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Saturday, May 28, 2016

7 secret beaches in and around Toronto

secret beaches torontoSecret beaches in and around Toronto offer a reprieve from the crowds that you'll find at Woodbine and on the Islands in the summer. From quiet spring-fed lakes to windswept shores beside hulking power plants, there's a host of relatively unknown beaches around the city that offer the perfect hot weather day trip.

Here are 7 secret beaches to seek out in and around Toronto.

Marie Curtis
Surely the most under-appreciated of Toronto's official beaches, Marie Curtis Park is a breath of fresh air if you're used to crowds that flock to Woodbine and the Scarborough Bluffs in the summer. It's a relatively short stretch of sand, but it's nicely secluded from the rest of the city.

50 Point Beach
Tucked away near Hamilton, 50 Point Beach offers a stunning view of Toronto in the background, but also a lovely protected beach that never gets super busy based on the other options in the area (e.g. Beach Park). Water temperatures here are consistently some of the warmest in Lake Ontario.

Christie Lake Conservation Area
Christie Lake can get busy on mid-summer weekends, but it still feels like a hidden place tucked away in a conservation area in Dundas, Ontario. In the past the water was chlorinated to keep bacteria levels down, but that practice ended five years ago when it became clear that the lake didn't require such treatment. It's now a far nicer place to swim.

Cedar Beach
Located on the spring-fed Musselman Lake in Stouffville, this beach offers excellent swimming in wonderfully clean water. Most of the waterfront here is privately owned, but access to Cedar Resort is cheap and easy, which gets you to this sandy beach just 40 minutes from Toronto.

Frenchman's Bay
Surely one of the strangest beaches in the province, Frenchman's Bay sits right beside the Pickering Nuclear Station. The beach itself is also intriguing in that it forms a barrier between Lake Ontario and the bay after which it's named, making it a shallow sandy strip in the midst of the huge landscape that surrounds it. It's rather stunning if you can believe it.

Jack Darling Memorial Park
Sometimes it pays to drive a little bit out of the city for your beach experience. Located at the southern tip of Mississauga, Jack Darlin Memorial Park faces the Toronto skyline but it feels a world away as the rustic beach is never crowded and a great place to camp out for a disruption-free day.

Tottenham Conservation Area
The sandy beach at this mostly hidden conservation area stretches just over 100 metres alongside a small lake that reaches comfortably swimmable temperatures in late spring. The ample grassy areas beyond the beach also make this an ideal place to picnic between dips in the water.

What did I miss? Share your favourite secret beach in the comments.

Photo by ulla in the blogTO Flickr pool.

by Derek Flack via blogTO

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