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The Best Beaches in Canada to Visit This Summer

Where can you find the best beaches in Canada? Well, that depends on what kind of a beach you’re looking for! We’ve rounded up some of our favourite Canadian shores based on five different beach-ranking criteria.

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Saltwater beach in CanadaPhoto: ShutterStock

The best beaches in Canada for swimming

What makes a good beach one of the best beaches in Canada? The swimming, of course! Saskatchewan’s Manitou Beach has kid-friendly sandy expanses, but it’s the mineral-rich water that keeps bathers pleasantly buoyant. For extended submersions, Parlee Beach, N.B., has this country’s warmest salt water, and the shallow aquamarine Pine Lake in the Northwest Territories heats up to about 20°C under summer’s almost-endless sun.

Don’t miss these gorgeous beaches with the clearest water.

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Sandcastle surrounded by toys at beachPhoto: ShutterStock

The best beaches in Canada for building sandcastles

For a country with a reputation for harsh winters, it’s easy to forget that there’s plenty of sand to go around on Canada’s beaches. Prince Edward Island’s Cavendish Beach, Manitoba’s Grand Beach and Alberta’s Devonshire Beach host annual sand-sculpture contests, but they’ve also got, respectively, a live-lobster touch tank, three kilometres of dunes and hundreds of campsites.

Check out the beaches with the best seashells in the world.

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Woman surfing at Tofino BeachPhoto: ShutterStock

The best beaches in Canada for small wave surfing

An hour from Halifax, Lawrencetown Beach is home to surf schools for beginners. In Kincardine, Ont., Station Beach offers consistent swells in salt-free water. Rocky Sombrio, a two-hour drive west from Victoria, is also popular with experienced surfers.

Discover the awesome things you didn’t know were in Canada.

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Sugar Beach in Toronto, OntarioPhoto: mikecphoto/ShutterStock

The best beaches in Canada for drinks by the shore

The pink umbrellas and serene views of Toronto’s Sugar Beach shelter urbanites looking for an escape from the concrete jungle, as do their blue counterparts at Montreal’s Clock Tower Beach—both cater to lounging rather than swimming. At Kitsilano Beach, a sunset dip is mere steps from some of Vancouver’s best bars and restaurants.

Have 48 hours to spare? Here are the best things to do in Montreal over a weekend.

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Newfoundland's Sandbanks Provincial ParkPhoto: ShutterStock

The best beaches in Canada for some peace and quiet

If you prefer peace and quiet, Canada’s beaches give you room to roam. Newfoundland’s Sandbanks Provincial Park, for instance, features seven kilometres of sand to explore. At Bennett Beach in the Yukon, the mountain views are best enjoyed with an ice cream from nearby Carcross. And in Nunavut, you can spot walruses sunbathing on the gravelly shores of Hall Beach.

Next, check out the most quirky roadside attractions across Canada!

Originally Published in Reader's Digest Canada