choice for family fun and cooling down during the hot summer.

The Blue Flag program is a highly respected and internationally recognized eco-label for swimming beaches. An independent agency, Environmental Defence, operates the program in Canada and is responsible for monitoring 31 factors, including water quality, environmental management and education, safety and services. Blue Flags fly across the world, identifying beaches that meet the highest criteria for excellence.

Toronto’s swimming beaches are:
• Bluffer’s Beach (Blue Flag)
• Centre Island Beach (Blue Flag)
• Cherry Beach (Blue Flag)
• Gibraltar Point Beach (Blue Flag)
• Hanlan’s Point Beach (Blue Flag)
• Kew-Balmy Beach (Blue Flag)
• Marie Curtis Park Beach
• Rouge Beach
• Sunnyside Beach
• Ward’s Island Beach (Blue Flag)
• Woodbine Beaches (Blue Flag)

Toronto tests beach water quality daily at its 11 swimming beaches from June through to Labour Day. These samples are analyzed, using the most stringent testing standards in the world, to ensure Toronto’s beaches meet the highest water quality standards for swimming. If water tests show E. coli levels exceed the provincial guidelines of 100 E. coli per 100 ml of water, Toronto Public Health warns against swimming at the affected beach. Toronto’s Blue Flag beaches met the criteria for swimming, on average, 96 per cent of the time last summer.

The City’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation division operates and maintains all recreation-related beach facilities and amenities. This service includes regular beach grooming and care of washrooms and change rooms. Toronto Police Marine Unit provides lifeguard services and takes daily water samples. Beginning on June 16, lifeguards will be on duty at all beaches from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily.

Waterfront Toronto

Waterfront Toronto

Councillor McMahon believes in Waterfront Toronto and has been hosting Councillors with on site tours and will continue to educate on the spectacular and sustainable work being carried out by Waterfront Toronto.

 You may be interested in this youtube link

In addition Follow @codeblueTO on Twitter or log on (

Also please encourage your friends to get in touch with their local Ward Councillors. Spread the word to as many as possible.

If you would like to speak to Councillor McMahon directly, she can be reached at 416-392-1376.

Boardwalk Cafe and Woodbine/Ashbridges Bay Park Update

Boardwalk Cafe and Woodbine/Ashbridges Bay Park Update

Councillor McMahon hosted a community drop-in at the Boardwalk Café  on Saturday December 3. Over 50 local residents attended, saw the site plan drawings, walked the perimeter and spoke with city staff and cafe owner George Foulidis. People said that they appreciated the opportunity to learn more first hand and have their questions answered directly by the city staff responsible for the park and the cafe owner.

Councillor McMahon noted that this drop-in was an important step towards establishing more open and transparent lines of communication with the community. She thanks everyone for coming out and states that will be more events like this in the coming months. “These parks are valuable and cherished by local residents and people from across the city. Keeping everyone in the loop about how they’re managed and maintained is critical for good community relations.”

Councillor McMahon is also in the process of forming a ‘Friends of Food’ group of local residents who want to help think through and promote great food policies and practices in the ward. For more information on Friends of Food, get in touch at

A number of important questions are being made available here that explain how the building permit process works and what exactly is being built by the Boardwalk Cafe. Please let us know if you have other questions and we will do our best to get questions answered promptly.

Who issued the building permits for the renovation and addition at the Boardwalk Café? Toronto Building department’s role in this building approval process is one of ensuring the proposed renovations comply with the Ontario Building Code and all applicable law, including the zoning by-law, Toronto Region and Conservation Authority as well as Site Plan Approval.

Toronto Building department does not control nor can they authorize the construction in parks – that task falls under the responsibility of City Council and Parks Division who entered into an agreement set out in PE1.3 adopted by Council at its meeting held on February  5, 6, 7 and  8 2007 as amended by GM30.20 and adopted by Council at its meeting held on May 11 and 12, 2010. At that time Sandra Bussin was the councillor for Ward 32.

Does the building renovation at Boardwalk Café require a new zoning classification or are the renovations permitted within the existing zoning and footprint?

The renovations / addition comply with all the zoning by-law requirements.

The construction authorized under the building permit issued by Toronto Building on Sept 15, 2011 would see the existing building expand to a size of approximately 10,000 sq.ft. The proposal complies fully with all of the zoning provisions and no minor variance or amendment to the zoning by-law was required. Total new floor area of 596 sq. m. NOTE 28 sq. m. of existing being demolished . A partial second floor addition is being constructed, which complies with the zoning by-law.

The development of the property falls into an exempt form of development in the Site Plan Approval By-law (Chapter 165 of the Toronto Municipal Code) and as such site plan approval was not required for the proposed expansion.

A PDF of the relevant clause in the Municipal Code [165-36 – Exempt Mixed-use and non-residential development Clause A. (2) (a) is available by requesting it from Armando Barbini at  As noted in this document, additions of less than 600 sq.m. do not require site plan approval. In the case of the Boardwalk Café, the addition proposed by the owner increased the size of the existing building by 596 sq. m. and thus is exempt from the site plan approval process.

Will there be outdoor seating on patios in the new renovation?  Yes, a second floor patio is proposed and a ground floor patio is being maintained, all in compliance with the zoning by-law.

Who is paying for the renovations at the Boardwalk Cafe?

The owner of the Boardwalk Café. No public monies are being spent on the renovation at the café.