Lake Ontario, ON - LeeAnne MacGregor
This story took place in 2013, when I was visiting the Toronto Islands, on a hot summer weekend. I had checked the blue flag beach bacteria count for the day and I knew that the count was a higher than the recommended count for swimming safely. However, when I got to the island there were a lot of people in the water, there were a lot of boats, and it was really hot, so I decided to go swimming anyway. I went swimming and had a good time, but the next day I got sick.
It was the only time I went swimming in Lake Ontario that I did get sick. I usually check the levels of bacteria before I go out, but this was an unfortunate time that I got sick, and learned a big lesson.
Every summer I go to the island, I’m swimming. I’m also at other places, like woodbine beach. I’m in the lake pretty much every summer, for I’d say the last 10-15 years of being in and around Toronto.
Lake Ontario is different from other places that I’ve gone to because you have to add the step of checking water quality before you got out, and it effects your plans of where you’re going to swim. So it’s great that there are these tools that you can check the water quality for your own safety. I know there is a bit of a lag in the reporting time with blue flag beaches, so there’s that as well. I believe there is a bit of a risk element to it at times, and with good cause, I mean—I did get sick the one time. But I mean it’s just that extra step. However, I would absolutely go back.