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25 Best Beaches in Ontario: The Most Beautiful Ontario Beaches

If you’re looking for the best beaches in Ontario, I’ve got a massive list of Ontario beaches that extend across the province. In Ontario, we have so many wonderful beaches on the Great Lakes, especially Lake Huron, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, and Georgian Bay.

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These beautiful beaches in Ontario will even make you forget you’re in Canada sometimes! Perhaps you’re in the Caribbean instead with these powder sand beaches and turquoise waters?

I’ll list some popular beaches in Ontario and some lesser visited ones, too. So, grab your bathing suit, floppy beach hat, and flip flops. Let’s spend the summer ticking these Ontario beaches off our Canadian beach bucket lists!

Best Beaches in Ontario

Here’s a quick alphabetical list of the best beaches in Ontario. Then, the more detailed descriptions below are grouped together more geographically by region.

  • Balm Beach
  • Bayfield Pier Beach
  • Bluffer’s Park Beach
  • Canatara Beach Park
  • Cobourg Beach
  • Crystal Beach
  • Darlington Provincial Park
  • Dunes Beach
  • Elora Quarry
  • Grand Bend Beach
  • Little Beach (Port Stanley)
  • Old Woman Bay Beach
  • North Beach Provincial Park
  • Pancake Bay Provincial Park
  • Port Burwell Beach
  • Pinery Provincial Park
  • Port Dover
  • Port Stanley Beach
  • Sauble Beach
  • Sibbald Point Provincial Park
  • Southampton Beach
  • Sugar Beach
  • Toronto Island Beaches
  • Turkey Point Provincial Park
  • Wasaga Beach

Beaches in Southwest Ontario: Grand Bend Beach

Grand Bend Beach

Grand Bend Beach is one of Ontario’s 27 Blue Flag Beaches, a global eco-certification for beaches that meet strict criteria for water quality, safety, environmental management and more. Grand Bend is also a lively beach town and it’s home to one of the most popular beaches in Ontario.

While you’ll find that the main beach in town is pretty bumpin’, this sandy beach is quite expansive. You won’t have a problem finding a quieter spot a little further down. Grand Bend Beach also has mats to make the beach stroller and wheelchair accessible. This beach is famous for its sunsets. Be sure to stick around to check them out.

It’s possible to participate in watersports from the beach, like parasailing, water skiing, wakeboarding, and tubing. Learn more about how to plan your trip to Grand Bend (including Grand Bend Beach, Pinery Beach, and Canatara Beach).

Distance From Toronto: 2.5 hours
Recommended Place to Stay: Oakwood Resort in Grand Bend

Best Beaches for Sunsets: Pinery Provincial Park Beach

 Pinery Provincial Park Beach

Pinery Provincial Park is a unique ecosystem in southwest Ontario on a vast stretch of land between Highway 21 and Lake Huron. It’s the largest remaining tract of Oak Savanna, and it’s also one of the longest freshwater coastal dune ecosystems in the province.

There’s also a gorgeous, white sandy beach at Pinery Provincial Park. There are several beach areas at Pinery all along the same beautiful stretch of sand. Although this is down the road from the town of Grand Bend, you’ll find this beach to be a little quieter as it’s part of the protected provincial park lands.

While Pinery Beach is most popular during the summertime, I visited in the middle of the winter, too. Check out how you can plan a winter trip to Pinery Provincial Park for an entirely new experience.

Distance From Toronto: 2.5 hours
Recommended Place to Stay: Oakwood Resort in Grand Bend

Southwestern Ontario Beaches: Canatara Park Beach in Sarnia

Canatara Park Beach in Sarnia

Canatara Park Beach is another Blue Flag Beach on Ontario’s Blue Coast where the waters are crystal clear. This beach is slightly more rocky than some of the others on Lake Huron, but it’s one of the prettiest beaches in Ontario. Canatara Beach is perfect if you enjoy some solitude as its a little quieter than some of the others on this list.

There’s about one kilometre of sandy beach, and the waters range between deep blue and turquoise on a sunny day. Canatara Beach has a nearby park, ample free parking, a taco food truck, and water sport rentals (kayaks and stand-up paddle boards).

Distance From Toronto: 3 hours
Recommended Place to Stay: The Insignia Hotel in Sarnia

Best Beaches in Southern Ontario: Bayfield Pier Beach

Bayfield Pier Beach
Credit: Jascha Jabes

Bayfield Pier Beach, also known as Bayfield’s Main Beach, is one of the best southwestern Ontario beaches. It’s another Blue Flag beach in this region, so you know that the waters will be clean and clear. This beach is right next door to the marina, so you can pair your beach trip with a stroll on the pier.

