How often is a metropolis like Toronto able to boast so many beautiful beaches? But how many people actually realize the beautiful bounty of beaches we have?
Well, we’ve rounded up highlights on five of Toronto’s best beaches. So grab that swimsuit, some sunscreen, and get yourself to one of — or all of these — incredible beaches!
And of course, there’s a clothing-optional beach on this list …
Woodbine Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the city. It’s no wonder that people head there extra early to nab a good spot right by the water. (Which is totally safe to swim in, by the way.)
It’s the go-to spot for Torontonian’s, especially if you’re looking for a really good time.
You can always count on at least one beachgoer to bring their speaker and bump the ultimate summer playlist. Or you can head over to the 90+ volleyball courts to show off your skills.
If you get hungry, there’s an ice cream truck waiting for you at the edge of the parking lot, or you can hit the nearby snack bar, which includes a Johnny Catch Fish & Chips and, of course, Tim Hortons.
BONUS: For avid trail runners (or walkers, like me), the Ash Bridges Bay and Martin Goodman trails run through this park.
Hanlan’s Point, Toronto’s only clothing-optional beach, brings the sand, sun and most definitely the sights.
Beachgoers can let it all hang out as they sunbathe on the smooth, rockless sand dunes, while enjoying the surrounding views. But don’t worry, there’s a “clothing mandatory” part of the beach for those who are little shyer.
Situated on Toronto Island, you can take a ferry to get there. If you’ve got your own boat, use it to your advantage. Stop by Centre Island or grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants on the island before you set up shop.
A Blue Flag destination (a global eco-certification for beach and marina quality), the water is clear and inviting at Hanlan’s Point, and the relaxed vibe never goes away at this beach oasis that feels like it’s anywhere but Toronto.
BONUS: The infamous Gibraltar Point Lighthouse is not too far away, for anyone interested in the spooky ghost story about the 1815 murder of John Paul Radelmüller.
At Sugar Beach, what used to be a parking lot is now an 8500-metre Instagrammable park that’s perfect for a beach day … just without the actual beach.
Powder pink umbrellas and white beach chairs are dispersed throughout this sandy urban park, which overlooks the stunning views of the harbour — the perfect #SummerVibes shot.
Situated at the foot of Lower Jarvis Street, Sugar Beach is the perfect getaway during a long workday, where you can sit and read a book on your break or even grab lunch at Against the Grain Tavern, attached to the stunning Corus building.
There is also a bike and walking path lined by trees, and big wooden benches placed along the path for your people-watching pleasure.
BONUS: Ports Toronto hosts Sail-In Cinema this year from August 10-11. Catch a movie either on the beach or on your boat … Just sail-in and drop your anchor!
DOUBLE BONUS: 102.1 The Edge hosts #SugarBeachSession’s live in-studio. So, if you’re lucky, you may run into your favourite band.
A fan-favourite among dog owners because of the nearby off-leash dog park, Cherry Beach is a laid-back alternative for those who would rather chill out then turn up.
The lifeguard station stretching out into the water is one of the coolest features of the beach, providing a picturesque view, on those cloudless summer days.
Cherry Beach is also popular among kite-boarders and stand up paddle-boarders alike, which may convince you to give either activity a go.
With enough sandy space to lie out and soak up the rays, there is also a nearby sports field, the Martin Goodman Trail for bikers and a few picnic tables scattered throughout.
Although parking space is limited, get here early and you could nab a spot in one of the two lots, or you can hop on the TTC and get there worry-free. If you’re looking to kick back and relax, and occasionally pet a dog or two, this beach is for you.
BONUS: An occasional retro food truck that serves up all the classics, like hot dogs, thick cut fries and even fish and chips.
Kew-Balmy Beach is the go-to spot for residents of the Beaches and non-residents alike.
Right across from a line-up of picturesque beachfront houses, and adorned with colourful gardens and kitschy signs that say, “Life is a Beach” awaits this chilled out neighbour of Woodbine Beach.
Perfect for, but not limited to, those who seek the serenity of just lazing with a good book under the sun, Kew-Balmy Beach also provides overflow space for when Woodbine is just too happening.
The sand is a little rockier, so a towel or comfy beach chair is a must, but the view and the atmosphere are the draws.
There’s also a sweet little snack bar on-site as well an off-leash dog park, as well the boardwalk, shared by rollerbladers and runners alike.
BONUS: Bring your lawn-chair and some popcorn but not your wallet … and enjoy a free movie every other Wednesday night at Kew Gardens.
DOUBLE BONUS: It’s a three-minute drive from the beach to the “Beaches Village” where you’ll find an array of different shops, cafés and pubs along Queen Street East.