Warmer weather and longer days can mean only one thing: summer is finally here! As things ‘hot up’ many of us will be planning our escape to coastal destinations to take in the rays and cool off with a splash in the ocean.
Canada, with its stunning landscapes, has the perfect seaside locations for sun worshippers on every provincial coastline. Pull up a sun lounger and discover some of the top beaches in Canada ahead of your Canadian holiday on the shore!
Being one of the country’s eastern Maritime Provinces, naturally New Brunswick boasts some of the more beautiful beaches in Canada. Not only does the region lay claim to some of the best gourmet seafood on menus across Canada, but the beaches themselves are a perfect balance of New Brunswick naval origins, its varied scenery and the relaxed atmosphere supported by its two shorelines.
Tourism New Brunswick explains: “New Brunswick has two distinct coastlines: the rocky, rugged Fundy Coast with the highest tides in the world in the Bay of Fundy, and the Acadian Coast with warm, saltwater, sandy beaches along the Northumberland Strait.
“You don’t have to position their towels on the beach early to get a spot, there is lots of space. Also, because of the two different coastlines, the Acadian Coastal beaches are for swimming due to the warm waters of the Northumberland Strait, whilst the Fundy Coastal beaches are for witnessing the highest tides in the world, discovering fossils and enjoying the rugged landscape. Something for everyone!”
The world famous Bay of Fundy is one of Canada’s foremost natural wonders and it’s also home to the highest tides in the world, with waves reaching 55 feet according to the Canadian Hydrographic Service.
Perfect for explorers, the Fundy Trail Parkway offers over 6,000 acres of parkland in New Brunswick and showcases much of the region’s famously diverse landscape. It’s also a must for those discovering the coastline via car hire in Canada, featuring 12 miles of scenic road that wraps around the cliffs overlooking the Bay of Fundy and beyond. If you’re taking a break from driving, you can still follow the multi-use footpaths and cycling trails detailed on the map and guide to the Fundy Trail. These paths lead to several stairways down to the beaches, including access to New Brunswick’s newest seaside spot – Long Beach.
Extending a lengthy 500 metres into the bay at low tide, Long Beach lets you actually walk on the ocean floor and its mix of sand, pebbles and boulders means there’s lots to discover – leave no stone unturned!
If your idea of summer holidays by the sea is about relaxing on the beach, New Brunswick’s Acadian Coast is perfect.
Visit the Kouchibouguac National Park, where you’ll find salt marsh ocean beaches through the greenery of this Canadian beauty spot. The warmer waters on these beaches make them ideal for swimming and elsewhere, the park’s golden sand dunes are a great place to set up your towels and sunbathe while the kids play.
Kellys Beach is a favourite for families on the Acadian Coast with changing rooms, toilets and showers as well as food concessions providing all the facilities you could need on a day trip to the beach. There’s also plenty to do and as it is supervised, Kelly Beach is one of the safest beaches in Canada to enjoy with little ones.
Tourism New Brunswick says: “New Brunswick beaches feature activities, whether it is playing beach volleyball, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, competing in a sandcastle building competition or strolling along and discovering fossils. It is more than just lying on a beach towel and soaking up the rays.”
See what beach life is like in the region for yourself in their video.
Made up of four unique regions, the Quebec Maritimes to the east of this French-influenced province include Gaspésie and Côte-Nord, as well as the Îles de la Madeleine and Bas-Saint-Laurent – both recognised for their sunny shorelines.
îles de la Madeleine
With 300km of beaches to enjoy, the Îles de la Madeleine are likely to appeal to any sun worshipper. But with winds sweeping over this region, its beaches are also a great place to try out kite surfing.
For the less active, there’s still much to do on the area’s beaches. Tourisme Îles de la Madeleine says: “the visitors (and the Islanders) love to swim, relax and get a good tan from the wind and the sun or take long, invigorating walks. The family love to build sandcastles, collect shells! Some visitors just sit and meditate by the sea.”
Quebec Maritime suggest ‘Old Harry’s Beach’ for a day spent by the sea. Better known as La Plage de la Grande Echouerie, this beach offers nautical sports such as scuba diving and kayaking as well as the chance to observe the region’s marine wildlife.
Heading towards the Bas-Saint-Laurent region of the Quebec Maritimes, the freshwater Pohénégamook Beach is often cited as one of the area’s most breathtaking coastal spots. Its high quality water is perfect for cooling off after an afternoon of beach volleyball on the fine sand beach.
This July will mark Pohénégamook’s 16th annual beach party, a celebration of Canadian beach culture and guaranteed entertainment for all the family. The beach party on July 23rd will see nearly 3,000 guests gather at Pohénégamook to partake in wakeboarding, see live music acts perform and maybe enter the swimsuit fashion show! If this seaside location has caught your eye, why not join the other sun worshippers and join in the fun and games at one of Bas-Saint-Laurent’s favourite beaches?
Bordering four of the Great Lakes and boasting access to the coastlines of Hudson Bay and James Bay, Ontario is not short of seaside locations. Its south coast is particularly popular in the summer months, with beaches and clear waters welcoming visitors from all over the province. Many of Ontario’s best beaches can be found in its spectacular national parks.
As you would imagine these beaches offer plenty to do and explore in the way of wildlife and as Ontario Parks explains: “Canadian culture itself is a nice blend of world culture so when it comes to beach culture people enjoy beaches in much the same way they would in other places around the world”.
Among Ontario’s beaches, Ontario Parks highlights Long Point, Killbear, Wasaga and the beaches of Lake Superior Provincial Park as highlights not to be missed.
Almost opposite Toronto on the southern coast of Ontario, Wasaga Beach to the north is just two hour’s drive from the provincial capital, making it a favourite holiday destination for families in Canada. More than two million people visit every year and Wasaga also claims the title of the longest freshwater beach in the world.
Wasaga Beach is popular for watersports, among other activities. You could try your hand at water skiing and boating or simply enjoy the long stretch of shoreline for swimming. The area is also known for its hiking trails and nature adventures and the nearby Blue Mountain Caves should allow you ample opportunity to explore some of Wasaga’s natural beauty inland.
You can find out more about the fur-trading history of the area by visiting the Nancy Island Historic Site – so called for the vessel that carried furs in the 19th century.
Lake Superior Provincial Park
Featuring waterfalls, hiking trails and rivers, Lake Superior Provincial Park is sure to attract outdoorsy adventurers, but its lakeside beaches also provide a tranquil setting to simply sit and take in the stunning scenery.
The beaches along the Lake Superior Provincial Park are made up of pebbles and we challenge you not to skim a stone or two on the lake! Fishing offers another pastime for visitors, among many other activities, and the lake is perhaps best known for its fantastic stock of trout.
The Lake Superior Coastal Trail lets you follow its shoreline, marvelling at the views and paddling on the coastline.