Ontario has a surprising number of fantastic beaches. Most of them are located along the Great Lakes and offer gorgeous lakefront views. As the summer sun starts to shine, the call of refreshing lake trips lures Canadians from all over.
With so many beaches to choose from, how do you know which are worth a visit?
Canada’s vacation rental experts (that’s us!) compiled the top 10 beaches in Ontario for you. These beaches are a fun and inexpensive way to spend family time in Ontario’s beautiful outdoors. If you’re looking for a fun summer getaway, check out these awesome Ontario beaches!
Located in Cobourg on the shore of Lake Ontario, Cobourg Beach is a favourite Canadian beach. Loved by locals for its family-friendly atmosphere, Cobourg Beach is a smart choice for anyone travelling with little ones. It is a short hour-and-a-half drive from Toronto (or an hour-long train ride) so it is a great alternative for those looking for beaches close to Toronto for a weekend outing.
Besides clear waters and soft sand, the beach has everything you could ask for! Hungry beachgoers can stop at the beach canteen for delicious, freshly prepared snacks delivered right on the beach. For playtime, splash pads, monkey bars, and climbing structures will keep any kid entertained for hours. There’s even a yearly sandcastle contest.
Bonus: Dogs are allowed! Cobourg Beach is one of the best dog-friendly beaches in Ontario.
Grand Bend Beach
Grand Bend’s namesake beach is a popular Lake Huron getaway. It is one of the cleanest lakes in Ontario and one of just 27 beaches in the country that’s been awarded Blue Flag status for strict water quality regulations.
The most popular beach out of the two in Grand Bend is Main Beach. Therefore, if you prefer quiet and private beach trips, South Beach should be your choice.
There is a boardwalk to stroll, walking paths for exploring the area, and shops and restaurants on the strip.
Sauble Beach’s white sands crown Lake Huron. Here, you’ll be charmed by the idyllic atmosphere of the town of Sauble Beach. The Toronto Star agrees — they named Sauble Beach not just one of the top 10 beaches in Ontario, but in the world.
This quiet getaway is family-oriented, with plenty of old-fashioned fun available. Watch the sunsets and enjoy frequent live entertainment. If you’re staying for a few days, bring your golf clubs, there are a number of courses in the area.
Port Stanley Beach
Port Stanley, Ontario, a nice town on Lake Erie, has taken great pride in their local beach. Like Grand Bend, Port Stanley Beach — or Port, as locals know it — has been awarded the Blue Flag status for cleanliness and high water quality. In addition, Port Stanley is an accessible beach for beachgoers with wheelchairs and strollers.
The 185 metres of sandy shore offer food on the beach, clean facilities, and a covered picnic area. Although lifeguards patrol the beach, making sure nobody swims when the waves are too big. Port Stanley Beach’s sand is perfect for relaxing and there are rarely crowds! If you want to spend some time on the warm water beaches in Ontario, you should pick Port Stanley.
Sunset Point Park
Want a little park with your beach? Head to Collingwood for a beautiful, active day. Sunset Point is one of our favourite Ontario beach parks. It’s cooled by breezes from the nearby Nottawasaga Bay, making it a nice choice for hot summer days.
This is a small beach, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in things to do. The nearby enviro-park offers cool shade for resting after a game of volleyball on the beaches’ courts. Waterfront trails make Sunset Point a favourite for water views. When you get hungry, stop at the canteen area!
Lake Erie’s community of Crystal Beach, Ontario, is a beautiful town. The sandy stretch of beach compares to the Caribbean in quality!
Crystal Beach is one of the most enchanting warm water beaches in Ontario! You can snorkel here to get a look at the bass who live in the shallow, warm water, or you can relax on the sand and enjoy live music. There are plenty of other things to do in Crystal Beach — Ontario’s slice of paradise in the north offers laid-back spa treatments, relaxing yoga classes, and more.
If you like waterfront nightlife, Crystal Beach is for you! The local restaurants and bars all have their own unique charms.
Goderich is one of our favourite Lake Huron towns in Ontario! There are three beaches to check out here: the Main Beach, St. Christopher’s Beach and the new Rotary Cove Beach. Together they make for some of the best beaches in Ontario for family outings.
At all three beaches, the water is shallow and the waves are gentle, perfect for young swimmers and little splashers. Catch the ships coming in and out of the Port of Goderich at the Main Beach, make sure you stop at the concession stand when you need a snack.
On the smaller St. Christopher’s Beach, you’ll find shade and pavilions for when you need a break from the sun. Don’t be afraid to bring Fido — St. Christopher’s Beach is one of the top dog-friendly beaches in Ontario. If you want more a local vibe, though, try out Rotary Cove beach!
The town of Picton is home to Ontario’s most unique beach: Dunes Beach. Located in the enchanting Sandbanks Park, Prince Edward County — one of our top getaway spots near Toronto — this is a gem of Ontario’s public beaches.
Dunes Beach was named for the large dunes that make up the world’s largest baymouth barrier dune formation. Shallow waters and a gentle drop-off make this beach great for swimming, but be warned, there are no lifeguards on duty.
Make it a day trip and take the time to really explore the beach. Fish swim in the shallow waters, picnic shelters dot the beach, and a children’s playground gives little ones lots of fun!
A list of best beaches in Ontario wouldn’t be complete without the famous Wasaga Beach. Every summer thousands of tourists visit this popular beach near Toronto to enjoy its clean sand and friendly environment. The town of Wasaga is located at the bottom end of the Georgian Bay and thanks to its shallowness, the beach has usually warm water, making it one of the best beaches in Ontario for swimming.
Wasaga is well known for receiving crowds of younger groups and families ready to party and have a good time. If you are looking for a vibrant beach town to enjoy the summer, Wasaga Beach is for you. The beach is considered one of the longest freshwater beaches in the world with 14 km of white sand and clear water.
Before the partygoers come out, Wasaga’s environment is family-friendly. The sandy bottom and lack of rocks in the beach comforts parents with young children. Other attractions for the little ones include ice cream shops, mini golf and a water park.
If you are in the mood for a hike the town has a couple of provincial parks that make for over 100km’s of trails. The Wasaga Provincial Park is a good option for short trails and dog beach parks.
As one of the most popular beaches in Canada, Wasaga struggles to accommodate all the visitors it receives each year. If you are planning a trip to Wasaga Beach we recommend booking your accommodation at least 90 days in advance.
Another beautiful place to find warm beaches in Ontario is Tobermory. Located also in the Georgian Bay, Tobermory is an area with a mix of rocky grottos and sandy patches perfect for the adventure seekers. Aside from epic hikes and views, it is a popular destination for scuba diving and snorkelling. Tobermory is such a wonderful destination that it made it to our Canadian Travel Bucket-list for 2019.
No matter what beaches in Ontario you visit this summer, make sure you stay in style. Some of our best listings include magnificent beachfront cottages in the most popular beach towns in Ontario — check out our selection of rentals in Prince Edward County, Grand Bend, Collingwood, and beyond!