You may be surprised to learn that the province of Ontario in Canada is home to some great beaches. The plethora of lakes in Ontario means a freshwater beach is never very far away. In fact, there are over 250,000 lakes in Ontario which contain about one-fifth of the world’s total freshwater so Ontarians are spoilt for choice!
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If you are looking for a way to beat the heat in the summer don’t miss these Ontario beaches. Their yellow and white-sand shores are a lovely way to spend the weekend or day.
Ontario Best Beaches
Whether you are looking for beaches in Hamilton or the nearest beach to Toronto, we have compiled the best beaches in the province for you to enjoy.
For generations, Sauble Beach has been a long-standing favourite of Ontarians. It has over 10 kilometres of beach and a section where you can drive your car onto the sand. In the summer you will find the shores lined with friends and families playing beach games and enjoying the shallow waters of Lake Huron. It is lifeguard protected in the warmer months.
Everything is within walking distance of the beach. You can find restaurants along the waterfront, holiday beach shops and water activities like jet ski and paddleboard rentals on offer. However, if the family would like to try something more adventurous don’t miss the Ascent Aerial Park.
Grand Bend is one of the most beloved beaches in Ontario. It is located in Lambton Shores on the southern end of Lake Huron and is known for its sandy beach and lively atmosphere. It is a Blue Flag Beach which means that it passes a strict water quality test. The beach is patrolled by lifeguards in the summer and there are splash pads and playgrounds near the beach for little ones.
You can find all sorts of adrenaline-inducing water sports in Grand Bend. Think parasailing, wakeboarding or flyboarding. All are available at this Lake Huron beach.
However, for something more low key, one of the top things to do is watch the sunset at Grand Bend. Lake Huron is known for having notoriously good sunsets. Nearby Pinery Provincial Park has even been dubbed one of the best places to watch the sunset in the country by many.
Wasaga Beach is a sandy beach found on the shores of Georgian Bay. It is the longest freshwater beach in the world and a popular destination known for its near white sands and holiday atmosphere.
Due to being the longest freshwater beach in the world, Wasaga Beach is divided into 6 smaller “beaches”. Section 1 and 2 are located closest to the town center and therefore are the busiest. To avoid the crowds meander to sections 3-6 along Georgian Bay.
In the town center, you can find all sorts of restaurants. Everything from rooftop bars to fast food joints. As well as beach shops and recreational activities, like batting cages and minigolf.
Cobourg is a historical town located along Lake Ontario which boasts a great beach known as Victoria Beach. People come from near and far in the summer months to walk along the pier and spend the day swimming or lounging on the sand.
The beach is backed by a splash pad, BBQ area, and playground which makes it a hit with families. It has great water quality and the beach’s city management team uses a flag system to demonstrate if it is safe to swim. Green indicates it is safe to go for a dip in the water but red indicates there is no lifeguard on duty.
There is also a beach located adjacent to Victoria Beach known as West Beach but it is far less popular. This is because it is not groomed like the Victoria beach, and it doesn’t have the same facilities or lifeguards on duty.
Sandbanks, Prince Edward County
Sandbanks Provincial Park is located on Lake Ontario and has a few great beaches. Dunes Beach, Sandbanks Beach and Outlet Beach are the most popular great lakes beaches in the park. They all feature a soft sandy beach, clear waters, and park facilities. However, Outlet Beach and Sandbanks beach are much flatter than Dunes Beach and have gradual drop offs in the water.
You can visit these Lake Ontario beaches on a day pass or camp overnight in the Sandbanks Provincial Park. While visiting one of these beaches don’t miss out on embarking on one of the hiking trails in the area. The Cedar Sands Nature Trail is an easy 2 kilometres loop with interpretive signage leading the way.
Sugar Beach, Toronto
Sugar Beach is without a doubt one of the best beaches in Toronto. Located in the downtown core, it is known for its iconic pink umbrellas and Muskoka chairs. You can’t swim here but it is a great place to catch some rays, chat with a friend or attend one of the events held regularly at Sugar Beach.
Sugar Beach got its name and the inspiration for its sweet decor from the adjacent Redpath Sugar Refinery. This Ontario beach is a product of a city revitalization program and was previously a parking lot.
A number of events are held at Sugar Beach. Some of these include the Toronto Wine and Spirit Festival, outdoor cinemas in the summer months, the Redpath Waterfront Festival and more.
Woodbine’s wide stretch of sand, great facilities, and Toronto location make it one of the best beaches in Ontario. Located in the “beaches” area of the city, along Queen Street East, Woodbine Beach is the largest of the area’s beaches.
It gets very popular with inner-city folks in the summer months. There is a boardwalk that runs along the beach, a children’s playground, a water bottle filling station, and lifeguards on duty in the summer.
The Queen Street East area is a trendy neighbourhood in Toronto with some great restaurants, shops, and cafes. When the hunger strikes we urge you to explore the eclectic collection of nearby places to eat and drink.
Port Stanley Beach
Port Stanley is located on the shores of Lake Erie in Ontario. It is known for its marina, century-old houses and quiet village feel. The area is popular for windsurfers and sailors, and there is a boat ramp just steps from the southern end of Main Beach.
Main Beach in Port Stanley is one of the finest beaches on Lake Erie. It is protected from the open water by the breakwater so it is popular with families who enjoy the calm, shallow waters. It has also received Blue Flag Level Status. There are change rooms, washroom facilities, and outdoor showers for public use, as well as lifeguards on duty.
For a secret gem in Port Stanley, head to Little Beach on Lake Erie. This tiny Ontario beach doesn’t have the same level of facilities but it has the sandy, shallow waters that Main Beach in Port Stanley has become known for.
Port Dover Beach
Although Port Dover Beach is located along Fort Erie, it will make you feel like you’ve stepped into the tropics. Real palm trees line the Ontario beach every summer. They are planted by the restaurant The Beach House in late May and taken down in October.
The beach itself is sandy and the water is shallow. There are washroom facilities on-site and a host of food vendors and restaurants nearby. Take some time to walk along the scenic pier which is located next to the beach. It ends at the Port Dover Lighthouse and is popular with fishermen and couples at sunset.
Old Women Bay Beach
Old Women Bay Beach is definitely one of the most secluded beaches in Ontario, but it is also one of the most beautiful. Located along the shores of Lake Superior, Old Women Bay Beach can be found in Algoma Country near Wawa.
This Lake Superior beach name origin is from the nearby cliff which resembles a woman. The water’s never really warm up here the same way they do by the beaches in Southern Ontario but they are refreshing in the summer months.
There are washroom facilities on the beach but no lifeguards so swimming is at your own risk. Even if you don’t decide to swim, it is a beautiful place to enjoy the scenery of Lake Superior, have a picnic and sunbathe.
Don’t miss exploring these beautiful beaches in Ontario. They have a lot to offer Canadian beach bums!