Numerous events are planned for the City of Barrie's public beaches this summer.
The Canadian Forces Snowbirds will be flying overhead for two shows, on Friday, June 28 and Saturday, June 29.
Daily lifeguard service also begins on Friday, June 28 and runs until Sunday, Aug. 18 at Centennial Beach and Johnson’s Beach from 11:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., weather permitting. Signs will be posted at the beaches to note when lifegaurds are on duty and buoy lines, with the new addition of drop-off markers, will indicate designated, supervised swimming areas.
Mobi Mats will be installed at Centennial Beach this summer. This durable non-slip beach access pathway will allow individuals of all abilities, including pedestrians, people using a wheelchair or walker, and parents with strollers, to easily access the beachfront water. This will improve access to Centennial Beach for all users and is expected to attract more residents and visitors to both the beach and to Barrie’s waterfront and downtown area.
The personal flotation device (PFD) loan service continues this summer. The city is partnering with the Canadian Red Cross for the program, which allows visitors to borrow PFDs for free (a $10 refundable deposit is required) from the lifeguard office at Centennial Beach and Johnson’s Beach, seven days a week from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.. The PFD Loan Service, recognized with an Award of Excellence from the Canadian Red Cross in 2012, is an important way to increase PFD use and public education surrounding the value of properly fitted PFD’s. Approximately 90 per cent of drowning victims were not wearing a life-jacket or PFD.
To ensure water quality at the city's beaches, weekly water samples are analyzed by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit using water taken from Centennial Beach, Minet’s Point Beach, Tyndale Park and Wilkin’s Beach. Warnings will be posted at designated swimming beaches when bacteria levels exceed provincial guidelines.
At Centennial Beach, several waterfront courses will be offered, including Lifesaving Sport, Bronze Medallion, Bronze Cross and National Lifeguard Waterfont. Again this summer, the city's recreation services department and Barrie police will partner on the waterfront to offer Lifesaving Sport and Safe Guard training for the Junior Constable Camp.
For more information about Barrie’s beaches and to register for city camps and programs, visit www.barrie.ca.