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Jewels in Blue: The Best Lakes to Visit near Toronto


Feeling the city heat and dreaming of dipping your toes in cool waters or picnicking lakeside with the fam? Whether it’s floating on Lake Ontario or finding zen at Lake Muskoka, we have the ultimate scoop on the must-visit lakes near Toronto.

We’ll make things a breeze for you. This article has all the info you need, from nifty tips to general deets, like routes, highlights, and more!

Lake Ontario

Address: 6F88+VX, 920 King St W, Kingston, ON K7M 8H3

Operating Hours: Daily – 24 hours

Distance From Toronto: 262.1 km

If this list was based on popularity, Lake Ontario would certainly be the winner. With a whopping 18,960 km² area, lax picnic settings, and clear waters, this Great Lake is a tourist magnet.

The lake is fintastic for anglers too, as it has diverse fish species, including trout and salmon. Moreover, boating enthusiasts can explore the picturesque surroundings up close on an inflatable boat.


If you’re going to fish, opt for glowing baits in vibrant hues like green or chartreuse to up your fishing game.

Lake Simcoe

From salernorealestate

How To Get Here: Route

Operating Hours: Daily – 24 hours

Distance From Toronto: 112.3 km

Tucked between Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay and Lake Ontario, Lake Simcoe is a small lake famed for sandy sunbathing areas and cozy picnic zones. It’s also a boating and swimming destination, making waves with calm waters and laid-back vibes.

On top of that, the lake is a hotspot for various fish species, from the classic perch to the elusive muskellunge. Fishing for trout and whitefish is also a local winter tradition, offering a whole new adventure through the ice.


Consider bringing a pair of binoculars to observe local wildlife or enjoy a closer look at distant landscapes across the lake.

Lake Nipissing

From annaduncan23

How To Get Here: Route

Operating Hours: Daily – 24 hours

Distance From Toronto: 403 km

If you’re looking for a lake embraced by a green expanse, you should plan a trip to Lake Nipissing. Aspen, ash, birch, maple, and oak trees envelop this lake’s shores, so you won’t run out of shade and lush eye candy.

The lake isn’t just a picturesque spot too; it’s a fish haven, boasting 44 different species, making it a perfect playground for seasoned and newbie anglers. Some notable ones you can catch are gar, walleye, muskie, and northern pike.

But if you’re not in the mood to catch fish, you can dive and swim into the lake’s rock-free shallows. While swimming, be on the lookout for chipmunks, gulls, and even bald eagles.


Bring thick layers of clothing even on a warm day. Temperatures can drop rapidly here. 

For newbie fishers, you can acquire the help of fishing guides around the lake. They’ll tell you the best spots, baits, and more.

Lake Couchiching

– From ev_fishing

How To Get Here: Route

Operating Hours: Daily – 24 hours

Distance From Toronto: 147.9 km

Lake Couchiching, the not-so-hidden gem for boating enjoyers, sits pretty just north of Lake Simcoe.

The lake is a mid-sized beauty with shallow waters and sandy beaches (beach toronto canada).

If you’re into fishing, the lake is bountiful during both summer and winter. You can expect largemouth bass, yellow perch, and smallmouth bass as your usual catch.


For a convenient experience that doesn’t compromise the lake’s natural charm, head to Couchiching Beach Park. Here, you’ll experience the lake’s best features while enjoying amenities like washrooms, boardwalks, and seats.

Mazinaw Lake

From therealjabone

Address: 16151 Hwy 41, Cloyne, ON K0H 1K0

Contact Details: (613) 336-2228

Operating Hours: Daily – 8 am to 10 pm

Distance From Toronto: 272.6 km

Mazinaw Lake, situated within the heart of Bon Echo Provincial Park, takes center stage as a dream for outdoor enthusiasts, whether you’re a camper, boater, or swimmer.

In addition, you can camp in your car right along the lake’s shores. For those who prefer a bit more comfort, cozy cabins and soft-sided shelters are also available.

Fishing is also popular here. You can reel in smallmouth bass, walleye, and largemouth bass if you’re skilled or lucky. 


Boaters, canoers, and kayakers should steer clear of designated swimming areas. For those who want to be buzzed out, alcohol consumption is allowed in the campsites only and not on the beach.

Lake Huron

From _ericashaw

How To Get Here: Route

Operating Hours: Daily – 24 hours

Distance From Toronto: 130 km

Lake Huron is a natural marvel with a vast surface area of 259,590 km², making it the second-largest Great Lake.

This breathtaking turquoise lake stands out for its inviting beaches, intricate river systems, lush forests, expansive wetlands, and picturesque dunes. Additionally, the lake has tons of shipwrecks—both on the surface and below its waters.