This Lake Huron beach is large with soft sand, perfect for lounging or building sand castles. The beach is right on the edge of the historic village of Bayfield. You’ll find many cafes, restaurants, and shops.

There are two other beaches in Bayfield if you’d like to go beach hopping: Howard Beach (just south of Bayfield’s Main Beach) and Houston Heights Beach (south of Bayfield, at the end of Pavilion Road).

Distance From Toronto: 2.5 hours
Recommended Place to Stay: The Ashwood Inn in Bayfield

Blue Flag Beaches in Ontario: Port Stanley Beach

Port Stanley Beach

Port Stanley Beach is on the north shore of Lake Erie, and it’s one of the best beaches in Ontario. It also has Blue Flag status, and this is a massive beach with plenty of space for everyone to enjoy it. Port Stanley Beach is perfect for families, with a shallow sandy bottom and warm waters. It’s one of the best beaches near London, Ontario.

This beach is also popular for watersports and sailors as there’s a good amount of on-shore winds. Port Stanley Beach is right in the middle of Port Stanley. You can walk to restaurants, cafes, and shops in town. I love this little beach town and I’m sure you will, too!

Distance From Toronto: 2.5 hours
Recommended Place to Stay: Kettle Creek Inn in Port Stanley

Quiet Ontario Beaches: Little Beach (Near Port Stanley)

Little Beach

Looking for something a little bit quieter than Port Stanley Beach? Little Beach is right around the corner. It’s a small, sandy beach that’s protected in a small cove. This means that the waters are always pretty calm, making it perfect for people of all ages.

Between Port Stanley Beach and Little Beach, it’s easy to visit both of these beautiful Lake Erie beaches in one trip. You’ll likely escape the crowds at Little Beach as it’s a little more secluded and away from it all.

Distance From Toronto: 2.5 hours
Recommended Place to Stay: Kettle Creek Inn in Port Stanley

Lake Erie Beaches: Turkey Point Provincial Park Beach

Turkey Point Provincial Park Beach
Credit: Dutch-Canadian

Turkey Point Provincial Park is a great place to spend time in the great outdoors. There’s camping, three hiking trails, and one of the top Ontario beaches on the edge of Turkey Point village. Please note that this summer, Turkey Point is one of 17 provincial parks where you’ll need to secure your day pass online in advance.

Within two kilometres of Turkey Point Beach, you’ll find restaurants, a marina, a winery, and zip lining. There’s lots to do in the area. You can plan a trip to the beach and pair it with other fun activities for an awesome Ontario getaway.

Distance From Toronto: 2 hours
Recommended Place to Stay: Long Point Eco Adventures in Turkey Point

Beaches Near London Ontario: Port Burwell Beach

Port Burwell Beach

There’s so much to do in Port Burwell, although you may not have heard of this cute Ontario town before. You’ll find hiking trails, a provincial park, camping, a historic lighthouse, a marine museum, and even a cold-war era submarine.

Port Burwell is also home to a beautiful Blue Flag certified beach. Port Burwell Beach is one of the best beaches in Ontario. It’s less likely to be as busy as some of the other beaches because it’s still a bit of a hidden gem. Get out there and visit Port Burwell Beach this summer!

If you’re planning to go beach hopping in Ontario, it’s easy to pair this one with some other nearby beaches: Port Stanley Beach, Little Beach, and Turkey Point Beach. They’re all fantastic Lake Erie beaches.

Distance From Toronto: 2.5 hours
Recommended Place to Stay: Kettle Creek Inn in Port Stanley

Beautiful Beaches in Ontario: Crystal Beach (Bay Beach)

Crystal Beach

Here’s another amazing beach on Lake Erie – Crystal Beach! It’s also known as Bay Beach, but pretty much everyone calls it Crystal Beach. There is a small entrance fee to visit Bay Beach / Crystal Beach, but it’s well worth it. This beach is so well maintained, there’s restrooms on site, and it’s incredibly clean.

Crystal Beach is a small community within Fort Erie, and it was named Crystal Beach for its crystal clear waters. It is one of the most popular beaches in Ontario, but don’t let that deter you. There are beach capacity restrictions, so I’d arrive early to ensure a place for you and your beach blanket.

