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.