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Toronto is known and loved for its stunning waterfronts, abundant parks, and scenic lakes. So it is no surprise that this is an ideal location to use your stand up paddle board! Whether you're a seasoned paddler or just starting out, the city offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy this popular water sport.
From serene bays to busy harbors, Toronto has a range of destinations that cater to all around paddle boards and all skill levels and interests. This dynamic metropolis has a surprising number of blue spaces dotted along Lake Ontario and amongst the green, all surrounded by the iconic soaring skyscrapers. You just get a different perspective of Canada’s largest city by water.
If you are keen on a paddle in Toronto, this is the guide for you! We will highlight the 9 best places to paddle board in Toronto, offering you a range of options to explore the city's scenic waterways and beaches. Whether you're looking for a peaceful cruise or a more adventurous touring paddle board, these locations will give you an unforgettable experience on Toronto’s water.
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Kicking off our best of Toronto list is Cherry Beach – a firm favorite with Toronto locals for summer fun. This sheltered lakefront beach lies on the shoreline of Lake Ontario and is one of the most accessible beaches in the city. It is fantastic for beginners to get to grips with SUP basics, just keep a lookout for other water enthusiasts.
Due to its popularity, Cherry Beach does get busy at weekends and throughout the summer with live music performances and festivals. While this does mean crowds, it does come with the perk of having regular food trucks close to the beach, so you can get a snack after your trip.
Cherry Beach is also dog friendly, so if you wanted to learn how to paddle board with your dog, then this is the place for you. Take in the best views of the downtown Toronto skyline and enjoy one of the epic sunsets from here.
Tommy Thompson Park is just over the water from Cherry Beach and is another fantastic place to explore with a stand up paddle board. If you are interested in birdwatching, then this is the best place for you in Toronto. From the water, you will have a unique view of the marine birds.
Make note, the waters can get choppy, especially if you plan to take the long paddle from Cherry Beach across the harbor bay. So always check the conditions and do not be tempted to push yourself too far out of your comfort zone. You also need to be cautious of rocks in the water around the shoreline of this manmade peninsula. However, this is an excellent place to try out a surf paddle board if you are an advanced paddle boarder.
‘The Islands’ is by far one of the coolest urban paddle boarding spots going. There are several beaches to enjoy as well as the sheltered bay that offers great views of Toronto's famous skyline. Toronto Islands have a great amusement park as well, which ensures post- paddle boarding fun for all of the family.
To get here, you have to hop onboard a ferry for 15 minutes from the mainland. Or, you can take the touring paddle board option and start your adventure from Cherry Beach. This route is an adventure that requires a good skill level because you cross the Eastern Channel where waters can get choppy.
Check out Toronto Island SUP for guided tours and rentals on the islands. These guys offer a number of packages and programs suitable for every type and level of paddle boarder.
Paddle boarding on the Humber River and under the Humber Bay Arch Bridge is a must-do for any SUP trip to Toronto. From here you get good views of the city from a unique vantage point. However, it is tucked away from the bustling city so you can enjoy a peaceful paddle.
There are two launch spots to choose from, depending on what type of paddle day out you want:
Always remember to check water levels and conditions to stay safe when paddle boarding on rivers. And keep a lookout for wildlife in both the air and water!
Etienne Brulé Park is upstream from the bridge on the east side of the Humber River. This is a great place for dogs, kids, and testing out your fishing paddle board. There are also several cycle routes around the park, offering something for everyone!
There is free parking and the water is just a short walk on marked routes. While you can carry a hard board down, having an inflatable paddle board as your vessel will definitely make life easier!
With relaxed vibes and a sandy beach, Kew Balmy Beach is a perfect spot for a peaceful paddle, a great alternative for busy summer days. There are break walls protecting the beach which makes it super beginner friendly and perfect for those of you who enjoy practicing yoga on your yoga paddle board. This is also another great place for dogs to enjoy a run-around and swim.
SUP rentals are available from the beach. However, if you have your own paddle board, aim to get here at dawn to catch the sunrise over the bay! Parking is available on Hubbard Blvd.
Read More: What Is SUP Yoga And Why You Should Be Doing It
Set off from Budapest Park and paddle east 1.5km to Marilyn Bell Park. The waterway along this stretch offers perfect flatwater conditions with break-wall protection. However, it is a long paddle, so this spot is best for intermediates that are comfortable with longer sessions.
Marilyn Bell Park is good for sprint training in preparation for SUP racing. Just keep in mind other competitions are held here – the annual Dragon Boat competitions take place here in the summer.
Up for a bit more of a challenge? From Marilyn Bell Park you can keep paddling for another 3 km, continuing round the bend from the park to find Ontario Place.
This unique Toronto landmark is an impressive sight from the water and well worth the extra paddling. Just remember to take your camera for a quick selfie to prove you did it!
And last but no means least, we have Scarborough Bluffs. These clear waters and white cliffs are what puts Toronto on the map when it comes to stand up paddle boarding in our opinion! Good for families and a great day out, there is something for everyone here.
To get to the Bluffs, park at end of Brimley Road and Bluffers Park Road. You will have to walk a 1 km trail from the parking to the water, so we do recommend an inflatable paddle board as your SUP choice. When paddling here, you will have unrivaled views of the majestic Cathedral Bluffs.
When paddle boarding in Toronto, it is important to stay safe while out on the water. Whether you are an experienced paddler or a newbie to the sport, take these top tips on board:
Yes! Toronto is Canada’s largest city and lies on the shores of Lake Ontario, which provides some epic places to stand up paddle board. There are several places along the shorefront as well as inland lakes and rivers to explore nearby the city.
Summer is by far the best time to stand up paddle board in Toronto, however, this is also the busiest time of year. Fall and Spring can be good times of year to explore and enjoy the waters. Just be prepared for colder conditions and more unpredictable weather.
Yes! You can use your own stand up paddle board when heading out on Toronto’s waters. You will have to be wearing a Canadian Coast Guard approved life jacket as well. If you rent a SUP, a life jacket should be provided by the rental company.
There are several great places for beginners to learn how to paddle board in Toronto. Cherry Beach and Kew Balmy Beach are the two most popular and accessible places for beginners to start their stand up paddle boarding journey!
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