What it’s Really Like at Toronto’s Clothing-Optional Beach

A “before” shot (i.e. with clothes on) at Hanlan’s Point on Centre Island

I’m going to give my piece about Toronto’s clothing-optional beach: Hanlan’s Point.

There are only a few clothing-optional beaches in Canada, and Hanlan’s Point on Centre Island is the only officially recognized one in Ontario. I have been to this beach a handful of times because I think it’s such a special feeling to liberate yourself from clothes. Where else can you strut your birthday suit? Without getting arrested? It is also a really, really nice beach. You can find crystal clear water at this tiny section of the island.

I have enjoyed all the times I’ve been to this beach, but some people have written about their negative experiences and I can understand why. The day I took the photo above was a weekday which was relatively quiet and serene, but if I took the photo on the weekend the beach would be so crowded with people that you wouldn’t be able to find a spot to sit. I wouldn’t take photos of the crowd anyway for privacy reasons. In addition to crowds, it’s also common for there to be a line up of boats and jet skis crowding the water. I understand that it’s a public, multi-use beach but it sort of puts a damper on the scenery and overall relaxed beach vibe. From my point-of-view, it’s kind of annoying to swim while having to think about not getting hit by a jet ski. I’m sure there are responsible jet-ski/boat owners and the chance of this happening is not huge, but it’s just an extra thought that you don’t have to think about at other beaches.

Another thing is that, since it is clothing-optional, you will find alot of people that are fully clothed. If you are thinking of stripping down for the first time, it can add another layer of insecurity when 95% of the beach is fully clothed. Your nakedness becomes that much more noticeable. In the past, people have lobbied to make the beach nudity-mandatory and some have even gone as far as posting signs encouraging people to undress and also confronting clothed-bathers, but other problems come from this (i.e. who would regulate a nudity-mandatory beach, and how would you go about doing so?). Since there are tons of huge groups that come because this beach is also known as a party beach, it can be quite uncomfortable for the non-everyday-nudist to be nude. So if you wanted to try out public nudity but are not totally comfortable doing so in a large crowd, then I would suggest going on a weekday or early in the morning. It is still worth it to come to this beach because swimming naked is one of the most freeing and fun summer experiences! The people who come are mostly open-minded, welcoming adults (it’s rare to see a kid) so I wouldn’t worry much about coming here.

Leave a comment below on your experience at Hanlan’s or what you think about our clothing-optional beach.

Hanlan’s Point Beach
Take the ferry from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal
9 Queen’s Quay West, Toronto, Ontario, M5J 2H3


  1. Francis August 31, 2019 / 9:55 pm

    Thanks for a very fair review of the beach. It is better to go to the beach Monday to Thursday, or start your day in the morning. I was there last Friday and perhaps because the beach had been closed for a while due to flooding, most of the people had no clothes on – they were so excited it had reopened! It feels exhilarating and freeing being naked among other people. If you’re willing to try, it is very easy to get used to – it’s too bad the textiles don’t try, or don’t stay on the clothing mandatory side of the beach. Torontonians are very lucky to have one of the only two legal clothing optional beaches in Canada (the other being Wreck Beach in Vancouver).

  2. Cindy Carlos September 22, 2019 / 2:45 pm

    At Sandy Hook national seashore there are 8 sections of beach, #8 being clothing optional. When I was there, in early fall or late summer, it was a weekday, and the beach was full, but almost everyone was nude, just a handful of people in bathing suits. I’ve wondered about that, why would anyone not want to be naked, and decided they may have been trying to get used to clothes freedom before baring it all.

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