Since returning to Toronto I’ve been soaking up serious beach action. My girlfriends – summeraholics and city women in one – quickly reminded me of the sandy beaches both in and outside Toronto.
With bring your own picnics, public barbeques and tables a given on most Canadian beaches I challenge you to find an equally cheap and relaxing day out.
Our first stop was Ward’s island, one of the Toronto islands, and a place I’d never visited in my fifteen years living in the Greater Toronto Area. A $6, 20-minute ferry ride offers an unprecedented view of the city skyline and whisks you to a quiet island, offering a welcome escape from Toronto’s smoggy streets.
Sadly most of Lake Ontario is a too polluted for safe swimming but there are cleaner pockets, and Ward’s island boasts one of them. If you do brave the chilly waters, a lifeguard is on hand to assure your safety. I was pleasantly surprised at the serenity, cleanliness and beauty of this little island. My friend told me to check it out for music festivals – the Virgin Music Festival is the biggest on the roster for this year – and to view the city’s spectacular fireworks.
For more pristine waters and wider stretches of sand we piled in a car and headed a couple hours northwest to Wasaga Beach, nestled on the southern tip of Georgian Bay, just off Lake Huron.
The water’s cool but the sandbars stretch for nearly one kilometre turning a dip into a peaceful stroll. Being a week day just before school ended for the summer, we found a picnic table in a snap. Our only expense? Gas, food and $5 parking.
Another happy day spent eating, drinking and merrily catching up on the white sands of Ontario’s beaches. Should be a great summer.