Best Beaches for Families

It doesn't truly feel like summer until there's sand between your toes, and for many families staying at home for the past few months, beaches will be a welcomed destination. Many Toronto and GTA beaches are just a short distance away making them great destinations for summer day trips. While away the hours at these family-friendly spots splashing around in the waves, building a masterpiece castle and soaking up some rays.

Updates: Lifeguards will return to supervise six of Toronto’s swimming beaches on June 22, 2020. Swimming without the supervision of a lifeguard or outside designated swim areas is not recommended.

Take advantage of these beaches all summer long... Many are free. Those in a Provincial Park require park admission. Check all websites before heading out due to COVID-19 closures. Remember, we are still in the midst of a pandemic and it's important to physically distance when in public spaces, especially at beaches, which tend to overcrowd. Try going off-peak hours.

Toronto Beaches

Bluffers Beach Park
1 Brimley Road South, Toronto
Bluffers Park has a day use park including a sandy beach, picnic areas, walks, lookouts, a double launching ramp, and visitors dockage. Located east of the foot of Brimley Road, this large beach traps sand against a lakefill arm of Bluffer’s Park. More

Centre Island Beach
2 Avenue of the Islands, Toronto
Enter another world as you take the ferry across the lake! Created by drifting sand bars, the Islands' beaches are supervised, with wading pools just a walk away. Entrance to ferry docks is at Bay and Queen's Quay, west of Westin Harbour Castle hotel.
More info

Cherry Beach
275 Unwin Avenue, foot of Cherry St, in the Portlands, Toronto
Located just west of the downtown Toronto core. Activities include: swimming, parasailing, and hiking. The west side of the swimming beach is popular with kiteboarders. A designated off-leash dog area is located along the beach’s western boundary. More

Gibraltar Point Beach
425 Lakeshore Avenue, Toronto
This small, secluded beach was established in 2007 and was awarded a Blue Flag that same year. It is backed by an exceptional stand of eastern cottonwoods and the Gibraltar Point Centre for the Arts is nearby. Ferries to Centre Island depart from Ferrydocks at 9 Queens Quay WestMore

Hanlan’s Point Beach
Toronto Islands, Toronto
Located on the western shore of Toronto Island Park, this long beach includes a clothing optional area (so there is a nudist section) - only the second of its kind in Canada. Hanlan’s was first awarded a Blue Flag in 2005. The beach is backed by a significant sand dune system extending from Toronto City Centre Airport to Gibraltar Point. Visitors can play volleyball. Ferries to Centre Island depart from Ferrydocks at 9 Queens Quay WestMore

Kew-Balmy Beach
2075 Queen Street East, Toronto
Located between Silver Birch and Leuty avenues in Beaches Park, this narrow beach abuts the boardwalk and the Martin Goodman Trail. Kew-Balmy is separated from Woodbine Beach by a designated off-leash dog area south of Kew Gardens. More

Marie Curtis Park East Beach
2 Forty-Second Street, Toronto
Located at the mouth of Etobicoke Creek near the foot of Forty-Second Street. Most users of this beach are drawn from the adjacent Long Branch community. More

Rouge Beach - Closed
195 Rouge Hills Drive, Toronto
Located at the mouth of the Rouge River at the east end of Lawrence Avenue, this beach is shared with the West Rouge Canoe Club, which operates children’s camps during the Summer. The river mouth spit is a popular fishing site. More

Sunnyside Beach
1755 Lakeshore Blvd W, Toronto
This long, narrow beach has been a city-wide destination since the 1890s. Sunnyside is protected by an offshore breakwall which helps control erosion and provides calm water for rowers and paddlers. Facilities include: parking, beach volleyball, concessions, boardwalk cafe, Gus Ryder Pool, and change rooms. Located between the Humber River and Sunnyside Bathing Pavilion. More

Ward's Island
Toronto Islands, Toronto
Located on the southeastern shore of Toronto Island Park away from major park facilities and activity areas, this is one of the quietest beaches on the Island. It was first awarded a Blue Flag in 2005. Ward’s is backed by a small dune system. The Island residential community is nearby. Ferries to Centre Island depart from Ferrydocks at 9 Queens Quay WestMore

Woodbine Beaches
1675 Lakeshore Boulevard E, Toronto
Located east and west of the foot of Woodbine Avenue, this beach straddles Beaches Park, Woodbine Beach Park and Ashbridge’s Bay Park and is Toronto's busiest beach. The large sandy beach includes a playground for young children. It was first awarded a Blue Flag in 2005. Features picnic areas, a full-service restaurant, a beach volleyball, concession, and ample parking at Ashbridge’s Bay Park. More

GTA Beaches

Check all websites for closures and reopening phases due to COVID-19.

