A sweet stroll at Sugar Beach, Toronto

Sugar Beach is an urban beach park located across from Redpath Sugar Refinery in downtown Toronto’s East Bayfront.

The refinery is a longstanding fixture along Queens Quay adjacent to the Toronto Harbourfront. Redpath Sugar started as a Montréal based company in 1854, the first of its kind using sugar cane imported from the British West Indies. In 1958, the complex in Toronto, containing a storage and refining plant, was constructed at the time of completion of the Saint Lawrence Seaway. It remains functional today, with the distinctive scent of processed sugar cane permeating the surrounding area.

Neighbouring Sugar Beach Park opened in 2010 as part of the Waterfront Toronto project, designed by landscape architecture firm Claude Cormier + Associés Inc. It features an artificial sandy beach with ornamental lighting and signature pink umbrellas, along with a rocky amphitheatre and paved pedestrian areas. The beach is not meant to allow wading or swimming in Lake Ontario, but rather functions as a waterfront space for leisure and social activities. From 2011 until the event’s recent cancellation in 2019, it was the setting for the Toronto Port Authority’s Sail-In Cinema each summer.

Here are a few images from our afternoon walk around Toronto Harbourfront and Sugar Beach.

11 responses to “A sweet stroll at Sugar Beach, Toronto”

  1. I used to work near here and would often eat my lunch at Sugar Beach or go for a walk along the waterfront. It’s a lovely area.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The area is changing quite a lot with all the new developments and condos going up. It’ll be interesting to see how it transforms over the next few years.

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  2. It is a double incongruity, the beach suspended above the water and the factory suspended through time. The entire port area is becoming the new condo zone that will grow over the next few years, Sugar Beach being in this intermediate zone will surely be affected.
    There is a small ‘museum’ at the Redpath factory, I haven’t had the opportunity to visit it yet.

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    1. That is a great description. It was remarkable to see how much the area has changed in even the past year. Lots of new developments I hadn’t spotted since the last time I passed through. I haven’t had a chance to check out the Redpath museum yet either, will have to do that next year perhaps during Doors Open.

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  3. A “sweet” stroll, indeed! Looks like the beach is fairly empty, due to COVID, I presume? Sugar Beach’s seemingly haphazard location in the middle of an industrial part of town is quite unique, and it’s definitely a new “beach” experience to be had!

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    1. Nah, I think it was empty because it was a brisk November day. 😉 The beach is quite small and we have much nicer beaches in less industrial areas for lounging by the water.

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    1. It’s no Caribbean beach but looks interesting 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Makes me long for summer… but no swimming? Preposterous! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t think you’d want to swim here! 🤢

      Liked by 2 people

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