Distance From Toronto: 1.5 hours
Recommended Place to Stay: Clarion Hotel in Fort Erie

Beaches with Palm Trees in Ontario: Port Dover Beach

Port Dover Beach

Port Dover Beach was one that I always visited as a kid, and I continue to go there as often as possible. It’s one of the most popular beaches in Ontario, but it’s got such a great vibe. First of all, it’s one of the only places in Ontario where you’ll see palm trees! A local business owner brings in the palm trees every year during the summer season.

The beach is right on the edge of the town of Port Dover. There are many restaurants, cafes, and beach shops to find inflatable beach toys and clothes. I have fond memories of playing mini golf here, too. Enjoy views of the turquoise waters and a little lighthouse from Port Dover Beach. I’m sure it will be one of your favorite Ontario beaches, too.

Distance From Toronto: 1.5 hours
Recommended Place to Stay: Dover House B&B in Port Dover

Elora Quarry
Credit: Grand River Conservation

After a seasonal closure, the Elora Quarry is open this year at last! There’s a large sandy beach at Elora Quarry, but the waters and scenery are the main reason why Elora Quarry is such a wonderful spot. This is an old quarry transformed into a swimming hole. When you swim here, you’ll be surrounded by 40 foot high limestone cliffs.

You’ll need to get day passes online in advance to visit the Elora Quarry. No walk-up visits are allowed right now, so make sure you plan accordingly. Please note that cliff jumping isn’t allowed here, nor are any watercrafts.

Distance From Toronto: 1.5 hours
Recommended Place to Stay: The Cheshire Cat B&B in Elora

Best Beaches in Toronto: Sugar Beach

Best Beaches in Toronto: Sugar Beach

Sugar Beach is an urban beach park in the middle of downtown Toronto. It’s one of Lake Ontario’s best beaches and it’s conveniently located in the city. You might recognize Sugar Beach by its iconic pink beach umbrellas.

Unlike most of the other beaches featured in this blog post, Sugar Beach isn’t really meant for swimming. It’s primarily a place for sunbathing, playing in the sand, and relaxing. It gives you those beachy vibes without leaving Toronto.

Distance From Toronto: It’s in Toronto!
Recommended Place to Stay: Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto

Bluffer’s Park Beach (Scarborough Bluffs)

Bluffer's Park Beach

The Scarborough Bluffs are a great place to explore, walk, and enjoy the beach. Bluffer’s Park Beach is one of the best beaches in Ontario, and it’s a Blue Flag beach on Lake Ontario. If you enjoy walking on the Waterfront Trail and enjoying views of dramatic cliffs, you’ll love Bluffer’s Park Beach.

There’s a long stretch of sandy beach, picnic areas and restrooms. Even though the Scarborough Bluffs are within the city of Toronto, you’ll feel like you’re getting away from it all. It’s even accessible by using the TTC.

Distance From Toronto: It’s in Toronto!
Recommended Place to Stay: The Broadview Hotel in Toronto

Beaches at Toronto Island

Toronto Island Beaches
Credit: Joseph Morris

Toronto Island is such a great getaway from the city, and it’s only a short ferry ride from Toronto. You’ll soak up impressive city skyline views on the ferry trip across and from Toronto Island itself. There are three beaches on the islands: Hanlan’s Point Beach, Ward’s Island Beach, and Centre Island Beach.

Both Hanlan’s Point Beach and Ward’s Island Beach have the Blue Flag designation. One unique aspect of Hanlan’s Point Beach is that a portion of it is “clothing optional”. If you prefer to keep your swimsuit on, don’t worry – there’s enough separation between both sections of the beach.

Hanlan’s Point Beach is a little less crowded than the other beaches. Centre Island Beach is a bit more happening with gardens, picnic areas, lockers, changerooms, and a fast food joint only a short distance away. Ward’s Island Beach is only a 5 minute walk from the Ward’s Island ferry docks, and there’s lots of great walking paths from the beach, too.

Distance From Toronto: It’s in Toronto!
Recommended Place to Stay: Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto

Best Sandy Beaches in Ontario: Sauble Beach

Sauble Beach
Credit: Peter Burian

Sauble Beach is one of the best beaches in Ontario, and it’s always been a favorite of mine growing up. I still go here quite often nowadays, too! You’ll know Sauble Beach for its iconic sign at the entrance of the main beach area.

It’s the second longest freshwater beach in the world (Wasaga Beach is the longest). There are seven miles of beach in total. Sauble Beach is nestled on the shores of Lake Huron. It’s easy to pair a trip to Sauble Beach with one to the Bruce Peninsula and Tobermory.

Sauble Beach is continually rated one of Canada’s top beaches, so you’ll want to get here early to ensure a spot on the sand. You’re also right in one of the cutest beach towns with vibrant shops, attractions, and restaurants.

