For a place without a sun-and-sand reputation, Canada certainly has an abundance of shorelines, stretching farther than in any other country in the world. Add to this the thousands of kilometres of lakeshores big and small, and you have a waterfront scene that could take lifetimes to explore. Here are our picks for the best beaches in Canada — those with the warmest water, the best sand, surf and swimming, the tiny hidden gems and the bountiful aquatic wonders, all right under our noses, from coast to coast.
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Lawrencetown Beach, Lawrencetown Beach Provincial Park, Nova Scotia
This tiny beach is only 1.5 kilometres long, but it’s 1.5 kilometres of prime, world-renowned surfing breaks. Families, hikers, nature enthusiasts, mountain bikers and bodyboarders all share Lawrencetown Beach, and have a blast doing it. When Haligonians say they’re going to the beach, this is what they mean.
Wow factor: Waves have peaked at four metres.
Nota bene: Strong currents and riptides, plus the occasional hurricane, make rescues on high surf days quite common. Try not to need one.
Where it’s at: 23 kilometres east of Dartmouth on Route 207, 25 minutes from Halifax.