beaches toronto

The top 5 beaches in Toronto

The top beaches in Toronto may not rival those to be found at more southerly destinations around the globe, but throughout the summer months they're a more-than-adequate substitute for those who find themselves city-bound and in need of a little sand and sunshine.

While most of Toronto's beaches are Blue Flag quality, always be sure to check before visiting as these things can change.

Here are my picks for the top beaches in Toronto.

Woodbine/Kew-Balmy beaches

Although technically different beaches, I group these three together based on their close proximity. Woodbine is the city's best spot for beach volleyball and people-watching. Kew takes some of the overflow and rewards those looking for a more serene experience, while Balmy is the quietest of the three, and thus ideal for those seeking seclusion.

Hanlan's Point

Toronto's only nude beach — Hanlan's Point. Photo by karin!

Hanlan's Point

Known best for its clothing optional area, Hanlan's Point also has a side for the less adventurous, even if it's generally far less populated than its nude-friendly neighbour. This is surely the most fun beach in Toronto, with some of the best sand around.

Sunnyside Beach Toronto

People have flocked to Sunnyside to swim for well over a century. Photo by Deep-Fried Goodness.

Sunnyside

Not the best beach when it comes to water quality, Sunnyside is nevertheless deemed safe to swim most of the time. Perhaps due to the proximity of Gus Ryder pool, the beach itself never seems to get altogether that packed (and certainly not like it used to), so it's a good spot to chill with bit of privacy.

Cherry Beach Toronto

The iconic lifeguard station at Cherry Beach. Photo by Still the Oldie.

Cherry Beach

A popular spot for kite-boarding and surfboarding, Cherry Beach has a decidedly laid back atmosphere. The smell of charcoal barbecues often wafts over the beach from the small wooded area to the north. At night, the parking lot serves as one of the city's best-loved makeout areas.

Bluffer's park

Bluffer's Park can look almost tropical in the summer. Photo by dtstuff9.

Bluffer's Park

Located at the bottom of Brimley Road (one of the steepest hills in the city), the beach at Bluffer's Park is one of the nicest in the city. Bounded by the Scarborough Bluffs to the north, the park is both scenic and well-manicured (as far as Toronto beaches go). Arrive early on summer weekends if hoping for a parking spot.

Lead photo by

Tanya Mok. Written by Derek Flack and Tanya Mok. 


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Sports & Play

Toronto not impressed after Montreal Canadiens flag seen flying at City Hall

Here's what we know about CFL player Chris Larsen and the assault at Hanlan's Point

Toronto is opening 10 outdoor swimming pools this weekend and here's where to find them

You can now buy tickets to go swimming in an old abandoned quarry not far from Toronto

Toronto gym owner says city's new outdoor fitness program hurts small business

The City of Toronto is launching its own outdoor fitness program this month

Beaches are now officially open for swimming in Toronto and here are the rules

Pioneering study finds bike lanes have doubled the number of cyclists in parts of Toronto