Beach culture in Ontario is booming. Ontario summers may be shorter than we would like, but there is a wealth of beaches in Ontario that can put many Caribbean destinations to shame. To help you pick your next long weekend getaway we’ve put together this list of the best beaches in Ontario. Your friends will never believe that all of these are beaches in Ontario. From vast white sand to party spots, or beautiful Ontario beaches that you’ll have entirely to yourself, here’s our guide to the most amazing beaches in Ontario.
Best Ontario Beach For A Caribbean Atmosphere – North Beach in Prince Edward County
The first one our list of the best beaches in Ontario is one that very few people have heard of. North Beach in Prince Edward County might just be one of the most unique and beautiful beaches in Ontario. North Beach in Prince Edward County is actually two Ontario beaches in one. One one side of this thin strip of golden sand is the blue waters of Lake Ontario. While on the other side are the clean, warm waters of North Bay. This means that North Beach Provincial Park occupies a thin strip of beautiful land that has two of the best beaches in Ontario on either side of it.
North Beach has all the character of a remote Caribbean island. It’s isolated, beautiful, and even has a comfort station and small restaurant on-site. So you can hang out at North Beach all day and still have everything you need nearby. You could easily fool your friends and make them think you’re in the Dominican Republic rather than just a two and a half-hour drive from Toronto.
Best Beach In Ontario For Loads Of Sand – Wasaga Beach in Simcoe County
As far as beaches in Ontario go, there are few as popular as Wasaga Beach. at an epic 14 km long, Wasaga Beach is the longest stretch of freshwater beach in the world. The word about Wasaga Beach has been out for a while now, and it is easily one of the most popular beaches in Ontario. During long weekends, the population of Wasaga Beach swells with over 1.2 million people exploring the town and Wasaga Beach during the summer.
For something a little less busy, but still offering kilometres of sand, consider heading another hour north to Sauble Beach. This small town isn’t nearly as busy as Wasaga, but at 12 km long, it’s the second-longest freshwater beach in the world, and easily one of the best beaches in Ontario.
Best Ontario Beach For Outdoor Play – Elora Gorge Quarry in Elora
The Elora Gorge, which is located just 25 km from the city of Guelph and 1.5 hours from downtown Toronto. It has long been seen as one of the most popular swimming holes in Ontario. The Elora Quarry combines a small beach with towering cliffs and beautiful turquoise water is already legendary among those north of Toronto, but its popularity is on the rise among those in the know.
At the centre of the Elora Conservation Area is a two-acre water-filled quarry that is encircled by sheer limestone cliffs that rise up to 12 metres (40 ft) in height. Visitors can also enjoy tubing down the Elora Gorge, picnics, and forest walks. There is no alcohol permitted in the Elora Conservation Area. You can find out more about the park here.
Best Beach In Ontario For That
Florida Feel” – Port Dover Beach in Port Dover
Port Dover is a town full of contrasts. During the summer, this southern-Ontario beach town is lined with Instagram-worthy live palm trees. The town is lined with casual restaurants, walk-up ice cream parlours, and quaint antique shops. But on every Friday the 13th, the town of Port Dover explodes with a roar like thunder. On every Friday the 13th, Port Dover hosts one of Canada’s biggest motorcycle rally’s. People come from all over North America to take part in the festivities. This makes it one of the best beaches in Ontario for motorcyclists.
Port Dover Beach sits on the shores of Lake Erie, which is the shallowest of the Great Lakes and also the most southern great lake in Ontario. That means that Lake Erie offers some of the warmest water and best swimming in Ontario’s big lakes. Take a stroll on the pier or do some fishing by the small lighthouse on the pier. The town is just 2.5 hours from Toronto and just 1.5 hours from London. You can find out more about Port Dover Beach here.
The Best Ontario Beach For Nightlife – Grand Bend Beach in Grand Bend
For years Grand Bend Beach in Southern Ontario has been considered one of Ontario’s best beaches. During the summers this town of 20,000 explodes to over 50,000 as summer revelers make their way to Grand Bend to experience the town’s beach and famous nightlife. What makes Grand Bend such a great beach destination in Ontario is that the shoreline is actually a combination of several beaches that cover over 30 km of sand. And two of these beaches have received the coveted “Blue Flag” that is only given out to the best beaches in the World!
