Thanks to all of you who took part in the 2nd Annual Toronto Island Lake Swim.
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Introducing the 3rd Annual Toronto Island Lake Swim

Register for the 3rd Annual Toronto Island Lake Swim

Join us August 16th for the 3rd Annual Toronto Island Lake Swim. We will have over 300 swimmers competing in 3 different distances: 750M, 1.5K, 3.8K. If see you yourself in the video please comment and we will tag you! See you at the Centre Island Pier on August 16th, 2015.

Posted by Toronto Island Lake Swim on Saturday, June 6, 2015.

Registration is open for the 3rd Annual Toronto Island Lake Swim - August 16th, 2015. We are back at the same location as last year at the Centre Island Pier. This year we are sponsored by Enwave! Signup now!

Date: Sunday, August 16th, 2015.

Place: Centre Island Pier, on Toronto Island.

Time: 11:00am SHARP! for 1.5K swimmers.

Get engaged on our Facebook Page where we frequently update information about the event.

During the 1800's and early 1900's Toronto's lakefront and island was a playground for swimmers. Swimming competitions were held regularly, and it is in the historical spirit that we bring you the Toronto Island Lake Swim.

We have picked out an incredible swim route east from the Centre Island Pier towards Ward's Island Beach and back. The entire route is no more than 8-12 feet deep, and you can see nothing but sand for the entire swim.

Lake Ontario has not been this clean in a very long time. We are raising awareness for water quality and we have partnered with Lake Ontario Waterkeepers. Lake Ontario Waterkeeper is founded on the belief that it is possible to achieve a swimmable, drinkable, fishable world.

Choose from three different swim distances:

  • › A 750 meter swim in the shallowest part of the course.
  • › A 1.5km swim. The Olympic swimming & triathlon swim distance.
  • › A 3.8km swim. The Iron Man Triathlon swim distance.

The last two years water temperature on race day has been between 16C - 18C. As the Canadians say, "It's fine once you are in". Only 33% of swimmers have chosen to swim with wetsuits. Due to the water temperature we have two award categories: naked (non-wetsuit) and wetsuit.

Bring your family! Stay and enjoy a beautiful day at the beach!

For more information check out the following links:

If you have any further questions you can email the organizers of the Toronto Island Lake Swim.

Event Details

Online Registration is Now Open!

Here is our email to all swimmers who have registered for the swim

Calling all swimmers for the 3nd annual Toronto Island Lake Swim. The event offers three swims: a 750m, 1.5km and 3.8km swim on the south side of the beautiful Toronto Islands at the Centre Island Pier.

What: a 750m, 1.5km or 3.8k open water swim.

When: SUNDAY, August 16th, 2015 at 11:05 am SHARP. We are going to have three events, with two heats each. The first event is the 1.5 km, and that will start at 11:05am SHARP with a 2nd heat going 1 minute after. The second event is the 3.8 km swim and that will start at 11:50am SHARP! with a second heat one minute after. The last event is the 750m swim which will start at 1:30pm. The event takes place on August 16th, 2015

We will be doing awards right after the top swimmers complete the race. No waiting around!

Where: Centre Island Pier, Toronto Island

Fees: $60 per swimmer. Your fee includes a bathing cap and t-shirt. You need to pay your own way on the ferry. Note: We will have an early bird special of 10% off for those who signup from May 1st to June 1st.

Swim course: The course is a loop swim starting at the Centre Island Pier, and going as far as Ward's Island Beach (2.2KM) and finishing back at the Centre Island Pier. View the course map. The course will be well-marked. We will also have a large map at the event this year.

Water conditions: The water temperature in mid-August is typically between 18-22C. However, the last two years the temperature has fluctuated between 10C and 20C before race day. In the last 2 years we have had water temperatures of 16-18C. Almost 33% of the swimmers choose to swim in a wetsuit. We will be posting places to rent wet suits if you plan to use one.

Food: We will be providing snacks like granola bars and banana's as well as water. The area we are in also has a Pizza Pizza and a Bar so make yourself at home.

Baggage Check: We will have a baggage check station on the beach where you can check your extra clothing and shoes. You will be given a registration number and it will be drawn on your bathing cap. This number will allow you to retrieve your items at the baggage check-in.

Race kit pick-up: Race packet pickup, and waiver signing will take place at the Centre Island Pier on Toronto Island Sunday, August 16th between 9:00am and 12:00am. See race times on the homepage.

How do I get to Centre Island?: You will need to get the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal (At the foot of Bay Street and Queen's Quay in downtown Toronto) to catch a ferry to Centre Island Ferry. Be sure to get on the correct ferry.

There will be no refunds if you miss the ferry. The ferry terminal can be busy with people going to centre island. So be sure to get there early. Be sure to check the ferry schedule

Awards: We are providing trophies for the fastest Male and Female in both the 750m, 1.5K, and 3.8K race. We are also going to post times for all swimmers based on the Masters sanctioned age groups (age as of race day). The fastest male and female swimmer will get their name engraved on the Toronto Island Lake Swim Trophy and will get to keep a small replica of the trophy. Race results will be posted shortly after the race and trophies will be presented right after each swim is commpleted... No more waiting around!

