Southhampton beach

You won’t believe these 5 stunning white sand beaches are anywhere near Toronto

Torontonians looking for a sun-splashed summer beach vacation don’t have to head overseas. Toronto has a few decent spots to frolic in the sand, but because Ontario borders the five Great Lakes and numerous inland lakes, there are many stunning sandy beaches near Toronto that are well worth the drive.

Here are a few beaches near Toronto that are worthy of a drive:

Sauble Beach on Lake Huron

Sauble Beach almost feels like an island getaway. It’s considered one of the most luxurious white sand beaches in the province, as it boasts long stretches of warm, shallow water that gives way to the shining white sand underneath, making it one of Ontario’s top beach destinations. Visitors enter the beach through the iconic Sauble Beach archway and can take a leisurely stroll along the seven-kilometre stretch. Those who are more active can enjoy windsurfing, wakeboarding, fishing, sailing, and swimming in the crystal-blue Lake Huron waters. It’s about a 3-hour drive from Toronto and is Canada’s no.1-rated freshwater beach.

Cobourg Beach on Lake Ontario

Cobourg Beach is actually divided into two beaches—Victoria Park Beach (the main beach) and West Beach (a slightly smaller beach to the west).  The site is located on the northern shore of Lake Ontario, about an hour and a half east of Toronto, and features beautiful sandy shores that lead down into the water, and northward up toward the characteristic boardwalk.

Visitors can camp at the Victoria Park Campgrounds next to the beach and stroll along the pier to view the picturesque Cobourg East Pierhead Lighthouse. The Beach Canteen is a few minutes from the beach and offers delicious snacks and ice cream on hot summer days. Visitors can also pack a homemade lunch and have a picnic under the pavilions in Victoria Park.

Port Stanley Beach(es) on Lake Erie

Port Stanley, located at the mouth of Kettle Creek, is home to a few beaches—Main Beach, Erie Rest Beach, Little Beach, and Pumphouse Beach. The beaches feature everything from a volleyball court to a boardwalk and lifeguarding service. In addition to sunbathing, visitors can do everything from swimming, boating, and water sports (Canoes, kayaks, and paddleboats are available for rent at Bridgeview Marina).

Main Beach boasts a scenic long sandy stretch of white sand and has earned an official Blue Flag status due to its water quality, environmental responsibility, and safety measures. It’s wheelchair-/stroller-accessible (mobile mats are available).

Southampton Main Beach on Lake Huron

This sandy white beach near Toronto in Bruce County is about a three-hour drive, but it is worth the trip. It stretches for approximately four kilometres, from the large flagpole to the end of the boardwalk, featuring scenic views of Chantry Island and the 1856 Imperial Lighthouse. The sandy beach continues further south, with benches and swing sets dotting the shores.

Canatara Beach on Lake Huron

This white sandy beach is situated within Sarnia’s Canatara Park and stretches for nearly a kilometre along the shore of Lake Huron, near St. Clair River. The Beach is one of only 22 in Canada to have earned official Blue Flag status for its commitment to strict water quality and safety criteria. In addition to the 3000 feet of sand, it boasts playgrounds, an animal farm, a BMX bike track, a children’s mini train, and 200 acres of park with trails and a picnic area, making it perfect for a family vacation.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO