A visit to one—if not all—of the best beaches Toronto has to offer is needed when temperatures become hot and sticky.
Whether you’re planning weekend getaways, a camping trip or just looking for ways to cool off or with friends, these beaches in Toronto are a quick subway, ferry, or bus trip away.
If you have a car and want to venture further out, check out our guide to the best beaches Ontario has to offer.
What is a Blue Flag Found on Beaches across Ontario?
Blue Flag is an award program for environmentally-friendly beaches, boats, and marinas.
The Blue Flag is flown at beaches that meet high standards for water quality, environmental management, environmental education, and safety. Check beach water quality, stay in swim zones and find out how to be safe on the beach.
When Does Beach Season Start in Toronto?
According to the City of Toronto, beaches are open year-round for public use, but lifeguard supervision does not begin until June and ends in September.
Swimming at beaches should only occur when a lifeguard is on duty and is only permitted in the designated swimming areas.
When a beach is open:
- the beach is supervised and maintained
- washrooms and other facilities are open
When a beach is closed:
- the beach is not supervised or maintained
- washrooms and other facilities may be closed
Swimming without the supervision of a lifeguard or outside designated swim areas is not recommended.
Here are the best Beaches in Toronto
1. Cherry Beach
Nice spot for a lazy summer day. Located on the north shore of the Outer Harbour at the foot of Cherry Street.
The beach has two sections: the one to the left of the washrooms has a slimmer sandy beach. The one to the right of the washrooms has a wider sandy beach but part of it is reserved for water activities.
There is public parking on both sides. I would caution against parking outside of the designated spots as cars get fined $100. There is a gated dog park/beach which leads to the Toronto cruise ship dock.
Cherry Beach typically achieves annual blue flag certification.
2. Bluffer's Park and Beach
3. Centre Island Beach
Centre Island Beach is located between Hanlan's Point and Ward's Island. A great destination for kids & adults.
The beach is protected from the waves of the lake and boaters by a rock break wall. Lifeguards can be found in the water, on boats, and on land.
The beach is mostly sandy, however, water shoes would help kids with sensitive feet as there are some larger rocks in areas.
Close to bathrooms and food vendors. The place is always busy during the summertime, except for early mornings.
Centre Island Beach typically achieves annual blue flag certification.
4. Gibraltar Point Beach
Gibraltar is one of the nicest beaches on Centre Island if you're a swimmer. Clothing is mandatory and the buoys set up make it look like a proper beach.
very few pebbles, ultra-soft, and tropical-like sand. Once you're a few feet away from the beach, you will be complemented by crystal clear waters and lush surroundings.
5. Hanlan's Point Beach
Hanlan's Point Beach offers a beautiful view of Toronto’s skyline. One of the few clothing-optional beaches where you can feel comfortable at any level of nudity. Great opportunity to escape the city and enjoy the outdoors.
This beach is a gem for anyone visiting Toronto or needing a more peaceful view of the city skyline from afar.
Hanlan's Point Beach typically achieves annual blue flag certification.
6. Kew-Balmy Beach
Lovely place to chill around during the summertime, especially with kids. The water is shallow and gradually becomes deep.
There are a lot of things to do around like kayaking, swimming, cycling, running or just sunbathing and relaxing in front of the clean blue water.
The only challenge you might face is the limited parking spots. Kew-Balmy Beach typically achieves annual blue flag certification.
7. Ward's Island Beach
A little oasis right next to the city, Ward's Island Beach is one of the smaller public beaches within the Toronto Islands.
Secluded at the south end of Ward's Island, this beach boasts a beautiful lakeside view of Lake Ontario and the Island coast.
Ferry service operates from Downtown lakeshore to Ward Islands. Ward's Island Beach typically achieves annual blue flag certification.
8. Woodbine Beach
Another gem with a great boardwalk, a lovely cafe that serves excellent ice creams, coffee, and a few items to eat; they have a food truck that operates with a decent menu next to the restaurant operating only in summer.
The other side of the beach has beautiful, very well-kept parks, the perfect place for a picnic during the summer.
The beach area is large and can accommodate big crowds. If you like beach volleyball, this is the place for you. This beach has countless courts. Just get your stuff with a few friends and spend your day playing here.
This beach has received annual blue flag certification since 2005.
Best Beaches in Toronto FAQs
Lake Erie is the shallowest of all the Great Lakes, making it the warmest. Crystal Beach by far the town of Fort Erie's biggest draw. Go for a swim, lounge on the white sand, sail around the bay, go fishing, try out the water-sports galore, or explore the quaint town of Fort Erie.
lakes are confined to smaller fetches which limit wave size, but the Great Lakes are large enough to produce frequent swells up to several meters.
While ocean waves are created by distant storm systems, waves on the Great Lakes are formed by localized winds.