Cancellation of the event: We have had 2 beautiful days for the past 2 events, and we are anticipating great weather for the swim event. However, in the unlikely case of severe weather (lightning, high ecoli count, low visibility, strong north-easterly winds and resulting high waves), the swim will be canceled. No refunds will be issued. This is because we will have spent 90% of the budget just to reach Sunday, August 16th. Our suppliers and partners wont' give refunds, so we can't either.

For more information read the Frequently Asked Questions section of the site.

Safety Plan

Safety is of the utmost importance to us at the Toronto Island Lake Swim.

We have put together a safety plan that follows open water swimming standards.

We are expecting between 250-300 swimmers for the event and as such we have the following safety plan:

  • 8 Lifeguards in boats/paddleboards
  • 2 police in police boat
  • 1 Doctor in the police boat
  • 2 St. Johns Ambulance
  • 5 course watchers
  • Sportstats ankle bands to ensure all that get in, get out.


Ah paper work! Swimmers will need to sign two waivers on the day of the swim. We have tried to consolidate these into one waiver, but have not been able to avoid the two documents.

PDF download - The Toronto Port Authority Waiver

PDF download - The Toronto Island Lake Swim Waiver

The Route: from Centre Island Pier towards Ward's Island.

We will have three distances: a) 750m, b) 1.5km, and c) 3.8km. In all cases the swimmer will swim out 50% of the way, and swim around a pylon then back to the beach. The route takes the swimmer alongside a boardwalk and will swim in a straight line in water that is 8-12 feet deep the entire way. Almost 50% of the swim is in water of eight feet or under. The visibility is variable from poor to excellent and there is very little vegetation.

Image from Google Earth


Q - Can we wear wetsuits?

A - Yes you can. We will have awards for fastest male & female in each event, and fastest in wetsuit or naked (suit).

Q - Can I wear any other aid?

A - Swim aids (fins, pull buoys, etc.) are allowed but you cannot win any of the trophies for fastest swimmer (Men or Women).

Q - Do I need to wear a swim cap?

A - Swim caps that will be supplied MUST be worn. You will receive a cap when you register. The caps will have a different color and will have your number on them.

Q - Does my fee cover the cost of the ferry to the island?

A - No that is something you will need to pay for on your own. Read more about getting to the island in the Event Info section.

Q - What happens if the event is cancelled due to waves, or lightening the day of? Will we get a refund?

A - Unfortunately there are no refunds. This is due to the fact that come August 16th we will have spent 90% of of our budget already.

Q - For what reason will the event be cancelled?

A - The event could be cancelled for the following reasons: The waves are to high, there is lightening, or the water quality is poor (over the allowable X parts per million). We will do our best to update you by email and on our Facebook page the day of the event.

Q - How will you communicate to us in the unlikely event that the event is cancelled?

A - We will post a message in our Facebook page ( , and send an email to all registered swimmers. We will also put up a message on our website at:

Q - Is there a time limit for the swim?

A - Yes the short course has a limit of 90 minutes, and the long course 3 hours. After this time the lifeguards will pull you out of the water.

Q - How good a swimmer do you need to be?

A - We recommend you are a competitive swimmer, masters swimmer, or experienced recreational swimmer. Perhaps you are a triathlete and you are used to doing lake swims.

Q - Is their an age limitation

A - Yes, you must be 10 years old to swim. If you are under 16 you must be accompanied by an adult.

Q - When does the swim take place?

A - We are going to have three events, with two heats each. The first event is the 1.5 km, and that will start at 11:05am SHARP with a 2nd heat going 1 minute after. The second event is the 3.8 km swim and that will start at 11:35am SHARP! with a second heat one minute after. The last event is the 750M which will take place when all swimmers are in from both 1.5K and 3.8k swim. The event takes place on August 16th, 2014.

Q - When does registration open?

A - Registration starts at 9:00am, at the Centre Island Pier.

Q - What ferry do I need to take in order to get to the event on time?

A - You will need to get the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal to catch a ferry to Centre Island. Be sure to get on the correct ferry. We recommend all swimmers take the 8:30am ferry! .Please get here early to get your ticket and get on the ferry.

Q - Where can we park?

A - You are on your own for parking. There are parking lots along the waterfront. We recommend the lots to the east of the ferry terminal. Behind the Toronto Star building and across from the Redpath Sugar factory.

Q - What if I purchased a ticket but can't make it?

A - We will be giving partial refunds of 50% up to August 1st, 2015. After that we will not be giving refunds. We understand that plans change, however by August 1st we will have already spent 90% of the funds for the event.

Q - Where do we register for the event?