Distance From Toronto: 3 hours
Recommended Place to Stay: Sauble River Marina & Lodge Resort in Sauble Beach

Off the Beaten Path Beach in Ontario: Southampton Beach

Southampton Ontario Beach

Looking for a quieter beach near Sauble Beach? The town of Southampton has a beautiful beach on the edge of town. Justin and I have family in Southampton, and it’s always been a favorite spot of ours to visit. Southampton is a cute town with a main street of shops, restaurants, and even a brewery.

Southampton Beach is a little rockier and rugged than Sauble Beach, but you’ll find spots where the sand is equally as soft. I particularly love going for a walk along the beach in Southampton to catch glimpses of little lighthouses and Chantry Island off in the distance. Both Sauble Beach and Southampton have gorgeous sunsets.

Distance From Toronto: 3 hours
Recommended Place to Stay: Quality Inn in Southampton

Longest Freshwater Beach: Wasaga Beach

Wasaga Beach

Wasaga Beach is the longest freshwater beach in the world with 14km of sandy shores. And Wasaga Beach Provincial Park is the first Canadian provincial park to receive Blue Flag certification. This is one of the best beaches to visit from Toronto, and it’s one of the most popular beaches in Ontario.

Wasaga Beach has warm, shallow waters, and you’re able to walk out quite a ways keeping your body above water. It’s great for families and groups of friends. I’ve visited Wasaga Beach for many years and I always have such a good time. The sunsets here are pretty spectacular, too.

In addition to the beach itself, you can go for a walk around this charming little beach town. There are restaurants and shops by day, and there’s also a nightlife scene in Wasaga Beach, too. Wasaga Beach is also the starting point for the Ganaraska Trail, and there’s also a protected wildlife habitat for nesting birds.

Distance From Toronto: 2 hours
Recommended Place to Stay: Lakeview Resort Motel in Wasaga Beach

Balm Beach (Tiny Beaches)

Balm Beach (Tiny Beaches)
Credit: Michael

Balm Beach (in Tiny Beaches) is a little farther up the coastline from Wasaga Beach along Georgian Bay. It’s a great alternative to visiting Wasaga Beach. Tiny Township has 70km of coastline, and Balm Beach is one of the best beaches in Ontario. Other beaches in Tiny Township include Bluewater Beach, Woodland Beach, Jackson Park, and Lafontaine Beach Park.

Balm Beach is a little slice of paradise, and I love how this beach is so secluded. Even though it’s a smaller beach, there are still many amenities like washrooms, picnic tables, a playground, accessible beach access, and a nearby convenience store and restaurants. It’s been a while since I visited Balm Beach, but I’m itching to go back!

Distance From Toronto: 2 hours
Recommended Place to Stay: Balm Beach Resort and Motel

Sibbald Point Provincial Park Beach

Sibbald Point Provincial Park Beach
Credit: York Region

Sibbald Point Provincial Park is one of the few beaches that isn’t situated on one of the Great Lakes. You’ll find this sandy beach on the southern shores of Lake Simcoe. There’s also a grassy area for picnics and you can also go camping at Sibbald Point Provincial Park.

Much like Turkey Point Provincial Park (and some other provincial parks on this list), you’ll need to reserve your spot ahead of time this summer by booking a day pass in advance online. While there are a few nearby hiking trails, people mostly visit Sibbald Point Provincial Park for the beach. Soak up the sun and enjoy it!

Distance From Toronto: 1 hour
Recommended Place to Stay: Ramada Jacksons Point (read all about our stay!)

Darlington Provincial Park Beach

Darlington Provincial Park is a lengthy sandy beach on the shores of Lake Ontario. You can also go camping, have a picnic, hike the trails, and even visit in the winter for some snowshoeing. But, we’re not going to focus on winter right now. Darlington Provincial Park is one of the top Ontario beaches.

Be sure to venture over to the Ontario Parks website to book your day pass in advance to avoid disappointment. Before long, you’ll be listening to the gentle waves of Lake Ontario crashing on these sandy shores. Darlington PP is close enough to the city that you could easily visit for the day, or make a vacation of it and explore the whole region.

Distance From Toronto: ~1 hour
Recommended Place to Stay: Courtyard by Marriott in Oshawa

Best Beaches in Ontario: Cobourg Beach

Cobourg Beach
Credit: Mark

Cobourg Beach, also known as Victoria Park Beach, is a stunning Lake Ontario beach with an expansive sandy beach overlooking sparkling waters. There are restroom facilities, a splash pad, playgrounds, picnic areas, and a canteen. It’s perfect for families with small children or groups of beach loving pals.

