Ontario Tourism Blog

Fun in the Water in Ontario – Beaches, Waterparks & More!

By Natalie & Phil Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Ahhhh – to be surrounded by blue water and to feel the warm sand between your toes.  What a feeling!  Usually we have to travel far to experience such pleasures, but in the summer, it’s all available to us right here in Ontario.
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Young & old can have a blast at a waterpark in the summer. It’s an exhilarating way to cool off on a hot day and wow – what a rush!  Here are some tried & true waterparks throughout Ontario.  In Southwestern Ontario, there’s Bingeman’s & Earl Haig Family Fun Park. Both also have great options for “non-water” fun in the sun too. In the GTA, you can get wet at Wild Water Kingdom, Canada’s Wonderland Splash Works or the indoor Wave Pool in Richmond Hill. If you venture over the border at Niagara Falls, spend the day at the famous Darien Lake (1 hour from the Falls). In Central Ontario, soak yourself at the Plunge Aquatic Center at Blue Mountain or enjoy fun in the water at Deerhurst Resort.  Eastern Ontario is home to West Lake Willy Waterpark in the warm waters of the Sandbanks and in Ottawa, there’s Calypso Waterpark which boasts Canada’s largest wavepool!
Public Beaches:
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Ontario is home to many beautiful & famous public beaches as well as several more remote and less populated beach spots. Central Ontario has the well known Wasaga Beach – did you know that this is the world’s longest freshwater beach? In Southwestern Ontario, another well known destination, Sauble Beach, is famous for its Sandcastle Contest, among other things. This region is also home to the Municipality of Bayham with its stunning beaches & so much more. In the GTA, Toronto has some well-travelled beaches in addition to some hidden gems. Check this site for a list of the GTA’s blue flag beaches, amenities and locations. Northern Ontario is home to countless incredible spots – national parks, beaches and more. In the area around Sault Ste. Marie, you can explore beautiful beaches including the very secluded Katherine’s Cove. The Niagara Peninsula is a beautiful place where you can enjoy a stay along with a hike and swim at beautiful Long Beach Conservation Area.
Splash Pads – water for the younger crowd:
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For smaller kids, a waterpark can sometimes be too big (and too scary!).  It’s good to have a selection of splashpads in your back pocket as a great destination to cool off on a hot day with young kids.  In Southwestern Ontario, there’s the enchanting Storybook Gardens which has so much more than splashpads.  A trip to Centre Island in the GTA is a wonderful day out for young kids –  in addition to the fun ferry ride there, you can enjoy a splash pad, rides, & games.  Cedar Park Resort,
also in the GTA, has wonderful splashpads in addition to their big waterslides.  Saunders Farm in Ottawa has many fun activities for an action-packed day including a Water Spray Zone to stay nice & cool.  In Northern Ontario, Thunder Bay has fantastic & free splashpads.  And at the Roaring Rivers Waterpark in Eastern Ontario, you’ll find a splashpad, & small waterslide as well as big waterslides for the older kids.
Beaches – private (resorts)
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For a more private beach experience, spend a few days at a resort with a beautiful beachfront.  Central Ontario has many first-rate lakeside choices – such as Bayview Wildwood Resort, Irwin Inn on Stoney Lake, Killarney Lodge in Algonquin Park, Northridge Inn & Resort, Deerhurst Resort, Shamrock Lodge,  and Severn Lodge to name a few.  In Southwestern Ontario, there’s Evergreen Resort and Oakwood Resort, which is just steps away from the beautiful sandy beaches of Lake Huron.  In Northern Ontario, Bayside Resort is a good option for relaxing beach time.
If you look forward all winter to the feel of sand and water, now’s the time to get out and enjoy the best of Ontario’s lakes & sandy beaches. If your preference is for excitement, then take the family or a friend and enjoy the thrill of some incredible waterparks. Enjoy!
– Michelle Brandes,  SFG newsletter editor,  Michelle@SummerFunGuide.ca
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