With summer now in full swing it’s the time to lap up some of the GTA’s finest swimming sites. Here are some of the better spots to soak up (and soak in) Mother Nature’s air conditioners.
Awarded the special “Blue Flag” certification for water quality and environmental bliss, Bluffers Beach offers up something for everyone. Complete with a waterside restaurant to have a snack at, the trip down the hill is definiely worth the trip. With plenty of beachfront and the Scarborough Bluffs as an impressive backdrop, the site’s lone hazard might be falling sand from the cliffs above. Overall though it’s tough to beat!
A picturesque piece of sand and water despite being quite close to Hamilton is what Van Wagner’s Beach is all about. Van Wagner’s Beach was created in the ’60s and is found adjacent to the Skyway Park area of Hamilton’s Confederation Park. The park is also busy every Jan. 1 as a polar dip also takes place there. But it’s always better to cool off in the summer!
It might be difficult trying to buy into the idea that a former landfill site can be a beautiful swimming haven but that is Coronation East Beach. Oakville’s fine beach – which also includes a less pristine “West” side – is a well-known destination to those west of the GTA. And despite having a slightly more rocky shoreline than other areas, it’s a great site to cool off with some friends and enjoy the day!
Musselman’s Lake is another cozy swimming environment. Somewhat off the beaten track, the location contains ample “kettle lakes” including Shallow Lake and Windsor Lake. Cedar Beach is another gem in this same location although the beach and swimming areas are open to campers only. A wee bit out of the way but well worth it!
Gibraltar Beach has been described by Waterkeeper’s Swim Guide as Toronto’s “best kept secret.” While there’s no giant rock like the European destination, the beach contains a quick escape from the downtown hustle and bustle. It’s also reachable from different ferry crossings on the mainland. A lovely excursion from the usual downtown rat race! The sand dunes also originated from sand swept westward from Bluffers Beach.
This spot contains a 35-hectare lake ideal for swimming located on the Niagara Escarpment. It also features a nearby Kelso Park with the amusement/recreation facility Glen Eden a few hundred yards away. While it might be busy on warm weekends, it remains one of the preferred swimming nooks in the region.
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Literally on Lake Ontario and with plenty of history nearby in Palais Royale, Sunnyside Beach is a great spot for a quick dip or swim without a lengthy commute. Although it’s not completely guaranteed to be open in comparison to other areas listed, Sunnyside Beach offers plenty of area to relax and soak up some waves.