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10 Best Beaches in Montreal

Written by Michael Law
Aug 26, 2021

Montreal is surrounded by water, so it shouldn't come as any surprise that the city is blessed with a variety of excellent beaches. Hot summer days see the city's residents fleeing to the cool waters of the local rivers to escape the city heat.

Montreal's beaches take many forms, and range from long sandy stretches on the Ottawa River at Oka through to small city beaches on a channel of the mighty St. Lawrence River. Other beaches are inland, manmade places that are ideal for families or for the younger, active set looking for loud music and good times.

The beaches near Montreal are easily accessible with your own car, or for those without transport, the beaches right in town can be reached easily via public transit. Some are in public parks and are free; others are in provincial parks or are privately operated, and a fee is charged to enter.

You can feel safe during your visit to the beaches. All have lifeguards on duty and, in many cases, the water is tested regularly to ensure safe bathing conditions. Find your place on the sand with our list of the best beaches in Montreal.

Note: Some businesses may be temporarily closed due to recent global health and safety issues.

1. Oka Park Beach

Oka Park Beach
Oka Park Beach | Photo Copyright: Michael Law

The beach in Oka National Park is one of the most popular beaches near Montreal. Just down the road from the delightful small town of the same name, this beach is the main attraction in the park. Stretching for well over one kilometer along the Ottawa River, Oka beach has golden, soft sand.

Finding your own patch on this huge beach is easy. If you want to be where the action is with music and more people, set up near the main building. If it's quiet and space you crave, head farther east down the beach.

Don't worry if you don't have any water toys, just about any kind of floatable water fun is available for rent, from stand up paddleboards right through to canoes and kayaks.

Also, anchored just offshore is the Aquazilla water course. This incredible floating funhouse of water craziness consists of obstacles, slides, ladders, swings, trampolines, and even a few more surprises. Note that there's an additional fee to access this attraction.

In behind the beach beyond the boardwalk under the trees are picnic tables and free BBQs. This is a good spot to escape the sun; out on the beach, you won't find any shade. You will need to pay to access the park, and you will also need to pay to park your car. Both fees are charged at the gate.

2. RécréoParc (Recreo Park)

RécréoParc beach
RécréoParc beach | Photo Copyright: Michael Law

This wonderful park stretches for nine kilometers along the St. Lawrence River. Here, you'll find a manmade lake set in a grassy bowl fed with the clear, cool waters of the St. Lawrence River. This lake is surrounded by sand on all sides.

The beach is perfect for families. The south end of the beach area is very shallow and is ideal for small children and those who are not strong swimmers. In the middle are small green slides that will elicit shrieks of delight. At the northern end, closer to the middle, is a large swimming platform with a slide. Lifeguard towers are on each side of the lake.

The lake and beach are surrounded by a large fenced grassy area. If you set up your gear on the south side of the lake, you'll be rewarded with nice views of the St. Lawrence River. Note that there is little to no shade here, so be sure to bring a sun umbrella.

RécréoParc is located on Île de Seigneur, near the south shore of the St. Lawrence River in the city of Sainte-Catherine. Access is via a lift bridge over the canal. If you are lucky (or unlucky depending on your perspective), you may be able to see a large lake freighter transiting the lock.

3. Saint-Zotique

Saint-Zotique beach
Saint-Zotique beach | Photo Copyright: Michael Law

Just about an hour west of downtown Montreal is Saint-Zotique beach. This lovely stretch of sand is located at a wide, calm point on the St. Lawrence River, allowing for easy access without the fear of being swept away in the current.

The beach is well set up for a good time, with a concession selling cold drinks and fast food. The beach park has yellow pedal boats for rent if you want to get out and do a bit of on-water exploring. One of the highlights of a visit is playing on the giant floating obstacle course called Eau Defi anchored just offshore.

A wooden boardwalk runs behind the beach and offers a shady respite from the blazing summer sun. Beyond the boardwalk back in the trees are hundred's of picnic tables, just perfect for a summer get-together of friends and family. Bring your own BBQ or rent one from the concession stand.

If you'd rather wade in a shallow pool or hit the splash pad, those options are available and included with your admission. Be sure to bring your volleyball; courts are set up back from the beach. Don't feel like being active at all? That's just fine. Grab an ice cream and settle down on your towel and just watch the world go by.

A fee is charged to use the beach.

4. Pointe-Calumet Beach Club

Pointe-Calumet Beach Club
Pointe-Calumet Beach Club | Photo Copyright: Michael Law

For a purpose made beach with all the trimmings, you can't beat the Pointe-Calumet Beach Club. Set on the shores of Lac des Sables, this club is more about having a good time with your friends than frolicking in the sand. It's been a destination for Montreal's young and hip set for over 25 years.

The beach club is divided into two areas: one for an 18-plus crowd, where DJs spin the latest tunes and live bands perform every weekend. A wide variety of food stalls surround a central courtyard complete with a Y-shaped pool, where you can hang out in your bathing suit and soak up the scene.

A short distance away is another section with a long narrow beach, where lounges and day beds are set up. This then expands to a wide beach area with regular chairs and wide-open space. Offshore a wakeboarding cable runs across the lake, towing beginners and pros alike. Sitting in a beach chair watching them zip by is pure entertainment. Lifeguards are on duty in the beach and pool area.

