beachy keen

Ward’s island beach, colourful rocks
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. 
ferry to Ward’s island
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. 
dsc01293.jpgWard’s island sailboatsWard’s island sailboatsSadly 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.

Ward’s island beach
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.
Wasaga beach
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.
picnic on Wasaga beach 
Another happy day spent eating, drinking and merrily catching up on the white sands of Ontario’s beaches.  Should be a great summer.

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Filed under cheap fun, thrifty, Toronto, travel

2 responses to “beachy keen

  1. swankola

    looks like fun. be sure to wear sunscreen.

  2. e

    I (heart) Wasaga. Such a good beach, although I prefer Allenwood and the smaller beaches a little further east. Fewer crowds.

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