Summer is so short in Toronto that beach time can be at a premium. Fortunately, there are many beaches that are within an hour or two of Toronto, which means you can visit for the day. Crystal Beach and Port Dover are popular beaches to visit for residents of Toronto, but there’s also, Franklin Beach, a little known beach in Jackson’s Point.
Many people visiting Jackson’s Point for the day visit Sibbald Point Provincial Park. I have been to Sibbald Point and have found it very crowded, with large families having barbecues and picnics. There are also pebbles and small stones at the shore of the lake, as well as seaweed, which made walking into the lake a little unpleasant.
I much prefer the more intimate (and yes, small!) Franklin Beach, where you can walk for many metres out into Lake Simcoe before the water gets deep. The beach is very well maintained with soft sand and you’ll be hard-pressed to find any seaweed or rocks in the water. There is a roped off section in the water for kiddies to splash around in, but beyond the rope, the water is still shallow due to numerous sandbars. I was able to walk several metres beyond the rope and the water was still up to my waist.
There are public washrooms beside the parking lot, which is a one minute walk to the beach. This year, the Town of Georgina constructed an accessible ramp to Franklin Beach, which makes it easy for those in wheelchairs or families pushing strollers and wagons down to the beach. Many of the local cottagers on Lake Drive come to Franklin Beach to swim.
Parking at neighbouring De La Salle Park is not cheap: I visited during the week and it’s $4 per hour with a daily maximum of $20. The weekend parking fee is even higher at $7 per hour with a daily maximum of $35. I have heard that the parking lot gets full quickly on weekends so you need to get there early. There is another parking lot, which is accessible from Metro Road North, although they charge the same fees.