Ready to enjoy a bit of fun in the sun as you check out all the very best beaches in Ontario?
Yup, you and me both. Because contrary to popular belief, all of the best beaches Ontario has to offer are next-level amazing.
So, this list of the top beaches in Ontario will really and truly have you rethinking your summer plans in Ontario.
Trust me on this. I have visited more times than I can count. Therefore, I know all about the very best beaches in Ontario that you will need to visit – places that will leave you referring to Canada as a “top beach destination”.
So, put away the generic AF guidebook and come with me as we frolic through the best Ontario beaches of them all.
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After all, this past year has been a wild ride and I don’t want you to lose money because government regulations have changed.
Truth be told though, I’ve never traveled without travel insurance and don’t think you should either – especialy since I think we’ve all had plans drastically change because of the pandemic.
Therefore, find an insurance agency that covers travel changes related to COVID-19, like my two all-time faves
Best Beaches in Ontario
1. Sauble Beach
With more than 11 km of golden sand, Sauble Beach is certainly one of the best beaches in Ontario.
In fact, it’s the world’s second-longest freshwater beach and is often featured on lists of the best beaches in Canada.
Of course, that also makes it pretty popular with visitors. So, you’ll need to get here early if you want your preferred spot on the sand.
Now, the public area of Sauble Beach is free to visit. But, there’s a small admission fee to visit a section of the beach that is under the care of the Saugeen First Nations.
It’s also a little quieter in this area, so it’s one of the most popular beaches in Ontario for families and other visitors looking for a peaceful spot to relax.
Therefore, Sauble Beach is perfect for a day out, trying out kiteboarding/jet skiing, or playing volleyball on the pristine sands.
And if that all sounds a bit too energetic for you, you could always just paddle in the cool waters of Lake Huron or enjoy some typical beach food and drinks in the many beachfront restaurants here.
2. Agawa Bay
When you first see the amber sands and stunning blue waters of Agawa Bay, you could almost believe that you’ve been transported to the Caribbean.
But, that illusion will only last until you take your first steps into the chilly waters of Lake Superior.
By the way, this 3 km beach is a little pebbly in places so do be careful if you have sensitive feet.
Now, Agawa Bay Beach lies within the boundaries of Lake Superior Provincial Park, which is home to Agawa Rock.
So, while you’re visiting Agawa Bay Beach, you should definitely take some time to visit this sacred site with its red ochre Ojibwe pictographs.
This Ontario beach is also a fantastic destination for camping. In fact, the campgrounds here have showers and laundry facilities, with plenty of campsites sitting beneath tall pine trees surrounding the beach.
Therefore, at the end of your day on the Agawa Bay sands, you can curl up in your sleeping bag as the sound of the waves lapping up against the shore lull you to sleep.
3. Toronto Islands’ Beaches
You might not believe it now, but you could be on a beautiful sandy beach just 15 minutes away from the skyscrapers of downtown Toronto.
Because there are four amazing beaches to explore on the Toronto Islands: Centre Island Beach, Hanlan’s Point, Gibraltar Point Beach, and Ward’s Island Beach.
- Centre Island Beach – This is one of the best beaches in Ontario which is only 1 km from the Centre Island ferry dock and that features golden sands. Facilities here include lockers, showers, changing rooms, and places to grab fast food. The breakwater also runs along the beach ensuring that the water is calm and warm enough for a relaxing swim.
- Hanlan’s Point Beach – Located on the east side of the island, this is the place to watch the sun sink beneath the horizon at the end of the day. The soft sand and clear waters also make it one of the best beaches of the Toronto Islands. Just be aware that there is a small section of the beach where clothing is optional. So, to visit take the Hanlan’s Point ferry, and walk 15 minutes from the ferry terminal.
- Ward’s Island – This top Ontario Beach is just a 5 to 10-minute walk from the Ward’s Island ferry terminal. And while it isn’t as pretty as the other beaches on the islands, it’s good if you need a bit of ‘vitamin sea’ quick.
- Gibraltar Point Beach – The quietest of all these beaches this spot has soft sand and is sheltered by trees and sand dunes. Yes, it’s a little further away from the Centre Island ferry dock but it is still accessible on foot It’s also close to the historic Gibraltar’s Point lighthouse, which is rumored to be haunted!
It’s also worth noting that all of these Toronto beaches have lifeguards on duty during the summer season.