Awenda Provincial Park, Penetanguishene
670 Concession 18 East, Tiny
Awenda features several beautiful and natural beaches on the Georgian Bay shoreline within driving distance from the campgrounds. The most protected and sandiest beach area is at Methodist Point Bay (Third Beach). Swimmers are reminded that that there are no lifeguards at the beaches. More

Beachway Park, Burlington
1100 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, ON
The Beachway Park Pavilion and multi-use trails provide a 2 km route from Spencer Smith Park to the canal. The pavilion provides change rooms, outdoor showers, seasonal concession facilities featuring the Snack Shack and year round washrooms. Amenities at the beach include the pavilion, parking, a playground, and lots of sun, sand, and water. More

Cedar Beach Park at Musselman’s Lake
Beautiful Cedar Beach, conveniently located less than an hour drive from Toronto is an ideal seasonal resort, whether you are looking for a place to stay for the season or an escape for the weekend. Situated on the sandy shore of Musselman’s Lake where young and old alike can enjoy a host of recreational facilities. Swimming and sunbathing is available on a two-tier beach for registered guests and campers. Note: this is not a public beach. More

Christie Lake Conservation Area
1000 Highway 5 West, Dundas 
Christie Lake Conservation Area, one of the most beautiful lake settings on the Niagara Escarpment. Swimmers and sunbathers will enjoy Christie Lake's 360 m sandy beach, and a chlorinated swimming area that is screened from the rest of the lake. Tubes and flutter boards are available to rent at the Beach House. Please note that their natural swimming areas are not supervised and do not have lifeguards on duty. More

Cobourg Beach, Cobourg
138 Division St, Cobourg
Cobourg Beach is called the Gem of Lake Ontario for it's appealing location along the lakeshore and abundant opportunities for feel-good fun and play. The beach is stunning! It’s the perfect playground for the family, or relaxing solo with a good paperback and a popsicle. For the little ones, there’s a splash pad and playground. More

Kelso Conservation Area, Milton
5234 Kelso Road, Milton
The large, sandy beach on the 20 hectare (50 acre) lake is great for kids and parents alike, with change rooms, lockers, beach concessions, and other outdoor activities within steps. The beach is fully supervised. More

Kincardine Beaches - Station Beach, Iverhuron Beach, Lorne Beach
Features 3 beaches: Inverhuron, Station, and Lorne Beach. The beaches in the Kincardine area cannot be beaten. Station Beach is the main one, a sandy beach, with a smattering of small pebbles lining the water's edge. The water is shallow with a gradual slope which makes it a perfect beach for little ones! Features a Tiny Tot Park, Snack Bar, washrooms, a covered picnic area (at Dunsmoor Park), lots of shade trees, the Rock Gardens, the Pavillion and Lovers Lane add to the ambiance of this part of the beach. Parking is plentiful. Lorne Beach is rocky and not suitable for children. More

Sandbanks Provincial Park
3004 County Rd. 12 RR#1, Picton 
Sandbanks is famous for its beaches and swimming. Three expansive sandy beaches that some say are among the best in Canada; Outlet Beach is perfect for families, with shallow waters and gentle drop off. More

Sauble Beach, Lake Huron
672 Main Street, Sauble Beach
Known as the #1 beach, Sauble Beach is located less than 3 hours north of Toronto on the beautiful shores of Lake Huron. Sauble has the beach, shopping, entertainment, camping, accommodations, and sunsets for a perfect weekend with the kids. Recreational activities include biking, boating and boat launches, fishing, hiking, adventure rentals and tours, golfing, canoeing and kayaking, and volleyball. More

Sibbald Point Provincial Park, Sutton
26071 York Rd 18 (Park Road), Sutton West 
The blue waters of Lake Simcoe and the sandy beaches of the park are ideal for family swimming. There is a buoyed swimming area but please note there are no lifeguards posted. Comfort stations and change facilities are close to the beach. More

Valens Lake
691 Regional Road 97 (R.R.#6), Flamborough (Cambridge)
Any summer day, swimmers and sunbathers can enjoy the sandy beach, and natural swimming area.  Please note that our natural swimming area is not supervised and do not have lifeguards on duty.  Enjoy the Beach store, featuring pre-packaged snacks and cool treats to add that special something to your picnic lunch. More

Wasaga Beach
11-22nd St. North, Wasaga Beach
Wasaga Beach is hailed as one of the premier tourist destinations in Ontario with 14 kilometres of white sand beach, swim in warm, clean waters, and enjoy the panoramic mountain views across the bay. Other amenities include: recreation trails for hiking and cycling. More

Edit ModuleShow Tags

You Might Also Like

Pumpkin Patches in the GTA

This year, skip the grocery store pumpkins and take a day trip to one of GTA's pumpkin patches, where you're sure to run into more fall fun.

10 Best Things to Do this Weekend: September 25 to 27, 2020

It's the weekend and it's time for some family fun. Here are the top 10 things to do this weekend: September 25 to 27, 2020.

A New Halloween Drive-Thru Event Is Coming To The GTA

Things are about to get spooky in a safe and friendly way this Halloween! The creators of the popular Kidapalooza Festivals have just announced a new drive-thru Halloween experience coming to the Greater Toronto Area this October.