In the past few days, Toronto’s heat has been far from manageable. However, the demand for cooling down and even enjoying the rays has risen tremendously. Here’s a list of 6 urban beaches in Toronto, ranging from small, chill spaces for tanning to populated spaces with swim-ready water and fun events.
Cherry Beach offers Torontonians the chance to swim, relax, play games and even walk your dogs around the trails. The beach hosts Promise Cherry Beach, a music festival that occurs every weekend in the summer. Along with the beach itself, the surrounding park has picnic benches for family and friend gatherings, as well as beach-related sports. However, the beach really comes to life at night. The beach is located at the foot of Cherry Street, just south of Unwin Avenue.
Enjoy the view of docked freighter ships under pink umbrellas here at Sugar Beach. Located across the Redpath Sugary Refinery, Sugar Beach used to be a parking lot for the Jarvis Street Slip. Now, it serves as a modern urban beach that attracts everyone form dedicated tanners to local business people enjoying their hour-long lunch. Although you may not be able to swim, the Muskoka chairs and inviting energy will make you sit back and forget about the fact you can’t take a dip.
Surprisingly, Woodbine Beach is a human-made attraction for all to enjoy. Woodbine Beach is one of the four areas known as “The Beaches” which acts as both a neighbourhood and weekend attraction for locals. The beach has swim-ready water, a long boardwalk and an array of volleyball nets. Although the park is on the busier, more popular side, it’s still a ton of fun for those looking for a more fast-paced place to enjoy the sun.
Compared to Sugar Beach, HTO Park holds its own with its banana-coloured umbrellas and its own relaxing energy, multi-coloured Muskoka chairs and a view of Lake Ontario that seemingly lasts forever. Located west of the Harbourfront Centre, HTO Park is the perfect beach for people looking to enjoy a picnic with friends, watch sailboats and get your tan on. You’re unable to swim at this beach, however, there is a selection of chairs right up against the water and room to dip your toes in.
Hanlan’s Point Beach
Of all the Toronto Island beaches, Hanlan’s Point is often the least busy and most unique. Known as the most “green” park along the island, Hanlan’s Point is full of amenities like a baseball diamond, firepits and even a lighthouse! However, body confidence is at an all time high among beach goers here as the beach has an optional clothes policy in certain areas. The sand dunes covering the beach are both fragile yet beautiful, acting as perfect scenery to enjoy a swim or soak in the rays.
Known as one of the nicest beaches in Toronto, Bluffer’s Beach is the only beach along the Scarborough Bluffs, making it highly sought after. With plenty of space to relax, play a few games or even set up a bit of a picnic, this beach also offers a few volleyball nets for those with a bit more energy. Bluffer’s Beach may be artificial, but it’s so clean and surrounded by nature that you’d never be able to tell!
Check the water report before you decide to swim at Sunnyside (it can be iffy at times), but if you want a sparse area to spread out, this may be the beach for you. Sunnyside doesn’t get as packed as other beaches in the area and is great for reading a book, listening to the water, or taking a beach nap.
Centre Island Beach
You have to take a ferry to get to Centre Island, but it’s a mere 15-minute boat ride from downtown making it a great and close escape. Despite being close to the city, Centre Island feels like it’s a world away and brings all the beach vibes with it.
If you have a dog, you may want to check out the off-leash dog park at Kew-Balmy Beach. Otherwise, this beach is a great way to spend the day because it offers a nice boardwalk to traverse and plenty of sand to spread out on.
Looking for more? Check out these natural swimming holes near Toronto.