beaches toronto

The top 25 beaches in and around Toronto

The top beaches in and around Toronto offer the ultimate summer escape from city life. It's been a tough year with the closing of the Island beaches, but there are many sandy retreats located within a quick jaunt of Toronto's highly urbanized areas. Your summer beach day trip awaits.

Here are our picks for the top beaches in and around Toronto.

In Toronto

Cherry Beach

The water at Cherry Beach is some of the coldest in the Toronto area, but this is a great beach for watching windsurfers skim through the water or to have a barbecue on the grassy area. The old lifeguard station is one of the city's most photographed sites.

Bluffers Beach

Bluffer's Park can almost seem tropical in the heart of summer. Photo by dtstuff9.

Bluffer's Park

While people are being warned to stay off the top of the Bluffs, the beach is now partially open and supervised by lifeguards. There's not quite as much sandy area thanks to high water levels, but it's still one of the most ample in the city (and already very busy on weekends).

Marie Curtis 

Surely the most under-appreciated of Toronto's official beaches, Marie Curtis Park is a breath of fresh air if you're used to crowds that flock to Woodbine and the Scarborough Bluffs in the summer. It's a relatively short stretch of sand, but it's nicely secluded from the rest of the city.

Woodbine Beach

Woodbine is almost back to full life after spring flooding in Toronto. Photo by scott3eh.

Woodbine

It might get busy, but that's part of Woodbine Beach's appeal. It offers some excellent people watching opportunities as well as a sandy waterfront and some gorgeous skyline views.

Beyond Toronto

Kelso Conservation Area

Kelso Lake is a human-made reservoir that helps to control flooding of the nearby Sixteen Mile Creek. It's also a popular place to swim as its relatively small size leads to warm water temperatures throughout the season. The conservation area maintains a sandy beach and picnic areas.

Christie Lake

Christie Lake can get busy on mid-summer weekends, but it still feels like a hidden place tucked away in a conservation area in Dundas, Ontario. In the past the water was chlorinated to keep bacteria levels down, but that practice ended five years ago when it became clear that the lake didn't require such treatment. It's now much nicer!

Cobourg Beach

Cobourg Beach might be cool to swim at before mid-July, but it's got great sand. Photo by Will.

Cobourg Beach

If you want to get out of the city, but don't feel like doing much driving, Cobourg is a great option. It's only an hour and a half away, but still features a beautiful beach and a lovely lighthouse.

Fifty Point Beach

Tucked away near Hamilton, 50 Point Beach offers a stunning view of Toronto in the background, but also a lovely protected beach that never gets super busy based on the other options in the area (e.g. Beach Park). Water temperatures here are consistently some of the warmest in Lake Ontario.

Sibbald Point

Sibbald Point is still in York Region and it's not too far from Toronto. This beach on Lake Simcoe is a great spot if you're looking to extend your trip up north by camp out for a night (or two).

Wasaga Beach

Wasaga is still the ultimate people-watching beach in the province. Photo by Richard Braeken.

Wasaga

While you may have to dodge rowdy youths at Wasaga, a trip to one of the world's long freshwater beaches is definitely worth it. Along with gorgeous white sand, the water here is generally warm because it's pretty shallow, making it easy to go for a dip or lounge around in Georgian Bay.

Southampton

Southampton's on the shore of Lake Huron and includes lots of beaches for all of your summer needs. It's about two and half hours away from Toronto, but a bit longer with traffic.

Grand Band

It can also get quite rowdy at Grand Bend, but you should head here if you're looking to party as you enjoy beautiful Lake Huron. With plenty of patios, bars and restaurants, it's easy to have fun here during both the day and night.

Sauble Beach

Ontario beaches don't get much nicer than Sauble. Photo by O.Ng.

Sauble Beach

Brave the three hour journey to get to Sauble Beach and reward yourself with an afternoon relaxing on a white sandy beach. Sauble's also on Lake Huron, but it's not quite as raucous as Grand Bend.

