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Monday, August 24, 2020

Crowds flocked to Toronto beaches to escape the heat this weekend

There's nothing like a viciously hot day (or stretch of days) to make us all appreciate the benefits of living next to a big, cold lake.

All 10 of Toronto's designated swimming beaches were open this weekend thanks to healthy levels of E. coli and the lifting of pandemic restrictions that kept people away from parks and beaches earlier this summer.

Whether to beat the heat, make up for lost time, or hang out with friends in a safe and socially-distanced outdoor space, thousands of people flocked to Lake Ontario on Saturday and Sunday.

Toronto's aptly-named Beaches neighbourhood was bumping with families and groups of friends all weekend long.

Further east, at Balmy Beach, a convoy of giant floaties captivated sunbathers.

The always-vibrant (and clothing-optional) Hanlan's Point Beach was similarly slammed, both on the sand and in the water, where boats arrived by the dozens to party along the shore.

Cherry Beach was chill, its waters filled with windsurfers and other aquatic sport enthusiasts.

Sunnyside had people feeling like they were on vacation...

Under the right filter, even Woodbine Beach looked a bit tropical.

While some people on Twitter complained about overcrowding, most evidence available shows that groups were maintaining an appropriate two-metre distance from each other.

You can check on the status of any designated-swimming beach in Toronto right here, but should note that lifeguards are typically only on duty between 11:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

The Great Lakes are more powerful than many people give them credit for. It's always a good idea to have a lifeguard present.

by Lauren O'Neil via blogTO

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