A - We will have a baggage check station on the beach where you can check your extra clothing and shoes. You will be given a registration number and it will be drawn on your bathing cap. This number will allow you to retrieve your items at the baggage check-in. - See more at:

Q - Where do we change for the event?

A - There will be change-rooms near the beach at the Centre Island Pier.

Q - Where do we store our stuff while we are swimming?

A - At the Pier we will have a bag check station. You can get your bag from the bag station attendant.

Q - Can you pay at the event?

A - Not you can't! We do not have a point of sale machine, and we want to eliminate lineups so we have cancelled same day signup.

Q - What can I do if I like the idea, but don't want to swim?

A - Hit our volunteer page HERE.

Q - The cause sounds great and I love clean water, but don't want to swim - what can I do?

A - Volunteer, here, or contribute to waterkeepers, here

Q - I don't like using credit cards online, can I mail you a cheque?

A - Sure, you can mail us a cheque CC: Pixel Insight Consulting Inc. 18 Mowat Ave, 2nd Floor, Toronto, Ontario. M6K 3E8

Volunteers make great events possible.

If you would like to support the Toronto Island Lake Swim and are a part of the swim community and/or you have time either on event day or in the months before the swim to help, we would love to hear from you. Please fill out this form below and let us know your interests.

Come for a fun day. We will be buying your ferry pass, providing you with a t-shirt. We will need you from 8am until 3pm. So come and help put on a great event!

Here are a list of the roles we need to fill for volunteers:

Ferry Terminal Crew - 4 volunteers

We need two people to hangout at the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal to get our swimmers through the lines and onto the Center Island Ferry. Your job is to make sure all swimmers get on the ferry and make their way to Center Island.

Center Island Ferry Crew - 4 volunteers

You will be stationed on the Center Island side and you will be making sure that swimmers get off the ferry and make their way to the Center Island Pier where they register for the swim.

Registration Booth - 10 volunteers

Based at the Center Island Pier. People will sign-in and collect the all important waivers signed by race participants. You will check-off the swimmers who arrive from the master registration sheet, and you will be responsible for drawing the number on the swimmers shoulder and giving them their race-kit.

Start/Finish Area Setup - 6 volunteers

We will need people to help us setup the start/finish line area, and to put buoys in the water. We will need your help on Saturday, August 15th, and the morning of Sunday, August 16th.

Bag Check - 1 volunteers

We need volunteers to accept bags with gear from the swimmers before they do their swim. Bags are kept in a safe area for swimmers until they get back tot he finish line. We will need you out on the island at 8:30am.

Kayaker - 7 volunteers

We are looking for people that have a kayak that could be available for the event to kayak alongside the swimmers. They are an extra set of eyes and could provide a rest for a tired swimmer if need be or to guide the swimmers if they swam off the race course. You will be responsible for getting to the island with your kayak.

Powerboats - 1 boats

We are looking for boat owners that have boats that would be easy to get in and out of (Zodiac to 20 foot plus powerboats) that could be available on Sunday, August 16th, 2015 to a) provide lifeguards with a rescue station and/or to give some VIP's a lift to the city from the island. You will be responsible for getting to the island with your boat and we will pay for your gas.

Please fill in this form, and Sean Neeb will contact you as we get closer to the date.

Welcome Members of the Press

Thanks for your interest in the Toronto Island Lake Swim. Everything you need is here to produce a story or article on the event.

Read "The Great Toronto Lake Swims"

Download this PDF with a story of the great swims from the 1900's and a synopsis of the event.

Event Synopsis

The Toronto Island Lake Swim is an open water swim event on the Toronto Islands. Now in it's 3rd year the event will consist of three challenging open water swim races (750m, 1.5km and 3.8km) and will be held on Sunday August 16th, 2015 at the Center Island Pier. The purpose of the event is to raise awareness for open water swimming in Toronto and raise awareness for keeping Lake Ontario clean through our partnership with the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper charity.

We are proud of Toronto’s history and the profound relationship between Toronto and lake swimming. In the 1920s Toronto hosted huge marathon swim races with purses in the range of 50K-75K (which adjusted for inflation would be around 700K to 1M today)! There were hundreds of thousands of spectators and major media supporting the event. We want to bring the passion of this open water swimming legacy back to Toronto!

See you on Sunday August 16th!

Contact Event Organizers

Bill Poole : (p) 416-577-4962
Steve Hulford : (p) 416.435.4361
Jon Haywood
Sean Neeb

Download our Logo

.EPS - Vector Logo
.PNG - High Res Logo

Photo of Lake Swimmer
Click to get large 640x359 image

Intro Video

Download: .mp4 | 120mb | 2:18min

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Key Websites

› Facebook:
› Website:

In the Press:

› The Torontoist - event calendar

2013 Toronto Island Lake Swim Winners:

Full results are available at Sportstats: 1.5km Results | 3.8km Results

Toronto Island Lake Swim © 2015 a Pixel Insight Consulting Inc. Production