Ah summer! The time of year we can finally shed our winter clothing and lounge around outdoors. For some, this means a trip to the beach to sport the latest swimsuit, or perhaps their birthday suit. Whatever your choice, Outwords has taken a look at beaches across Canada that are GLBT-friendly and often clothing-optional as well. While many other parts of the world have designated nude sunbathing areas, Canada lags far behind with only two officially recognized clothing- optional beaches, one in Vancouver and the other in Toronto. However, there are many other unofficial ones to be found, which we have highlighted below to help with your summer travel plans.
By far the best-known in Canada is Vancouver’s Wreck Beach, where hundreds if not thousands of sunbathers, many from the GLBT community, gather during the warm, summer months. It’s located within Pacific Spirit Regional Park at the conjunction of the Georgia Straight and Fraser River, just west of the city and close to the grounds of the University of British Columbia.
The sandy and rocky shoreline stretches approximately eight kilometres from Acadia Beach in Point Grey to Booming Grounds Creek and there are clearly marked signs indicating where to let it all hang out. There are several trails leading to the beach area, with the most popular being No. 6, where there are stairs with railings that lead down the steep slope. There are several official and unofficial vendors hawking their wares, from beach accessories to beverages, and there are always games of some sort being played. Wreck Beach is easily accessible by public transit from downtown.
Hanlan’s Point Beach
Hanlan’s Point Beach in Toronto has always been known as “the gay beach;” however, it only became officially recognized
as a clothing-optional beach in 2002. In recent years it’s become more known as “the nude beach” or “the party beach,” attracting all genders and sexualities willing to leave their inhibitions at home.
Outwords is the non-profit organization that publishes the free Outwords magazine of news, analysis and entertainment for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit and queer community and its allies.