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Travel

Wasaga Beach

Posted by Guest Contributor / August 4, 2012

Wasaga BeachWasaga Beach thrives as a tourist destination, hosting several million international visitors and day trippers each balmy season. They come for the longest freshwater beach in the world, frolicking in the bay's shallow, warm water, to toss a football, walk beside the gentle waves, escape the city's frenetic stress and to feel sand between their toes and often, in other places too.

The nostalgic atmosphere interests me. I suspect some see Wasaga as Coney Island meets Florida retirement community, but I've seen something quite different. I've pitched a tent, drank cold beer by campfire in one of those vintage cottage courts and rented a riverside cabin. It's kitschy for certain, but owns what I call Canada Cool.

There are a few key things to know about this beach town. They have the biggest blue skies with the fluffiest white clouds that perform endlessly. Sand collects and blows by curbs and over sidewalks, bats come out at night, plus there's a stellar view of Blue Mountain and six amazing beaches. Flip flops, thirsty beach towels and binoculars to watch the endangered and protected Plovers are all mandatory beach bag items. There's a faded boardwalk that creaks when you walk on it.

Locals sit outside the Tim Horton's after dinner on lawn chairs. They stroll, roll and bicycle in droves along Shore Lane gathering as is tradition with their evening coffee or cleverly concealed cocktail every night to watch the sun set together. I was lucky to lease a beach house near the water's edge and enjoyed a waterfront that seemed at times, deserted and private. Impossibly amazing this close to the big city, but true.

Coming for a short visit to Wasaga Beach? I'd recommend these activities:

  • Try your putting skills at the brand new mini-golf course Skull Island. It's complete with pirate ship and moat. A short walk to Beach 1, is the beloved landmark souvenir shack, Pedro's and Nancy Island, a War of 1812 historical site.
  • Opt for a light lunch making a quick jaunt towards Beach 5 and drool over Fiona's Bakery and Tearoom lemon tarts and date squares. You can inhale them. Trust me. For dessert (two desserts is completely acceptable here) you must taste a creamy soft serve cone from Lorna Dune's located near Beach 6.
  • For dinner, I would suggest Catch 22. This Fresh Market Grill, near Beach 3 is all about the food. Inspired by the abundance of locally farmed ingredients that are readily available, Chef Bob fosters an atmosphere in the kitchen that promotes carefree creativity, resulting in amazing tastes that end up on your plate.
  • Morning walks on the beach are magical. I love the calm lake as the sun rises and driftwood treasures usually await me. It feels open and fresh up here. I have a lot more resting ground to cover yet; miles of beach, acres of trails and hectares of dunes. I'll get to it. That's the summer freedom I'm living and there's no rush.

To say life here, a bustling two hour drive north of Toronto to southern Georgian Bay, is laid-back with obvious contrasts between mid-week abandoned streets and youthful, hedonistic weekends is an understatement. It takes a few years to slow down to its pace. It's been a great place to live and love. I watch others repeatedly return to unwind, clear their mind and experience our summer freedom. I wonder if they have it in them to survive our Siberian winters? Bravery required.

Writing by Patti Friday who lives in Wasaga Beach. Photo by Marika G on Flickr

Discussion

16 Comments

Julie W. / August 4, 2012 at 03:42 am
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The main photo reminds me of,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Uu3kCEEc98

This girl definately believes in life after love...
fia / August 4, 2012 at 06:53 am
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Pick up your trash & butts, douchebag.
Bob W / August 4, 2012 at 08:26 am
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Sounds marvelous. Was just in Toronto last weekend and if I had read this beforehand, would have made the drive north!
Abe / August 4, 2012 at 08:27 am
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Wasaga 500 gokarts. Longest track in history!
Azzuri / August 4, 2012 at 09:13 am
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Good old Woodbridge North
Peter / August 4, 2012 at 12:33 pm
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Nice Ass shot!!! I'm all for more this kind of photography on Blogto
greaseball / August 4, 2012 at 12:46 pm
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in there like swimwear ;)
santina / August 4, 2012 at 01:13 pm
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Chill at Boston Pizza, the best patio at the beach, Main st
Darren Gilbert / August 4, 2012 at 01:19 pm
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Enjoy this video I made of Wasaga Beach a few weeks ago:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NI13bc9P750
Mike / August 4, 2012 at 09:29 pm
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We have a place there. It's crazy some weekends but fantastic others. Plus the scenery ain't too bad ;)
quoi replying to a comment from Julie W. / August 4, 2012 at 11:55 pm
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dafuq?
Martika G. / August 5, 2012 at 12:03 pm
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Hi there,

Although I appreciate you crediting me for the photo (my name is spelled wrong though), can you please remove it from this article? Thank you!
RobbieG / August 7, 2012 at 05:48 am
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Grand Bend > Wasaga
Jay / August 7, 2012 at 03:05 pm
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Yes PLEASE pick up your garbage.
Theater Program / September 5, 2012 at 10:42 pm
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This is a keeper! Good info! You efforts putting this blog together was worth the while. I appreciate you sharing this with the rest of us Guest.
louis vuitton bags us / April 25, 2013 at 10:51 am
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