Sunset Beach St. Catharines

Sunset Beach near Niagara has a picturesque golden sand shoreline with epic sunsets

Sunset Beach in St. Catharines certainly suits its name and might just be one of the best beaches near Toronto to watch the sun go down.

Around a 1.5-hour drive from the city, Sunset Beach overlooks Lake Ontario. As the city's largest beach, it spans over 365 metres of sandy shoreline just off the Waterfront Trail.

The Welland Canal, where you can watch ships navigate from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie, is also just a short distance away.

Formerly named "Municipal Beach," Sunset Beach was renamed in 2015 by city council. While it used to be considered a hidden gem only locals knew about, it has grown in popularity in recent years and can get quite crowded in the summer months.

At the beach, you'll find a range of convenient amenities including washrooms, a paid parking lot, a children's playground, picnic areas, and a public boat ramp.

The typically calm waters are also ideal for paddling, and you can rent equipment at Niagara Kayak nearby if you don't have your own.

That said, you'll have to keep an eye on water quality before swimming, which you can check on the Niagara Region's website. Even if you don't end up taking a dip, it's still a great place to grab a blanket and watch the sun go down.

With its west-facing views, you'll be treated to gorgeous skies (if the conditions are right, of course). It makes for a perfect date night spot, so pack a picnic basket with some snacks and drinks.

This summer will be the last season to visit the beach in its current form, because as of October, it's set for a major renovation project. 

Thanks to a $4.4 million grant from the province, the park has plans to upgrade its existing amenities and add to shoreline protection efforts.

Currently, it's free to visit the beach, but parking is paid in the closest lot. You'll find Sunset Beach at 1 Lombardy Ave in St. Catharines.

Lead photo by

Edison Ma

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