Nighttime glow-in-the-dark kayak rental in Toronto at Woodbine Beach or Humber River

Best Water Activities in Toronto this Summer

Published: August 11, 2022

Get out and enjoy the water in Toronto! With the shores of Lake Ontario just steps away from downtown Toronto, there are plenty of ways to beat the summer heat on the water. Get active around Toronto Islands, explore nature from a kayak in the Humber River, or relax on one of the city’s beaches as you take in all the fun water activities the city has to offer this summer.

Kayaking At Toronto Harbourfront

Rent a kayak on Lake Ontario in downtown Toronto from Harbourfront Canoe And Kayak Centre

Photo Credit: Lisa Wright

You can step off UP Express and be on the water within the hour! Located just a short walk or Toronto Bike Share ride from UP Express Union Station on Toronto’s Harbourfront, you’ll find kayaks, canoes, and standup paddleboards for rent at Harbourfront Canoe And Kayak Centre. Offering lessons, hourly rentals, and guided tours, the view of the city skyline is nothing but spectacular from the water. Plus, once you’re back on dry land, there’s plenty to see and do along the shore of Lake Ontario. Reminder, if you want to cycle the Martin Goodman Waterfront Trail, only bicycles that can be folded or stored in an aircraft-ready bicycle box are permitted onboard UP Express.

Glow-In-The-Dark Kayaking

Nighttime glow-in-the-dark kayak rental in Toronto at Woodbine Beach or Humber River

Want an unforgettable nighttime experience on the water? Toronto Kayaks’ glow-in-the-dark paddle is just what you’re looking for! Offering Toronto’s first immersive paddling experience, these clear kayaks are equipped with LED lights and bluetooth speakers so you can listen to your favourite tunes while paddling the slow-moving Humber River in the dark on a self-guided Toronto adventure you won’t soon forget. With one location accessible from UP Express Bloor Station, a second spot at Woodbine Beach provides the same nighttime experience along the shores of Lake Ontario in Toronto’s east end, one streetcar ride from UP Express Union Station.

Toronto Islands Standup Paddleboarding

Toronto Islands standup paddle boarding rental and nature tours on Lake Ontario

Photo Credit: Celine Tang

Have fun while learning about the unique eco-systems of the Toronto Islands with a leisurely standup paddleboard tour. Toronto Island SUP offers unique morning and sunset eco-tour paddles around the lagoons as experienced guides teach you all about the history of the islands, ecology and flora and fauna on display. The company also operates a dedicated intro to standup paddleboarding session dedicated to getting BIPOC into the world of SUP with instructors from the female-led Lake Surfistas grassroots organization.

Toronto Pools With A View

Downtown Toronto summer day pool party at Cabana Pool Bar

Photo Credit: Bisha Hotel

Make a splash in style at one of the city’s best pools with a view. Head to the popular Cabana Pool Bar for Toronto’s ultimate pool party complete with bottle service and DJs who bring the party in the afternoon heat at Polson Pier in the Port Lands. Stretch your pool day into a Toronto staycation at Hotel X or the Bisha Hotel and relax at their exclusive guest-only rooftop pools featuring stunning views of the downtown core – all just minutes away from UP Express Union Station!

Make A Splash At A Public Pool Or Splash Pad

Visit a City of Toronto public pool swimming pools and splash pads

Photo Credit: City of Toronto

When the temperature heats up, swim and play at one of Toronto’s many outdoor public pools. Around the city, you’ll find public pools for lane swimming and leisure swims, wading pools and splash pads. Popular pools – like the one at High Park near UP Express Bloor Station – even have water slides! No matter where your summer travels take you in the city, check the official City of Toronto pools and splash pads map to find the perfect place to cool down. We recommend packing a picnic for the perfect summer outing.

Relax At Toronto’s Beaches

Lake Ontario Toronto Harbour sightseeing boat tours

Toronto may be a bustling urban metropolis but there are still lots of places to have some fun in the sun at one of the city’s beaches, all within reach from UP Express Union Station. The Instagram-worthy manmade golden sand beaches and pink umbrellas of Sugar Beach are the perfect spot for sunbathing or chill out at Woodbine Beach and it’s quieter sister, Kew-Balmy Beach in the east end. Meanwhile, a day of sand and sea await you on the Toronto Islands, home of the family-friendly Centre Island Beach, the quiet-but-rocky Ward’s Island Beach, or dare to bare all at the city’s only clothing optional beach at Hanlan’s Point.
Over in the city’s west end and easily accessible from UP Express Bloor Station, you’ll find the Mediterranean-inspired Sunnyside Pavilion at Sunnyside Beach. Just steps from High Park, it’s the perfect backdrop for a smooth cycle along the waterfront on the Martin Goodman Waterfront Trail with a set of rental wheels from Bike Share Toronto located outside UP Express Bloor Station.

Lake Ontario Tall Ship Cruise

image of Toronto cruise

Feel the wind in your sails on one of Toronto’s tall ships. Cruise Lake Ontario on the Tall Ship Kajama, a classic 1930s schooner where you can help the crew raise the sails or simply sit back and take in the breathtaking views of the harbour and Toronto skyline. Departing from Toronto’s Harbourfront close to UP Express Union Station, the 90-minute sailing excursion features a food menu and fully licensed bar so you can sip cocktails and dine as you sail the day away.

Toronto Habour Sightseeing Boat Tours

Lake Ontario Toronto Harbour sightseeing boat tours

Experience a live narrated tour of Lake Ontario and the Toronto Islands with a scenic boat cruise with Toronto Harbour Tours which launch just steps away from UP Express Union Station. Sailing Lake Ontario for over 25 years, experienced captains take visitors on a guided tour from Pier 6 at the Harbourfront, along the Port Lands, and through the quiet lagoons of the Toronto Islands on a 50-minute round-trip tour. There is even a chance to hop off and explore the scenic islands during the summer months – simply catch one of the frequent cruises heading back to the waterfront when you’ve had your fill of island activities, beaches, and the historic Hanlan’s Point.

Enjoy A Movie, Live Comedy, Music Or Magic On The Humber River

Live music, movies, and magic shows for families on the Humber River in Toronto

Looking for a truly unique experience this summer? Toronto Adventures has you covered! Enjoy a movie, live comedy performance, a magic show or live music from your very own canoe on the Humber River. Float in your rented canoe or kayak as you take in the evening entertainment in this one-of-a-kind Toronto river tour which begins from nearby Old Mill TTC Station, a short subway or bike ride from UP Express Bloor Station. Be sure to check Toronto Adventures’ website for a complete schedule of live event experiences.
Who knew downtown Toronto had so many great ways to get on the water this summer? No matter if you’re looking to chill out by a beach or pool or get your paddle on, Toronto’s water-based activities will give you brand new ways to explore and enjoy all the city has to offer. With convenient stops at Union and Bloor Stations, UP Express part of your plans to make waves this summer!