Summer on the beach

Off-leash playground

As mentioned in my blog, The Beaches, I consider the dog parks on the beaches to be the happiest places for both humans and dogs. Especially in those places where dogs can run off-leash.

Black Bernedoodle standing on rock on Toronto Beaches off-leash park.

Social Distancing

The City of Toronto has posted creative signs throughout the beach area to remind us of our duty during the pandemic. 

When walking your dog, practice social distancing.

Kew Gardens Dog Park

This off-leash playground for dogs is near Woodbine beach and is perhaps the best off-leash park in the city of Toronto.  The fenced-in area provides full access to a large section of prime waterfront dedicated for dogs to run and swim. 

Hiking to Kew Gardens Dog Park on the Toronto Beaches

Heatwaves in Toronto

Heat is a big problem for many dogs. Especially those who haven't had a chance to visit a groomer as a result of the Covid-19 shutdown. The best place for your dog to get exercise and remain cool is on the beach. The temperature on the shores of Lake Ontario is notably cooler than elsewhere in the city. The waters of Lake Ontario are even cooler, allowing an active dog to both get a drink and to go for a swim.

Dogs cool off during heatwave on Toronto Beaches

Land Seals

Dogs are natural swimmers, but not all breeds like to swim. Some dogs like my bernedoodle prefer to meet the swimmers on the shore. My first dog was a yellow lab, and she would live in the water if given a chance. She was such a good swimmer that I started calling her a "land seal" because she looked like a seal when swimming.

Some dogs swim, some dogs just go into water up to their knees.

Instead of swimming, my doodle prefers to wade slowly into the water up to her knees. If she's especially hot, she'll lay on the sandy bottom if the water is calm and shallow. Running through shallow water at top speed, either chasing or being chased, is her ultimate favourite game.

Dogs running on Toronto Beach in Kew Gardens Dog Park

You still get full access to the beach from the dog park and can also see the faraway CN Tower.

Toronto Beaches and Toronto Skyline

Once in the dog park, there are the usual fun things to do. Like, stand on a painted rock.

Painted rocks on Toronto beaches

Watch humans sitting on the Muskoka chairs, drinking a cold beverage. 

Enjoy a cold one while your dog plays on the beach

Inspect the latest beach sculptures.

Rock sculptures and dog on Toronto Beach

Watch the kites swooping in the wind. 

Kits flying on Toronto Beach

Play with friends

It doesn't matter how hot it is, you're sure to find many friends to play with.

Dogs playing in Kew Gardens Dog Park Off-leash in Toronto Beaches

Admire the trees

Every season the trees display their beauty. This spring, we were presented with beautiful, sweet-smelling blossoms.

Blooming tree on board walk Toronto beaches

While some of the trees are still dressed for Christmas.

Decorated tree in summer on beach

Birdwatching

There are some birds you chase and others you just admire from a distance.

Dog chasing seagulls at the beach

swan on Toronto beach

Don't go near the Canada Geese

Walk along the boardwalk

An empty boardwalk is rare in the summer, but it is possible to find times when it is less populated. I would suggest early morning, late evening, or on unseasonably cold days.  

Meeting a puppy on the boardwalk

Dogs must be leashed when walking on the boardwalk or anywhere outside the designated off-leash areas. The cycling trail is right next to the boardwalk, and cycling traffic can be both heavy and fast.

Boardwalk gets busy on hot days

This is especially dangerous for dogs that like to chase squirrels as they are typically on the other side of the bike trail.

squirrel on the boardwalk

Parking

There is a paid parking lot on Lake Shore Blvd. but you'll have a 15-minute walk to the Kew Gardens Dog Park. For the shortest walk, your best bet is to look for street parking along Waverly Road or Lee Ave.  

Map to kew gardens dog park

We like to park on Neville Park Blvd to maximize our walk. Our walk from the car to the Kew Garden Dog Park and back ends up being just over 4 km in total. This lets us play in the off-leash beach called Nursewood Dog Park that is described in our blog entry, The Beaches.










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