Beach Water Quality in Hamilton

Blue-green algae in Hamilton Habour

August 4, 2016 - Public Health Services has closed Pier 4 Park Beach from swimming and wading due to the presence of toxin-producing Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria). Blue-green algae blooms have also been verified at several other locations along the western shoreline of Hamilton Harbour, including the Bayfront Park Boat Launch. Contact with the water while launching or trailering watercraft should be avoided. For more information, view the media release.


Hamilton Public Health Services monitors the recreational water quality at public beaches each year for levels of E. coli bacteria and Blue-Green Algae (cyanobacteria).  These beaches are monitored from the Victoria Day long weekend in May to the Labour Day long weekend in September.

Current beach water quality test results


Bayfront Park Beach
200 Harbour Front Drive, Hamilton

Unsafe to swim logoClosed for the 2016 swimming season due to a history of high levels of bacteria and/or their toxins. Do not enter the water.

Board of Health Report to close Bayfront Beach (PDF, 284 KB)
App A - Letter to PW for beach closure (PDF, 508 KB)
App B - Letter from PW agreeing to beach closure (PDF, 495 KB)
App C - PHS Beach Monitoring Report (PDF, 655 KB)
App D - Bayfront Beach specific research (PDF, 6 MB)


Beach Boulevard
Beach Boulevard, Hamilton

Swim with caution logoOpen
Tested: August 17, 2016
Water temperature: 18°C / 64°F


Binbrook Conservation Area Beach
5050 Harrison Road, Binbrook

Swim with caution logoOpen
Tested: August 22, 2016
Water temperature: 22°C / 72°F


Christie Conservation Area Beach
1000 Highway 5 West, Dundas

Swim with caution logoOpen
Tested: August 22, 2016
Water temperature: 20°C / 68°F


Confederation Park Beach
680 Van Wagner's Beach Road, Hamilton

Swim with caution logoOpen
Tested: August 17, 2016
Water temperature: 19°C / 66°F


Pier 4 Park Beach
Bay Street North at Leander Drive, Hamilton

Unsafe to swim logoClosed due to the presence of toxin-producing blue-green algae. Do not enter the water.
Tested: August 4, 2016
Water temperatue: 23°C / 73°F


Valens Conservation Area Beach
1691 Regional Road 97, RR 6, Flamborough

Unsafe to swim logoUnsafe to swim
Tested: August 22, 2016
Water temperature: 22°C / 72°F


Van Wagner's Beach
180 Van Wagner's Beach Road, Hamilton

Swim with caution logoOpen
Tested: August 17, 2016
Water Temperature: 19°C/ 66°F


Swim with caution logoWhen a beach is open

  • you should swim with caution
  • there are no warning signs posted at the beach
  • levels of bacteria were within the acceptable range on the date tested

Unsafe to swim logoWhen a beach is unsafe to swim

  • E. coli levels are above acceptable levels
  • there is an increased risk of illness or infection due to poor water quality
  • warning signs are posted at the beach 

Beach water quality testing

We monitor beaches in accordance with the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care's Beach Management Protocol, 2014 under the Ontario Public Health Standards.  The protocol requires that we take water samples at the beaches listed above and test for E.coli at least once a week during the swimming season – Victoria Day to Labour Day. 

Beach water quality test results

High numbers of E. coli in the water at public beaches indicates contamination with feces and the potential presence of other harmful microorganisms in the water. The provincial standard is 100 E. coli bacteria cells per 100 ml of water or 100 colony forming units per 100 ml.  

E. coli concentrations at or above the standard could cause an increased risk of infection.  Swimming in these waters could cause infections in ears, eyes, nose, throat and skin as well as cause diarrhea if the water is ingested.  

Contact us

For more information: