Hit the Beach!
Dig your toes into the sand. Relax to the sound of soothing waves. Build sandcastles. It’s no secret Ontario has many beautiful shorelines and some of the most prestine beaches anywhere. And it's easy to see why beaches are a popular family destination at this time of year.
Whether you're doing the shore or riding the waves, take a tour of these sandy stretches in Ontario...
Many of Toronto’s waterfront parks have sand or cobble beaches for families to enjoy. Soak up the lakeside atmosphere, come for a picnic or play some beach volleyball. Go wading or take a dip at one of the 11 designated swimming beaches. To check water quality for Toronto Beaches, call the City’s Beach Water Quality Hotline at 416-392-7161, or visit app.toronto.ca/tpha/beaches.
Bluffers Park, Toronto East
1 Brimley Road South
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.
Centre Island Beach
2 Avenue of the Islands
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. Ferries to Centre Island depart from Ferrydocks at 9 Queens Quay West.
275 Unwin Avenue, foot of Cherry St, in the Portlands
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.
Gibraltar Point Beach
425 Lakeshore Avenue
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 West.
Hanlan’s Point Beach
Located on the western shore of Toronto Island Park, this long beach includes a clothing optional area - 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 West.
2075 Queen Street East
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.
Marie Curtis Park East Beach
2 Forty-Second Street
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.
195 Rouge Hills Dr
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.
1755 Lakeshore Blvd W
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.
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 West.
1675 Lakeshore Boulevard E
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.
Other great beaches to check out in and around the Greater Toronto Area...
Awenda Provincial Park, Penetanguishene
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.
Beachway Park and Pavilion, 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.
Cedar Beach Park, Musselman’s Lake, Stouffville
Offering shaded picnic areas, a swimming area with sandy beach, and camping facilities, it is ideal for group and family events picnics and reunions. Recently renovated two-tiered private beach includes swimming, 2 water trampolines, fishing, canoe and paddleboat rentals, large picnic areas with shelters, new certified playgrounds for all ages, 41 tent sites with power and water hook-ups, 519 sites with 30 and 50 amp power, water and sewer hookups for trailers and motor homes, seasonal and transient camping, 2 swimming pools and 1 hot tub, sports fields, basketball, beach volleyball, badminton, tennis, shuffleboard and horseshoes, licenced restaurant, and camp store. NOTE: This Beach is now restricted to area residents only!
Christie Lake Conservation Area
1000 Highway 5 West, Dundas, ON
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.
Cobourg Beach, Cobourg
Cobourg, 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.
Kelso Conservation Area, Milton
5234 Kelso Road, Milton, ON
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.
Kincardine Beaches - Station Beach, Iverhuron Beach, Point Clark Beach
Features 3 beaches: Inverhuron, Station, and Main Beach in Point Clark. Whether it be the sand dunes in Inverhuron, the diving board on the pier at Station Beach in Kincardine, or a view of the Point Clark Lighthouse from the sand, the beaches in the Kincardine area cannot be beaten.
Sandbanks Provincial Park
3004 County Rd. 12 RR#1, Picton, ON
Sandbanks is famous for its beaches and swimming. It has three natural sand beaches: Outlet Beach is located in the East Lake sector of the park, Sandbanks Beach is located in the Sandbanks Day-Use area off Lake Ontario and Dunes Beach is located in the Dunes Day-Use area off West Lake. Outlet and Sandbanks Beaches have gradual drop-offs, but the Dunes Beach has a steep drop off and swimmers should take extra caution. Please note: there are no lifeguards posted at the beaches and pets are not permitted except on the designated pet area.
Sauble Beach, Lake Huron
672 Main Street, Sauble Beach, ON
Voted "Number 1 Beach in Ontario" by Toronto Star readers and "One of Canada's Top 10 Beaches" by readers of Macleans magazine. 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.
Sibbald Point Provincial Park, Sutton
26071 York Rd 18 (Park Road), Sutton West, ON
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.
691 Regional Road 97 (R.R.#6), Flamborough (Cambridge), ON
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.
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.
CLICK HERE to use our printable checklist to pack for the beach!
What's your family's favourite beach? Share below!