Constant high water levels keep Burlington’s beaches closed
Burlington City officials say continued high lake water levels is making it difficult to gauge when local beaches can be reopened to the public.
“Once we can resume routine maintenance of the beach and barring any issues we may find, the plan is to open the beach to the public. At this time, we’re unable to forecast a timeline as to when the beach will be opened,” said Murray Cameron, manager of parks operations at the city.
“Earlier this year, Lake Ontario experienced its highest water levels in a century, according to meteorologists,” he continued.
“The city is closely monitoring the water level at the beachway and will resume beach maintenance as soon as beach conditions permit.”
On the Hamilton side of the lakefront, the city website lists Confederation Park, Van Wagner’s and Beach Boulevard beaches as open — but new test results haven’t been posted since Aug. 1.
Both harbour beaches remain closed, but all Hamilton-area conservation area beaches are posted as safe other than Valen’s Lake.
In Burlington, city staffers are waiting for the water to recede so the beach can be groomed and cleanup can be completed before opening it back up to the public.
In May, the city announced the beachway’s closure because of high water levels and the erosion of the sand at the shore.
“The city is not able to groom the beach as normal, as there is insufficient room to operate the grooming equipment,” added Cameron.
“The city is also looking at addressing exposed tree and shrub roots as a result of the erosion.”
While the beaches remain closed, the city recommends Burlington residents visit its pools and spray pads as spots to cool off during the summer.
For a list of locations, visit www.burlington.ca/swimming.
Halton Region will resume its water quality testing at the beachway and Spencer Smith Park when the beaches reopen. More information is available at www.halton.ca/ beach.
City officials said it is difficult to recall a time in Burlington’s history when its beaches remained closed for a lengthy amount of time due to high water levels and flooding (similarly to this year) or contamination-related issues, such as E. coli, because it does not keep a record of the duration of closure days.
High lake water levels and closed beaches in Burlington are resulting in increasing numbers of children and their parents turning to cool water jets at local splash pads.