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The best beaches in Ontario and Quebec

Three people walking along a beach

On a warm summer day, few things are better than relaxing on a beach. Laying in the sun to tan, reading a book, and searching through pebbles for pretty rocks are a nice break from exploring. Swimming is a perfect way to cool off, and photographing the beautiful surrounding landscapes is a fun way to brag about Ontario and Quebec adventures.

Here are some of the best beaches to visit in Ontario and Quebec.


 

Petrie Island

18 mins drive or 1h15 bike ride from Saintlo Ottawa Jail hostel

On the outskirts of Ottawa, sitting in the Ottawa River, Petrie Island is home to two fabulous sandy beaches. There are shaded green spaces nearby with picnic tables, and the beaches are supervised. Public washrooms and paid parking are also available.

Plage
© Martin Laporte

Westboro Beach

15 mins drive or 30 mins bike ride from Saintlo Ottawa Jail hostel

Ottawa’s Westboro Beach is a small clean beach on the Ottawa River. It has pretty city views and is a great spot for watching the sunset. There are changing rooms and washrooms nearby.

groupe de personnes en pique-nique

Britannia Beach

15 mins drive or 45 mins bike ride from Saintlo Ottawa Jail hostel

Further down the Ottawa River is Britannia Beach, which is known for having waters that are just warm enough for swimming. It is a popular sandy beach for families, and there are places to barbecue or have a small fire.

Jean-Doré Beach

38 mins by subway or 27 mins by bike from Saintlo Montréal hostel

Located in Parc Jean-Drapeau, Jean-Doré Beach is a 15,000 square metre swimming area. There is a golden sandy beach (which is cleaned daily) and shady areas too. A popular public beach near the Port of Montréal.

Plage au parc Jean-Drapeau
© Société du parc Jean-Drapeau
Plage du vieux port de Montréal
© Vieux-Port de Montréal

Plage de l’Horloge

23 mins by metro or 16 mins by bike from Saintlo Montréal hostel

Beside the Clock Tower in Montréal’s Old Port, Plage de l’Horloge has a fine white sandy beach with comfy Adirondack chairs and large beach umbrellas, and a view of the Saint-Lawrence River. It’s not a swimming beach, but it’s an excellent beach for tanning.

Plage du Cap-Saint-Jacques

40 mins drive or 1h30 by metro from Saintlo Montréal hostel

This beach lines the shores of Lac des Deux Montagnes. The sand is clean and perfect for tanning. It is a popular spot with families. The rules are a little strict – no glass, no alcoholic drinks, or food.

Emerald River

1h20 drive or 5 hours bike ride from Griffon Aventure hostel

A short distance from the famous Percé Rock, Emerald River has a small beach for tanning and relaxing. You cannot swim here, but you can take some stunning photos.

Rivière émeraude
© Marie-Hélène-St-Pierre
Cabane en bois sur le bord de la plage

Beach Fun at Sea Shack

On the Sea Shack hostel site

In summer, beach lovers flock to the Sea Shack hostel for its vibrant atmosphere, Tiki bar, and sandy beach on the Saint-Lawrence River. There are beach parties, SUP, snorkelling, swimming, and more!

St. Irénée Public Beach

16 mins drive or 1h10 bike ride from La Secousse

Located 15 kilometres south of La Secousse hostel in La Malbaie is the St. Irénée public beach. It is a long thin beach on the Saint-Lawrence River, close to Casse-Croûte Ginette (a great place to grab a poutine).

Plage Saint-Iréné
© Dominique Lafond
Baleine dans l'eau
© Paul Laramée

Grand Greve

23 mins drive or 1 hour bike ride from Griffon Aventure hostel

Grand Greve in Forillon National Park is a pebble beach and launch destination for whale-watching tours in Gaspé. If a boat tour is not in the budget, bring a beach chair and some binoculars to search from shore.

A Secluded Beach at Cap-Bon-Ami

23 mins drive or 1 hour bike ride from Griffon Aventure hostel

On the opposite side of Forillon National Park, the beach at Cap-Bon-Ami is a serene pebble beach. You can hike here from a trailhead near Grand Greve, or by a short trail on the same side as the beach.

Plage de galet
© Paul Laramée

Pohénégamook Beach

50 mins drive or 3 hours bike ride from Rivière-du-Loup International hostel

In Bas-Saint-Laurent, Pohénégamook is a beautiful freshwater beach. Water temperatures in summer are 75ºF to 80ºF. Admission is $10.50 but if you want to play on the inflatable water structures it’s $37.

Une personne assise sur la plage
© Xavier Girard

In summer, there are plenty of places in Ontario and Quebec to cool off, tan, and capture instagram-worthy photos. Wherever you go, remember to bring water, a hat, and sunscreen – especially if you’re planning to visit secluded beaches.

Are you ready to play in the sun?