Grand Bend is a great destination for those looking for something a little more than just a great beach. You can find loads of water activities here from parasailing, fishing, motorsports and much more. Those looking for a quieter atmosphere can explore nearby Pinery Provincial Park, which offers its own great beaches, camping, and picnic areas.
The Best Beach In Ontario For Families – Canatara Park Beach in Sarnia Ontario
Ontario families will love making a visit to Canatara Beach in Sarnia. This family-friendly beach is perched at the southernmost tip of Lake Huron. Canatara Beach has been rated as one of the top beaches in Ontario for families due to its amazing selection of kid-friendly beach activities. When you combine these with the over 1 km of fresh sand, you have a recipe for an amazing Ontario family vacation spot.
Canatara Beach is located in Canatara Park at the mouth of the St. Clair River. Families can take part in activities such as BMX biking, a mini train, petting zoo and much more. The beach is also stroller-friendly and there are a great series of trails to enjoy the Lake Huron shoreline. You can learn more about Canatara Beach here.
The Best Off-The-Beaten-Track Beach In Ontario – Old Woman Bay in Lake Superior Provincial Park
To visit the best beaches in Ontario for amazing scenery and epic vistas, you have to travel a little distance. But if you’re willing to travel, the views from Old Woman Bay in Lake Superior Provincial Park make it one of the most incredible beaches in Ontario.
This sandy beach on the shores of Lake Superior might be a bit chilly for swimming, but the stunning vistas of the 122-metre tall cliffs that cradle this picturesque bay make the visit more than worth it. Old Woman Bay is great for picnics and exploring. You can find loads of great hikes to overlooks at the top of the towering cliffs as well. You can read more about Old Woman Bay here.
The Best Beach In Ontario For Sand Dunes – Dunes Beach in Sandbanks Provincial Park
Dunes Beach in Sandbanks Provincial Park is totally unique among the best beaches in Ontario. This beach, which sits away from the main beach in Sandbanks offers a soft, shallow, and sandy bottom. This makes it an amazing beach to enjoy the warm clear waters of Lake Ontario. And the water is protected from the wind by a series of towering sand dunes for which the beach was named.
Many visitors to Dunes beach arrive by boat or canoe, but there is a large parking area available as well for the throngs of visitors. But beware, if you plan on visiting Sandbanks Provincial Park on a long weekend during the summer, you could be stuck waiting. This is one of the most popular summer destinations in Ontario. You can find out more about Dunes Beach here.
The Best Beach In Ontario For An Urban Experience – Sugar Beach in Toronto
Sugar Beach may not be for swimming, but the beach is as sweet as its name. This is one of the best beaches in Ontario for city-dwellers. Sugar Beach got its name from the nearby Redpath Sugar factory. The whole of Sugar Beach Park includes a promenade, a plaza, and the popular, professionally-designed Sugar Beach.
The beach is a playful, fun, and beautiful destination that contrasts well with the industrial-feel of the nearby neighbourhoods. Visitors can lounge under the pink sun umbrellas and while away the hours near the granite maple leaf cooling pad. And while Sugar Beach can get busy, its location in Toronto actually makes it far more accessible than many of the more remote beaches in Ontario. You can find out more about Sugar Beach in Toronto here.
The Best Ontario Beach For Getting Away From The City – Cobourg Beach in Cobourg Ontario
One of the best beaches in Ontario for getting away from Toronto is Cobourg Beach. Cobourg Beach has long been touted as one of the most underrated beaches in Ontario. Cobourg Beach is located just one hour from Toronto on the shores of Lake Ontario. This makes it a perfect place for a weekend getaway from Toronto.
The sand at Cobourg Beach is soft and the beach stretches for a huge distance along the blue waters. You can visit Cobourg for the popular Sandcastle festival in early August. Cobourg offers much more than the beach too. The town itself offers a fun and engaging old-school charm.