If you continue west of Victoria Park, you’ll come across West Beach. It’s more naturalized than the main beach with pebbles mixed with sand, a naturalized garden, and a boardwalk path. Please be sure to check the official website to stay up to date with beach hours and capacity limitations.

Distance From Toronto: 1.5 hours
Recommended Place to Stay: Comfort Inn in Cobourg

Sandbanks Provincial Park Dunes Beach

Sandbanks Provincial Park Dunes Beach
Credit: Ron Bulovs

Sandbanks Provincial Park has some of the most beautiful beaches in Ontario. In fact, there are three sandy beaches at Sandbanks: Outlet Beach, Lakeshore Beach, and Dunes Beach. Sandbanks features the world’s largest baymouth barrier dune formation. And the beaches at Sandbanks are ranked among the best in Canada!

Some other activities at Sandbanks Provincial Park include walking trails around the dunes, birdwatching (it’s a bird migration hotspot), canoeing and kayaking, and camping. You’ll need to book a day pass in advance for Sandbanks Provincial Park, much like other provincial park beaches.

From Sandbanks PP, you’re right in the middle of Prince Edward County. Go bicycling around the county, go for a wine tasting, or do an art crawl to see the works of local artists. The beaches at Sandbanks are just the beginnings to a memorable trip.

Distance From Toronto: 2.5 hours
Recommended Place to Stay: Stone Carriage House in Picton

Prince Edward County Beaches: North Beach Provincial Park

Looking for an alternative to Sandbanks Provincial Park? North Beach Provincial Park is another park in Prince Edward County with a lengthy beach on Lake Ontario. There’s 1km of picturesque sandy beach, and you can swim in the sheltered waters of the bay. You’ll need to book a day pass ahead of time at this park, too.

Distance From Toronto: 2.5 hours
Recommended Place to Stay: Stone Carriage House in Picton

Northern Ontario Beaches: Pancake Bay Provincial Park Beach

Pancake Bay Provincial Park Beach
Credit: Al

Now that we’ve fully explored all of the southern Ontario beaches, let’s head up to the lesser visited, often overlooked northern Ontario Beaches. Pancake Bay Provincial Park Beach has 3km of sand and Caribbean blue waters. You can go camping here, whether it’s car camping, RVing, or staying in a yurt.

Pancake Bay Provincial Park is also along the historic paddling route of the Voyageurs. When you think about the best beaches in Ontario, I’m not sure that any along Lake Superior would naturally come to mind. You’ll want to add Pancake Bay Provincial Park Beach to your list so you can experience the beaches of Lake Superior.

Distance From Toronto: 8 hours
Recommended Place to Stay: Delta Hotels by Marriott in Sault Ste. Marie

Old Woman Bay Beach

Old Woman Bay Beach
Credit: Viv Lynch

At Lake Superior Provincial Park, Old Woman Bay Beach offers a mix of sand and pebbles in a stunning environment. With the scenery of lush, green hills and turquoise waters, you might think you were somewhere else in the world. From Old Woman Bay Beach, you can access the Nokomis Hiking Trail, which will remind you that you’re in the serene forests of Ontario.

The waters of Lake Superior can be quite cold, even in the middle of the summer. The shallow bay here will warm up on hot days, making Old Woman Bay Beach one of the best beaches in Ontario. Lake Superior Provincial Park is also one of the best dark sky preserves in Ontario. Be sure to stay for a while to soak up all of its natural beauty, by day and by night.

Distance From Toronto: 9 hours
Recommended Place to Stay: Mystic Isle Motel in Wawa

Map of Ontario Beaches

Want to see all of these Ontario beaches represented on a map? Click on the map below to view all of these beautiful beaches. By using this map, you’ll know exactly how to reach them from your home.

Map of Ontario Beaches

What to Bring to the Beach

There are a number of things that you’ll want to bring to these stunning Ontario beaches for an amazing getaway. Here’s a handy packing list for a day at the beach in Ontario, Canada.

  • Beach towels
  • Beach chairs
  • Sunscreen
  • Sand proof beach blanket
  • Beach umbrella
  • Bathing suit
  • Bathing suit cover-up
  • Sunglasses
  • Floppy hat
  • Flip flops / sandals
  • Toys (plastic shovel and sand castle molds, beach ball, beach games)
  • A cooler with snacks and drinks
  • Water bottle
  • Change of clothing
  • A beach bag
  • Hair brush and hair elastics
  • A good book
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