Beach Water Quality in Hamilton

Toxin-producing blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) is present in Hamilton Harbour

Confirmed locations include: Pier 4 Park Beach, Bayfront Park Beach and Bayfront Park boat launch area. Blue-green algae has also been visually observed along most of the western shoreline, from the inner Pier 8 area, through the marinas, and to the closed waterfront trail. The public are urged to not enter the water and avoid contact with water along the western shoreline of Hamilton Harbour.  View the full media release. Learn more about Cyanobacteria in Freshwater.


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.

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 sampling results cannot be guaranteed accurate as conditions can change quickly depending on the weather. You should not swim at the beach during and after storms, floods or heavy rainfall. Cloudy water may indicate high levels of bacteria.

For more information on ways to stay safe at the beach, visit the Canadian Red Cross’s website

To report safety hazards at the beach please call 905-546-2489.

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.

Current beach water quality test results

Bayfront Park Beach
200 Harbour Front Drive, Hamilton

Unsafe to swim logoClosed for the 2017 swimming season due to a history of high levels of bacteria and/or their toxins. Do not enter the water.

Beach Boulevard
Beach Boulevard, Hamilton

Swim with caution logoOpen
Tested: July 17, 2017
Water temperature: 12°C

Binbrook Conservation Area Beach
5050 Harrison Road, Binbrook

Unsafe to swim logoPosted as Unsafe for Swimming
Tested: July 20, 2017
Water temperature: 20°C

Christie Conservation Area Beach
1000 Highway 5 West, Dundas

Swim with caution logoOpen
Tested: July 18, 2017
Water temperature: 19°C

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

Swim with caution logoOpen
Tested: July 17, 2017
Water temperature: 14°C

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

Unsafe to swim logoClosed temporarily due to high water levels

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

Unsafe to swim logoPosted as Unsafe for Swimming
Tested: July 20, 2017
Water temperature: 19°C

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

Unsafe to swim logoPosted as Unsafe for Swimming
Tested: July 19, 2017
Water temperature: 14°C

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 monitoring reports

Hamilton Public Health Services (PHS) provide an annual update report regarding recreational water quality monitoring at Hamilton’s public beaches and the activities undertaken by stakeholders to improve the water quality at these beaches.

Contact us

For more information, contact:
Phone the Safe Water Hotline: 905-546-2189