The dog days of summer are finally upon us—but what do our dogs think about that? Well, many of them probably want to cool down with a nice dip in the lake, while others would prefer to lounge on the sand, happily panting through another fleeting Canadian summer. As any dog owner knows, however, not all beaches welcome our four-legged besties. So we’ve rounded up some of the best dog-friendly beaches in Ontario where your canine friend can doggy paddle to their heart’s content.
Port Burwell Provincial Park
1 hour southeast from London, Ont.
From Parking Lot 1, you can access Port Burwell’s dog-friendly beach, which has both an on-leash area and a place where you can let Fido run loose. There’s plenty of sandy space and shallow water so even dogs that aren’t the keenest swimmers can still have a barking good time.
Hours: 8:30 a.m.–9:00 p.m. daily
Cost: Free from Monday to Thursday, and $15.50 from Friday to Sunday
Wasaga Beach Provincial Park
2 hours north of Toronto, Ont.
There are plenty of wagging tails at Beach Area 3, the only section where dogs are permitted along Wasaga’s 14-km beachfront. The water is pretty shallow so you can walk quite far out with your dog if they’re not too short. Since there is no designated off-leash area, be sure to keep your pet on a leash (even in the water)—unless you want to risk getting ticketed by a park warden. Note that only part of Beach Area 3 is dedicated to the dogs; the section is marked off with posts, but if you’re not sure just look for the wagging tails.
Hours: 8:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m.
Cost: Parking is free from Monday to Thursday, $18 on Friday, and $21 on Saturday and Sunday
Fifty Point Conservation Area
Located in Stoney Creek, Fifty Point Conservation Area contains a little dog beach where your furry friend can splash about. Dogs must be leashed when on the sand, but once you hit the water, you can let your pup swim freely.
Hours: 7:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
Cost: $15.50 per vehicle plus $5 for each additional passenger
Pinery Provincial Park
1 hour northwest of London, Ont.
Both P1 and P2 at the Pinery are designated dog-friendly beaches where you can walk your pup and splash around in the lake. While the shore is mostly sand, it does get rocky near the edge of the water, so be sure to bring appropriate footwear. Dogs must be kept on a leash, even in the water.
Hours: 8:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m.
Cost: Parking is free from Monday to Thursday, and $18 from Friday to Sunday
Your pup can enjoy the water, even in the city! Balmy Beach, located on the east end of The Beaches, has an unfenced dog park at Silver Birch. Walk about 10 minutes west along the boardwalk and you can also find a fenced-in dog park by the Leuty Lifeguard Station. There are both soft sand sections and chunkier rocky sections along the dog-friendly beaches. The best part? Your dog can run around sans leash!
Hours: Open 24 hours
Want to learn more about hanging out at dog-friendly beaches? Check out our dos and don’ts for dogs at the beach.