Published on July 18, 2023
Public beaches offer a natural reprieve from the heat and increase our feelings of connection to the plentiful lakes and oceans around us.
Dreaming of a sunny day, sand on your feet and a body of water glistening before you? You can enjoy extraordinary beaches in this country in every province and territory, you just might need a hot tip or two.
Some of the beaches that made our list are located near big cities, are inside national or provincial parks, and others are completely off the beaten track. We also made sure to include accessible beaches because everyone, regardless of age or ability, needs a little beach time.
Are you ready to find out which beaches made the list? If we missed any crucial places, please share with us in the comments below or on our socials.
Where is the best place in Canada to surf? Many will say Tofino, BC. Which beach is the best in Tofino? Many will say Chesterman Beach! According to Tourism Tofino, “When a Tofitian says they’re going to the beach, they mean this one.” Perhaps more than any other beach listed in this article, Chesterman Beach makes every “best of” list for Canada’s beaches.
Cold Lake is very close to the Alberta border with Saskatchewan, but don’t let the words “cold lake” scare you away. This city’s beach is notable for its numerous amenities such as concession stands, beach volleyball/basketballs courts and its zipline feature, which allows you to zip directly into the water! Fun fact: the beach gets its name from the Cree word Kinosoo meaning The Big Fish or sea monster said to populate the lake.
Our choice for “best-named beach for your target market” goes to Furdale Beach! Did you know dog-friendly beaches are a dog owner’s other best friend? And if you live near Saskatoon, this beach could be your pet’s new favourite place too. One Google reviewer said this about Furdale Beach: “One of my favorite green spaces to visit in Saskatoon. It’s changed a lot over the years but still maintains its peaceful beautiful atmosphere.” The beach received 4.9 out of 5 stars and many glowing reviews about the feeling of the beach for pups and people alike.
After the Great Lakes, did you know Lake Winnipeg is Canada’s sixth largest lake? And there are many beaches on this large prairie lake, but Gimli Beach is unique because it’s in the town of Gimli, also known as New Iceland. Get a taste of local Icelandic culture, by walking a short distance from the beach to an area offering a variety of shops, bakeries and restaurants. Or plan your visit to coincide with the Gimli International Film Festival every late July, on the beach.
Registering a 4.9 score on Google with nearly 100 reviews, this gem of a place remains so because of its remote location near Wawa in Northwestern Ontario. Not quite sure where that is? It’s 200 kilometres north of Sault-Ste Marie. Old Woman Bay is named after the face that appears in the rock formation of the standing cliffs (see top photo). Granted, the cool Lake Superior waters may not be calling you, but the beautiful surroundings, the fishing opportunities and the sandy beach probably will.
For those in the know, Sandbanks offers several excellent beaches. Because of its location near Prince Edward County in highly populated Southern Ontario, the park’s beaches can get busy. Go to Dunes Beach for shallow and warm waters between sand dunes.
Looking to escape the city without a super long car ride? Closest to Montreal, but also not too far from Trois Rivieres and Quebec City, people come to this provincial park for great swimming and camping. The huge water reservoir (95 square kilometres) is known as Lake Taurus and contains many deserted islands and heaps of white sand. We are recommending Pointe-Fine Beach due to its accessible design , but there are plenty of beaches to choose from!
They could get you to book a trip simply with the travel site’s claim: “the warmest ocean waters north of the Carolinas,” but did you know this 1.5 kilometre beach also boasts super soft sand, sea glass and dunes? The beach is not only wheelchair accessible but also provides UV-protected wheelchairs. Take a stroll on the boardwalk above the beach which offers views of the nearby golf course.
Located in PEI National Park, Brackley Beach is just twenty minutes from Charlottetown. This popular beach destination offers incredible dunes, long stretches of unspoiled sand and clear water. Feeling sporty? Go on a longer kayak or canoe excursion or rent a stand-up paddle board. You’ll also find washrooms, accessible mobility mats and beach wheelchairs available.
Our pick for most transformative beach in Canada goes to Hopewell Rocks! When the tide is low, walk along the mile long beach and pass through several coves and sandstone formations called sea stacks. At high tide, these same rock formations become little islands surrounded by water. The park sells two-day passes so visitors can be sure to experience the ocean floor transformation.
If you’re visiting Newfoundland, you’re probably headed to Gros Morne National Park. But maybe you didn’t plan on lounging on a beach with your hike? You should! Have a swim in the wonderful Shallow Bay Beach at Cow Head in the park, you will experience soft sand for 5 kilometres and one of the top reviewed beaches in the province.
Think there aren’t any beaches in the North? Think again! Only 10 minutes from Yellowknife, Long Lake Beach is loved by locals for its sandy volleyball courts, boat launch and camp sites. Then, every third weekend in July, a little music magic happens when the Folk on the Rocks summer festival takes place here. How amazing is it to experience live music on the beach at midnight while it’s light out?
Scenic doesn’t begin to describe it. Rated 4.9 stars out of 5 on Google, this beach is a local favourite but hardly ever feels busy. Depending on the time of year, you might even have the sandy beach to yourself! Pitch an umbrella, put on sunscreen and if you’re daring (or you’ve got a wetsuit) then jump in!
Hall Beach is traditionally known as Sanirajak or “the shoreline.” It offers spectacular fishing and an abundance of marine wildlife, including one of the largest walrus populations in the Arctic. Located on the eastern side of Melville Peninsula (Canadian mainland), Sanirajak is a traditional Inuit hamlet. The locals speak Inuktitut and English and welcome visitors warmly with longstanding traditions such as fermenting walrus meat on the beach. Come here to birdwatch, catch the Northern Lights or go on a hunting trip with locals. People also visit to learn about the community’s military outpost base, a vestige of the Cold War era.