Sure, this is Canada. That doesn't mean that Toronto summers can't be hideously (or is that awesomely?) hot, and the humidity can make you feel like you're snorkeling through a swamp. Lucky for us we're perched on one of the Great Lakes, and have a wealth of beachy options to choose from when we want to go for a refreshing dunk. Or if you hate getting sand between your toes, there are some fantastic outdoor pools to try—or sneak into (not that Curbed would ever encourage such behaviour). We've mapped out a bunch for you; dive right in and laugh at the sweltering heat.Read More
Mock the Heat From one of Toronto's Awesome Swimming Spots
Bluffer's Park Beach
The easternmost point on our map is also said to be the nicest beach in the GTA. A lot less busy than the popular Beaches further west, and easier to find parking.
Centre Island Beach
Take the ferry over and hang out at the Amusement Park, then head for the beach and chill out.
Not just a doggy's paradise, Cherry Beach is secluded and low-key but there's still lots of interesting stuff to see like parasailers and kite-flying. Cherry's also the site of lots of late-night raves.
Hanlan's Point Beach
Bring your favourite swimsuit and then don't put it on. Hanlan's is Toronto's only clothing-optional beach, so this is where to head if you hate tan lines.
This is the beach most people are thinking of when they think of The Beach. Kew-Balmy has been a Toronto summertime destination for almost 150 years. Get there early and stake your blanket space, because it fills up fast.
Ward's Island Beach
The third beach on the Islands, this beach faces south and is small and secluded, and doesn't have the same riotous vibe as most of the city's beaches. It's got a relaxing, low-key vibe.
Ashbridges Bay Beach
One word: volleyball.
Two words: more volleyball.
A swimming pool at the beach? Why not? This huge facility is actually three pools in one: a diving pool, an adult area, and the kiddie pool. Lots of bathers like to hit Summerville after swimming in the Lake, just for that refreshing chlorine scent.
Sunnyside Gus Ryder Pool
Biggest outdoor pool in the city. It's still packed on hot days, of course, but Sunnyside's a Toronto tradition so you should just go with the flow.
Greenwood Park Outdoor Pool
This is a smaller pool than most, but it's clean and easy to get to on the TTC.
Alex Duff Outdoor Pool
A really sweet pool. There's a 25m lap pool, a "warm conversation" pool (is the pool warm, or the conversation?), and a wicked yellow water slide. Alex Duff is also the site of a lot of underground pool parties.
Sheraton Centre Hotel Rooftop Pool
It's not free (a day pass costs $35), but the gorgeous indoor/outdoor pool at the Sheraton Hotel on Queen Street West is pretty deluxe. Hang out during TIFF and play Spot the Celeb (don't forget your aviators).
High Park Swimming Pool
Another pool with a crazy big yellow slide for the kids. Make a day of it and go visit the baby yak at the High Park Zoo.
Stanley Park Outdoor Pool
Tiny perfect Stanley Park is near King and Niagara streets. Oddly enough, even though it's right downtown it's not that popular. Now that the abbattoir's closing, though, more people might start venturing down there on hot days.