We Canadians are a sun and sand loving bunch. Who can blame us? With winters that feel like they last long beyond their welcome and cold weather that often makes random surprise appearances in the middle of spring, it’s no wonder we get shorts-on-in-March excited at the first spot of sunshine.

And while many of us can’t make it through the whole winter without a quick getaway to somewhere warmer, all of us are faithfully waiting for the three consecutive days of weather over 19-degrees that allow us to officially proclaim summer’s arrival.

Old Montreal, Montreal
Image courtesy of Tourism Media

In anticipation of those heady summer days, why not start to plot out some hard earned time on some of the best  beaches in Canada? There is no shortage of options. Here are a few of the best:

The Beach: Cox Bay

The place: Tofino, British Columbia

Travelling with little ones is so much easier when you’re comfortable and a beach that is just steps from your door and offers a soft, gentle entry and protected cove does just that. Check in to the Pacific Sands Resorts Hotel and you get both, just outside your door.  With toddlers, you can explore the beach at low-tide in search of gems that wash up from neighbouring Japan or head out with the bigger kids on surf boards later in the day. Even rainy days are good here: Curl up next to the sky-high windows and watch it in the distance. Nearby Mackenzie Beach is a good pick as well.


Mackenzie Beach, Tofino
Image courtesy of Tourism Media

The Beach: Sandbanks Provincial Park

The Place:  Prince Edward County, Ontario

The sand is golden. The waters are warm. The surrounding farmlands offer up an incredible bounty. It’s no wonder that Prince Edward County is consistently ranked as one of Ontario’s prized summer gems. Bring the kids, their sandcastle building buckets and a picnic lunch gathered from area sellers for a day to remember. Head out in another direction from Toronto and you’ll find Wasaga Beach which is also a popular stop for area locals.

The Beach: Brackley Beach

The Place:    Prince Edward Island

The red sand cliffs and dark green grasses on the hills in PEI provide the backdrop for beaches that stun. Grab the kids (or the kids at heart) and head down to Brackley Beach for a bit of sun and sand. Take advantage of a myriad of Parks Canada offerings, including the Sandcastle building programs with local artist Maurice Bernard. He’ll teach the whole family to sculpt incredible creations and rediscover your love of the sand.

The Beach: Plage des Cantons

The place: Magog, Quebec

You’ll find plenty of families picnicking along this 100-metre long beach. Bring your own or pull up a chair at the restaurant. With on-duty lifeguards in the summer season, a sailing school for kids under the age of 17 and even a labyrinth to explore while drying off, there’s plenty to keep you and your family active.  The best part:  The eastern townships location will give you plenty to look at on your way to and from.

Beaches in Canada

The Beach: Grand Beach

The Place:  north of Winnipeg on Lake Winnipeg.

Sand dunes rise up more than 10 metres on this 3 km long beach. Head to the East Beach to catch up with other families. The combination of warm water and shallow levels make it perfect for little ones. There’s also an onsite campground providing the perfect alternative to heading home in a hurry.