Plus, both Hanlan’s Point Beach and Ward’s Island Beach have been awarded the Blue Flag designation.
4. Grand Bend
The beach at Grand Bend is a 40-kilometer stretch of sand along Lake Huron that is famous for its dramatic sunsets.
In particular, Grand Bend resort is one of Ontario’s original beach towns. So, you can expect to find lots of ice cream stands, fast food vendors, and shops selling everything from funky beach towels to quirky antiques.
But, if you want to experience the vibrant atmosphere of a typical Ontario summer town then it’s better to find yourself a spot on North Beach.
In contrast, visitors who want a more peaceful day at the beach will prefer South Beach, where the pace is a little more laid back.
Plus, there are plenty of water activities to try out at Grand Bend, including fishing, jet skiing, and parasailing – in addition to an amazing firework display that the town has on July 1st.
Additionally, Grand Bend is one of 27 Blue Flag beaches in Ontario, which shows that it has met strict criteria on environmental management, water quality, and more.
Additionally, the water at Grand Bend beach is quite shallow. Therefore, this is one of the best beaches in Ontario that gets fairly warm, making it a perfect spot for paddling and swimming.
5. Pancake Bay Provincial Park
The beach at Pancake Bay Provincial Park lies on the shores of the world’s largest freshwater lake, aka Lake Superior.
And if you’ve ever tried swimming in Lake Superior, you already know that the water can be absolutely freezing.
However, because Pancake Bay is fairly shallow, it’s not quite so bone-chillingly cold here. Well, at least in the summer months…
Now, Pancake Bay beach itself has soft, fine sand and is sheltered by a lush mixed forest. So, it has a very relaxing atmosphere.
And if the wind is light when you visit, it’s a great place to try a bit of Stand Up Paddle (SUP) boarding.
Additionally, you’ll find public washrooms and picnic areas at this beach. And if you like the idea of sleeping near the beach, there’s even a campsite about 10 minutes away at Batchawana Bay Provincial Park.
But, if beach camping isn’t your thing then you could always opt to spend the night in a yurt at Pancake Bay Provincial Park.
6. Pinery Provincial Park Beach
Pinery Provincial Park is a unique dune ecosystem that lies between Highway 21 and Lake Huron.
It also has a 10 km-long white sand beach that is part of the protected provincial park lands, which tends to make it a little quieter than nearby Grand Bend beach.
This broad stretch of sand and sweeping dunes are a perfect place to spend a day relaxing and exploring the pristine natural environment around of the best beaches in Ontario.
Plus, the shallow waters at Pinery Provincial Park Beach are really good for swimming. Just be aware that there are no lifeguards on duty or changing facilities at this beach.
7. Bayfield Pier Beach
Bayfield Pier Beach lies on the shores of Lake Huron. It’s also known as Bayfield Main Beach and is one of the three beaches in Bayfield, Ontario.
This is another of Ontario’s Blue Flag beaches and the waters here are incredibly clear, making it one of the best beaches in Ontario for swimming or paddling with kids.
However, the shoreline at Bayfield Pier Beach is a little rocky in places. Although, it does become sandier as you get closer to the water.
Bayfield Pier Beach is also close to the Bayfield Marina, where you can spend some time exploring cute boutiques, restaurants, and charming local cafes.
8. Port Stanley Beach
The Blue Flag beach at Port Stanley is one of the best beaches in Ontario, with plenty of space for everyone.
See, the gently sloping sands and warm, shallow waters of Lake Erie’s north shore make Port Stanley Beach ideal for families.
There are also plenty of lifeguards to keep everyone safe. Plus, this spot gets a good on-shore wind that makes it one of the best Ontario beaches for sailing and watersports.
So, feel free to rent paddle boards, kayaks, or jet skis while you’re at the beach.
Port Stanley Beach also sits right in the middle of Port Stanley town. Therefore, you’ll find plenty of local shops, cafes, and restaurants to explore, including the famous Mackie’s beachfront restaurant.
9. Turkey Point Beach
Located in Turkey Point Village, Turkey Point Beach is a gently sloping, golden sandy beach on Lake Erie that is perfect if you’re looking for a day of relaxation.
See, the waters at Turkey Point Beach are fairly shallow. So, this is an ideal place for swimming and a great Ontario beach to visit with kids.
