There’s no better way to beat the summer heat than splashing in the water, playing in the sand, or walking along a breathtaking beach. Luckily, there are several world class beaches across the province to explore.
Ontario is home to 21 beaches that fly the coveted Blue Flag—a world-renowned eco-certification for beaches and marinas. For a beach to earn a Blue Flag, it must meet strict international criteria for environmental education, environmental management, water quality, safety, and services.
“A Blue Flag beach has lifeguards or lifesaving equipment, clean and accessible facilities, and excellent water quality for swimming,” said Brett Tryon, Blue Flag Program Manager with Environmental Defence. “When you see a Blue Flag flying, you know are at one of the best beaches in the world.”
Here are a few of the Blue Flag certified spots in Ontario where you can soak up the sun this summer:
The small town of Port Stanley is known for having one of the best stretches of sandy beaches on Lake Erie’s north shore. The community’s Main Beach has lifeguards during peak hours, and accessible facilities and washrooms. Several restaurants, small boutiques, and charming bed and breakfasts are also a short walk away, making the beach a great destination for a romantic getaway.
Located in Sudbury along the shores of Ramsey Lake, Moonlight Beach has 700 feet of shoreline, lifeguards on duty daily during swim season, free parking, and a playground. The beach is also right next to the Rainbow Routes trail system. Visitors can hike or bike the trails all the way to Lake Laurentian Conservation Area to see the picturesque views of Laurentian Lake.
Every year, thousands of people head to historic Cobourg to visit Victoria Beach. Located on the shores of Lake Ontario, beachgoers can enjoy spectacular views from the boardwalk, or while sinking their toes into the sand. The beach is also a great spot for families—it has lifeguards, a splash pad, and play equipment. While in town, history buffs can enjoy the community’s architecture from the Upper Canada era.
One of the most popular beaches in Ontario, Wasaga Beach has the title of the longest freshwater beach in the world. With plenty of volleyball nets and shallow water ideal for tossing a Frisbee around, the beach is a perfect spot for any outdoor sports enthusiast. There’s even a designated area for kiteboarding. While at the beach, be sure to visit the nesting piping plovers. Wasaga Beach is one of only a few beaches in the Great Lakes region that is home to these endangered (and adorable) shorebirds.
Whatever your interests are, there’s a Blue Flag beach for you. So, this summer, be sure to include Blue Flag when planning your next beach trip. To find the full list of Blue Flag beaches across Canada, visit blueflag.ca.