lake toronto

The top 10 places to hang out by the lake in Toronto

Some of the best places to hang out by the lake in Toronto include grassy parks, beautiful boardwalks and sandy beaches you can flock to when you're craving a view of the lake and a gentle breeze. Head to one of these scenic spots to soak up the atmosphere.

Here are my top picks for places to hang out by the lake in Toronto.

Olympic Island

This portion of the Toronto Islands is lined with lush greenery and cushy grass, making it the perfect spot for a picnic. Settle in at a picnic table by the water facing north and you'll get an unobstructed view of the Toronto skyline and the voyaging ferries.

Sunnyside Boardwalk

Take a scenic jaunt along this waterside path, which stretches from the bottom of Roncesvalles to the old Palais Royale. Stroll past Budapest Park — a great place to lay down a blanket — or stop to take a dip in the Sunnyside Bathing Pavilion.

Toronto Music Garden

This isn't your average waterside garden. The landscape architecture here will blow your mind as you explore and interact with it and there are tons of spots to buckle down and enjoy some lunch, while soaking up the sight of the lake.

HTO Park

If you're that person who likes to tan in the sand without swimming, this man-made alternative to a beach is your happy place. Real sand and sun umbrellas create an all-day hangout spot where you can enjoy the view of the water (without buddies nagging you to jump in).

Bluffer’s Park Beach

At the foot of the Scarborough Bluffs, this is one of the most beautiful beaches in Toronto. Despite being a man-made park, it still feels wild and timeless. If you want a large sandy beach to sun yourself on, look no further than here. 

Tommy Thompson Park

If you're looking for a real escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and just want great views of the lake, check out at this wilderness park at the end of the Leslie Street Spit, one cool thing about it is that the land it lies on is completely man-made. 

Cherry Beach

Not as much peace and quiet as other spots, this Port Lands city beach hums with activity in the summer — good luck finding a parking spot. There's no traditional "park" here and there's limited lawn space at the northern end, with some outdoor grills and picnic tables for summertime grillin' and chillin'.

Humber Bay Park

Go east or west in this separated waterfront park and you'll be sure to catch some great views of fabulous Lake Ontario. Take a picnic basket, your dog (there's an off-leash area) and binoculars to spot interesting water fowl and shorebirds.

Sugar Beach

This is truly a beach in the city, it's surrounded by industry but still manages to have a beachy vibe. Near the intersection of Lower Jarvis and Queens Quay, this spot offers umbrellas, chairs and amazing views of the lake. There's also a Loblaws nearby so you don't need to fret if you didn't bring a picnic lunch.

Kew-Balmy Beach

The main stretch of waterfront in the Beaches neighbourhoood, this beach offers lots of sand, sun and amazing views of the lake. Here you'll find a place that's great to just chill. 

Lead photo by

Syfractal. With contributions from Amanda Storey. 


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