There’s also a high chance you won’t go empty-handed if you fish here. Lake Huron has an abundance of Atlantic salmon, lake trout, rainbow trout, chinook salmon, coho salmon, pink salmon, and even more.


When angling in Lake Huron, consider using a variety of bait, such as live bait or lures mimicking the lake’s prevalent forage. Furthermore, experiment with different depths and locations to increase your chances of a successful catch.

Lake Temagami

How To Get Here: Route

Operating Hours: Daily – 24 hours

Distance From Toronto: 497.9 km

Lake Temagami is a fishing epicenter packed with a mix of lake trout, walleye (pickerel), and northern pike. It even becomes a winter wonderland for anglers in early January with its bountiful whitefish catch that makes the frozen fingertips worth it.

It’s not all about fishing here, though, as the lake knows how to rock the boating scene. The lake is surrounded by shops and spots that rent out canoes and kayaks, like Boatline Bay Marine and Three Buoys House Vacation.


Before casting your line, make sure you have a fishing license. You can snag one at the Ministry of Natural Resources office in Temagami or the various local lodges around the lake.

Lake Superior

How To Get Here: Route

Operating Hours: Daily – 8 am to 4 pm

Distance From Toronto: 886.7 km

Lake Superior, claiming the title of the world’s largest freshwater body by surface area, is a must-see natural wonder.

Those huge into fishing can land wall eye, lake trout, brook, and the rare steelhead. As for boaters, you can see around 500 nautical miles of enchanting scenery, ranging from secluded shorelines to quaint marinas.

Hikers and backpackers can enjoy the lake too by crashing in at Lake Superior Provincial Park. The park’s proximity to the lake makes it a tourist magnet, especially since it’s also near hills where you can clearly see Lake Superior’s jaw-dropping beauty.


You can enjoy a stress-free boating experience by joining a Lake Superior tour.

Lake Scugog

From sky_marvels

How To Get Here: Route

Operating Hours: Daily – 24 hours

Distance From Toronto: 95.2 km

Lake Scugog, just a stone’s throw away from Toronto, is like nature’s VIP section for city dwellers seeking a quick escape. 

This lake has forests teeming with wildlife and swamps used by waterfowl as hangout spots. It also flexes several fish species calling its waters home, including bass, walleye, and muskie.


Check the local weather forecast and come prepared with suitable clothing, especially if you plan to spend extended periods outdoors.

Marmoraton Mine

From aj.ontheroad

Address: Marmora Mine Rd, Marmora, ON K0K 2M0

Distance From Toronto: 192.8 km


Once a limestone quarry, Marmoraton Mine is now a unique pit turned picturesque “lake” that turns heads with its stunning turquoise water and inviting hiking trails.

Perfect for a summer day trip, this lake offers a blend of natural splendor and historical significance. However, swimming is no longer allowed, but you can still enjoy the site as a peaceful retreat or an Insta-worthy (instagrammable spots toronto) strolling trail.


Pack snacks and water for your Marmoraton Mine outing, as there are no nearby shops for essentials.

Kelso Lake

From lexilou8

Address: 5234 Kelso Rd, Milton, ON L9E 0C6

Contact Details: (905) 878-5011

Operating Hours: Daily – 9 am to 7 pm

Distance From Toronto: 61.4 km

Kelso Lake, initially designed for flood control, has transformed into a summer retreat, offering a sandy beach for swimmers craving an aquatic adventure and picnicking families looking to blow away cobwebs.

The lake features a convenient food stand to keep visitors fueled and a boat rental shop renting out non-motorized watercraft options, from canoes and kayaks to paddle boards and paddle boats. 

If you just want to chill, there’s a well-maintained boardwalk. You can also net some fish here too, namely perch, sunfish, and black bullheads.


You can camp by Kelso Lake, but making reservations is required.

Lake of Two Rivers

From darkffforce

How To Get Here: Route

Operating Hours:

  • Mon to Thu – 11 am to 6 pm
  • Fri to Sun – 9 am to 8 pm

Distance From Toronto: 309.3 km

Lake of Two Rivers in Algonquin Provincial Park is probably the best spot to visit if you’re seeking gourmet cafe bites and exceptional forest or lake panoramas.

Our go-to spot here is the Lake of Two Rivers Cafe and Grill. This joint dishes up full breakfasts, fresh baked goods, Kawartha ice cream, milkshakes, salads, and more.

There’s also the Lake of Two Rivers Outdoor Theater perched on the park’s East Beach picnic area. When the sun sets, flicks showcasing the Alconquin’s wildlife and history play here, all against the backdrop of towering trees and vibrant flora.


Optimize your cafe experience by ordering your meal online from the menu, ensuring it’s ready for a convenient pickup at a specified time.