Balm Beach

This beach on Georgian Bay, near Penetanguishene and Midland, feature sandy shores. While away a few hours in the sunshine and stay for the night because Balm Beach hosts concerts on certain nights throughout the summer.

Sandbanks

Sandbanks Provincial Park is a must-see if you're heading to Prince Edward County for a weekend trip. Along with the wineries and cideries nearby, this area features gorgeous beaches that'll transport you out of Ontario for a little while.

Crystal Beach

You can see Buffalo's skyline from the parking lot, but its the fine-grained sand and warm water that really make Crystal Beach special. Photo by Brian.li.

Crystal Beach

This white sandy beach on the shores of Lake Erie gets very busy, but that just gives it a party vibe reminiscent of American beaches much further south. Don't go here if you're looking for peace and quiet, but do seek it out if you want to meet people and take in the spectacle.

Turkey Point

Lake Erie has the warmest waters of the Great Lakes thanks to its relatively shallow depth. Turkey Point is nowhere near as busy as Wasaga or Grand Bend, but the swimming is great and the cottage rentals far cheaper than Muskoka. You can also head to the provincial park for the day.

Long Point

Over 40 kilometres in length, it's amazing to walk out as far as you can for a look at the shanty cottages,wildlife, and glistening waters of Lake Erie. The Provincial Park is the main place to explore if you haven't rented a cottage, and it features about two kilometres of fine sandy beach, which never seems to get overpopulated.

Port Stanley Beach

Port Stanley can get very busy on summer weekends. Photo by Port Stanley Tourism.

Port Stanley

Port Stanley is a cute harbour town on Lake Erie with a big sandy beach that attracts a decent number of tourists over the summer months. The temperature of the lake is a major plus (it's comfortably swimmable by the end of June) and attractions like the old 1940s steam train provide extra-beach activities.

Port Dover

Port Dover is as chill as busy Beaches come. Located immediately south of the the town, it's marked by a scenic lighthouse and very warm waters in late July and early August. Be forewarned, it's not a huge beach, so if you want your preferred spot, you'll have to arrive in the morning.

Sand Hill Park

This hidden gem on the shores of Lake Eerie is like Sandbanks but better. The size of the sand hills is surreal, but the best part is trying run down to the water before inevitably tumbling into the soft sand. You can camp overnight here, but it's best as a day visit.

Willow Beach

This underrated beach is near Sibbald Point Provincial Park but is typically less busy. At less than an hour drive from Toronto (in low traffic), it's an amazing sandy escape with great swimming come July. There's also lots of picnic tables for when you get peckish. 

balsam lake provincial park

A cottage escape without the cottage: Balsam Lake beach. Photo by simplychelsetta.

Balsam Lake

It'll take you only about two and a half hours to get to the Kawarthas from Toronto. Once there, you'll get to enjoy a sandy beach as well as a provincial park that features lots of shady campsites.

Port Burwell

Port Burwell is another gem of a beach on Lake Erie that boasts fine-grain sand, almost remarkably warm water temperatures in the late summer, and all the amenities of the eponymous provincial campground. You get a really good breeze here, so overheating shouldn't be a problem.

Bass Lake

This is an underrated beach that's only about a one and a half hour drive from Toronto in light traffic. The sandy beach here is natural and thousands of years old. In addition to great swimming, there are canoes, kayaks and paddle boats available to rent.

Lead photo by

Nimeral1


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Sports & Play

This incredible boardwalk is just an hour away from Toronto

The top 5 summer day trips from Toronto

10 stores to buy camping gear and equipment in Toronto

The top 5 hidden parks and gardens in Toronto

This wilderness pod resort is two hours from Toronto

Towering industrial site is an explorer's paradise two hours from Toronto

Toronto is about to be taken over by Harry Potter parties

21 weird and quirky attractions in Ontario