2018 Great Lakes Beach Report | Great Lakes Guide

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2018 Great Lakes Beach Report

Published December 24, 2018

Now serving 8 countries around the world, Swim Guide’s roots are in the Great Lakes.

Did you know that Swim Guide was born and raised in the Great Lakes? Swim Guide was launched in 2011 with water quality for 1,000 Great Lakes beaches. The Guide’s mission was to better protect public health from contamination, and at the same time, help people connect to these magnificent bodies of water. Our love for these lakes inspired the Swim Drink Fish movement, and is at the heart of the Swim Guide initiative. Downtown Toronto, on the shores of Lake Ontario, continues to serve as Swim Guide’s headquarters.

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Steve Nicholson (Flickr: Link)

The world’s most significant fresh water resource, the Great Lakes watershed spans over 520,000 kms, and has a water surface area of 244,000 square kms. Also known as the Great Lakes water basin, the system includes the smaller watersheds of the 5 great lakes, and the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers.

Situated between Canada and the United States, outdoor recreation possibilities are endless across this transnational watershed. This is particularly true of recreational water activities, such as swimming, paddling, and boating, which are all integral to the region’s culture. From the western shores of Lake Superior to the far reaches of the St. Lawrence, the beaches of the Great Lakes watershed are as diverse as the 40,000,000 people who call the region home.

2018 Great Lakes Beach Report

Swim Guide has been sharing recreational water quality information for beaches across the Great Lakes for over 8 years. This year (2018), more users than ever used our platform to learn about their local waters. In fact, beaches across the Great Lakes were clicked over 1,500,000 times in 2018 alone. The Great Lakes Beach Report employs user data from Swim Guide to determine the top beaches for each individual lake and river watershed.

The Great Lakes Watershed has Beaches: 1543 and has received a grand total 1,593,301 clicks.

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Top 10 Beaches


Woodbine Beach

Lake Ontario Watershed, Clicks: 11866


Bluffers Beach

Lake Ontario Watershed, Clicks: 10382


Sandy Beach

St. Lawrence Watershed, Clicks: 10168


Big Sandy Bay - Wolfe Island

St. Lawrence Watershed, Clicks: 9357


Lac Philippe, Plage Breton

St. Lawrence Watershed, Clicks: 8663


Sandbanks Provincial Park - Lake Ontario Beach

Lake Ontario Watershed, Clicks: 8073


Kinsmen Beach

Lake Ontario Watershed. Clicks: 6684


Wasaga Beach - Zone B

Lake Huron Watershed, Clicks: 6179


Lac Meech, Plage O’Brien

St. Lawrence Watershed, Clicks: 6169



Lake Ontario Watershed, Clicks: 6044

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Killarney Provincial Park. Photo Credit: Parker Muzzerall

*Swim Guide compiles data from regional and municipal health authorities, other governmental bodies, community monitoring programs, and other organizations conducting accredited recreational water quality monitoring.



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