An admission is charged to enter the beach club. Special VIP access privileges are available for an additional fee.

5. Super Aqua Club

Sliding down a waterslide
Sliding down a waterslide

Attracting a far different crowd than the Beach Club, the Super Aqua Club is all about families and waterslides and as a bonus, it has a great beach. You can slide all you want on any one of the incredible waterslides spread throughout the park. In addition to all the slides, a floating aquatic obstacle course called the Wipe Zone is moored in the center of a small lake. Want to play in the waves? Head on over to the heated Wave Pool.

After you've exhausted yourself on all the rides, head to the lake for a little recovery time. The beach area is a wide arc of sand with shallow water, ideal for children and those who are not strong swimmers. The water in Lac des Sables gets very warm, making it easy to play in the sand for hours on end. Lifeguards are on duty and keep a close eye on all swimmers.

A fee is charged to enter the park by the height of the attendee. The shorter you are, the cheaper it is.

Official site: https://superaquaclub.com/en/

6. Cap Saint-Jacques

Cap Saint-Jacques beach
Cap Saint-Jacques beach | Photo Copyright: Michael Law

The beach at Cap Saint-Jacques has golden sands and is very deep but not overly wide. It is protected from the winds on three sides, so it can get very hot here on sunny days. A large area of volleyball nets is located at the back of the beach. Here, you'll also find a few benches and shady areas under the trees.

Located in Pierre-Fond-Roxboro Cap Saint-Jacques, the beach is situated in a lovely cove on Lake of Two Mountains, which is actually a widening of the Ottawa River. The water here is a dark brown color, which some people may find a bit disconcerting. The upside of the coloration is that the water warms up quickly early in the summer, making it easy to get in and stay in the water.

If you've brought a BBQ, a special section of picnic tables is situated near the walkway into the beach area. A nice walk from the beach through the forest will bring you to the interesting and historic Chateau Gohier. Two lifeguard stands are staffed daily.

If the wind is blowing strongly from the north, be sure to stop in at L'Anse-à-l'Orme Nature Park to see the kiteboarders and windsurfers race back and forth.

A fee is charged to enter the park at the gate. In the parking lot, you will also need to pay to park your car.

7. Jean-Doré Beach

Jean-Doré Beach in Parc Jean-Drapeau
Jean-Doré Beach in Parc Jean-Drapeau | Photo Copyright: Michael Law

Jean-Doré Beach is located in Parc Jean-Drapeau on Île Notre-Dame. A 15,000-square-meter manmade lake, Lac de l'Île Notre-Dame has soft-sand beaches on all sides. Back from the beach are large grassy areas and trees. Access is easy via public transport - the Jean-Drapeau metro stop is nearby, and a shuttle bus will drop you right at the beach entrance.

Set up your towel on the sand or farther back up on the grass under the trees if you prefer shade. Picnic tables are spread about the grassy area, which is also an ideal place to toss a Frisbee or a football. A pick up game of volleyball is usually on the go most weekends; just ask to play and meet some new people. Lifeguards are stationed around the entire lake.

An admission fee is charged to enter the beach.

8. Verdun Beach

Verdun Beach
Verdun Beach | Photo Copyright: Michael Law

For those without easy transport options, Verdun Beach is a very good option. Two bus routes run nearby, and the De l'Église metro station is a short walk away. Verdun beach is located in the southern end of wonderful Arthur Therrien park, adjacent to Parc J. Albert Gariepy, and a large pay parking lot is mere steps away from the beach entrance.

This small manmade beach is on an arm of the St. Lawrence river, and its clear waters are a delight to swim in. The beach has no shade, so be sure to bring your own umbrella. Near the beach are a set of slides and a children's climbing wall. Lifeguards are on duty.

Access to the beach is free.

9. Clock Tower Beach

City view from Clock Tower Beach
City view from Clock Tower Beach | Photo Copyright: Lana Law

The Clock Tower beach is the only beach near Montreal where you do not actually swim. Similar in nature to the famous beaches along the Seine River in Paris, Clock Tower beach is a delightful area of sand right at the water's edge, with lovely views of the city.

The beach wraps around the point at the base of the Clock Tower. Views from the point are to the Jacque Cartier Bridge, and the views to the side are of the yacht basin.

Bridge view from Clock Tower Beach
Bridge view from Clock Tower Beach | Photo Copyright: Lana Law

Umbrellas, chairs and tables are spread about in super soft golden sand. Just pick one and settle in with a good book. This is the perfect place to relax in the city on a hot summer day. The Clock Tower beach is free.

10. St. Timothée Islands Regional Park

Tucked away in among the islands of the St. Lawrence River is Parc régional des Îles-de-Saint-Timothée. This delightful small park is located on Ile Papineau and consists of a small sandy beach. Lifeguards keep a close eye on all those enjoying the clear and cool waters.

The concession stand rents kayaks, stand up paddleboards, and canoes, and pedal boats are available to rent by the hour, along with volleyballs and other sporting equipment. Off the beach is a children's playground and large grassy areas just perfect for a fun soccer game.

A fee is charged to use the park.

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