Plus, the east end of this 2 km-long beach is dog-friendly. Just remember to put your dog on a leash when they are out of the water since this is mandatory here at one of the best beaches in Ontario.
And since this beach is close to Turkey Point Provincial Park, it’s a great place for bike riding and hiking.
There are also plenty of other things to do like visit local marinas, wineries, and breweries. Heck, you can even go ziplining if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous!
10. Wasaga Beach
Wasaga Beach is the world’s longest freshwater beach since it is a 14 km area of white sand that stretches along the shore of Nottawasaga Bay.
It was also the first Canadian provincial park beach to receive the Blue Flag award. So, its pristine conditions easily make Wasaga one of the most popular beaches in Ontario.
In fact, over two million people visit Wasaga Beach each summer. And that’s because its warm shallow waters are well suited to people who aren’t excellent swimmers.
Now, this beach is divided into six sections, each with its own individual character. So, sections 1 and 2 are ideal for those who enjoy a lively atmosphere with plenty of shops and restaurants, as well as fun firework displays and volleyball tournaments.
In contrast, the other sections are quieter and more suited for a day of relaxing on the sand, with section 3 being the place to go if you want to take your dog to the beach with you.
11. Woodbine Beach
Believe it or not, Woodbine Beach is actually the most popular beach in Toronto.
That’s why You’ll generally find it packed with visitors on summer weekends, especially because it serves as the main location for beach volleyball in Toronto.
Additionally, Woodbine Beach is in an area known as The Beaches and is a three-kilometer curve of golden sand that gets wider as you move east to west along the beach.
There are also free outdoor showers, washrooms, and changing facilities for visitors to use, with lifeguards patrolling the beach throughout the summer.
You’ll also find plenty of options when it comes to dining, shopping, and entertainment in the Beaches neighborhood.
12. Sandbanks Provincial Park
Located in Prince Edward County, Sandbanks Provincial Park is well known for being home to three beaches with impressive sand dunes along the shores of Lake Ontario.
In particular, Outlet Beach is the most popular beach at Sandbanks Provincial Park, and its warm and shallow waters make it one of the best Ontario beaches for children to paddle in.
On the other hand, Sandbanks Dunes Beach sits at the point where the sand dunes sweep down to deeper waters. And then there’s Lakeshore beach which is long and has plenty of space for all its visitors.
Now, because Sandbanks Provincial Park is one of the most popular summer vacation spots in Ontario, it has a large parking area that fills up quickly on summer weekends.
And if you want to spend the night, you can stay at one of two Sandbanks Provincial Park camping sites, Outlet River and Cedars. Both will provide you with easy access to many local things to do like wine tasting and bike tours.
13. Killbear Provincial Park
Killbear is one of Ontario’s most popular provincial parks. Now, within the park itself, there are several beaches on the shores of Georgian Bay that easily make for some of the best beaches in Ontario.
In fact. these stretches of sand lie in between rocky headlands and feature crystal-clear water that makes them popular with swimmers.
But, the water is fairly chilly. And if you go too far from the shore, you might have difficulty getting back since you don’t want to spend too much time in the cold water!
And if you’d like to extend your stay at Killbear Provincial Park, you could spend a night at one of the park’s seven campgrounds.
14. Port Burwell Beach
The Blue Flag beach at Port Burwell isn’t as well known as some other Ontario beaches on this list. So, it tends to be a bit quieter.
This makes it ideal if you want to spend the day doing nothing more strenuous than relaxing on the beach, enjoying the sun, or maybe throwing down your mat for an impromptu outdoor yoga sesh.
Plus, Port Burwell Beach is close enough to other Lake Erie beaches, like Port Stanley and Turkey Point Beach, that you could do a bit of beach hopping in Ontario.
Additionally, there are plenty of places to visit in Port Burwell including hiking trails, a marine museum, and a historic lighthouse.
15. Bluffer’s Park Beach
Bluffer’s Park Beach is one of the best beaches in Ontario. And even though you can get there using the TTC (Toronto public transport), it feels like it’s a world away from the city.
So, take a walk on the sand of this Blue Flag-certified beach, hike along one of the many trails in the area, and see the dramatic cliffs of the Scarborough Bluffs.
And while parking is available, it tends to fill up early. So, if you’re driving to Bluffer’s Park Beach then it’s best to get there early.
The beach also has public restrooms, a restaurant, and several picnic areas if you want to take your own food with you.