Secret beaches in and around Toronto to avoid the crowds
Secret beaches in and around Toronto offer a reprieve from the crowds that you'll find at Woodbine and on the Islands in the summer. From quiet spring-fed lakes to windswept shores beside hulking power plants, there are lots of under the radar spots to explore.
Here are seven secret beaches to seek out in and around Toronto.
Surely the most under-appreciated of Toronto's official beaches, this one 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.
This beach tucked away near Hamilton 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.
This conservation area beach in Dundas, Ontario can get busy on mid-summer weekends, but it still feels like a hidden place. In the past, the water was chlorinated to keep bacteria levels down, but that practice ended years ago. It's now a far nicer place to swim.
This beach, located at the mouth of the Rouge River, boasts not only a beach, but a change room, an outdoor volleyball court and washrooms. All the things for a great, and stress-free, afternoon at the beach.
Surely one of the strangest beaches in the province, this one sits right beside the Pickering Nuclear Station. The beach itself is also intriguing in that it forms a barrier between Lake Ontario and the bay after which it's named, making it a shallow sandy strip in the midst of the huge landscape that surrounds it. It's a stunning landscape.
Sometimes it pays to drive a little bit out of the city for your beach experience. Located at the southern tip of Mississauga, this park faces the Toronto skyline yet it feels a world away as the rustic beach is never crowded and a great place to camp out for a disruption-free day.
The sandy beach at this mostly hidden conservation area stretches just over 100 metres alongside a small lake that reaches comfortably swimmable temperatures in late spring. The ample grassy areas beyond the beach also make this an ideal place to picnic between dips in the water.
Olivia Little at Marie Curtis Park. With files from Lisa Cumming and Derek Flack.
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