Watching the sunset while anchored just off Hanlan’s Beach on the west side of Toronto Island is simply a magical event!

Words alone do not do the experience justice. Hopefully, my growing collection of favourite pics and videos will give you a better sense of what it’s like to hang out on a Sailboat, have dinner, sip a glass of wine, and have an insightful connection. 

Every guest I’ve had on-board has been deeply moved by the experience–wanting more as the sun finally sets over the Port Credit horizon.

If the winds blow from the East, we’ll be on the lee side (sheltered side) of the island resulting in much calmer waters. If the winds pick up or blow from the South, they will be more waves (also known as ‘fetch’ – See definition below), and we can either sail or motor away to find a calmer spot along the inner or outer harbour.

Although we anchor or sail past the clothing-optional beach, the vast majority of people at Hanlan’s have swimwear, so if you’re a tad shy or sensitive, no worries because unless you’re inclined to grab the binoculars, you won’t see much!

About Hanlan’s Beach

Hanlan’s beach can be reached most directly by taking the Toronto Hanlan’s Point ferry at Bay Street’s foot at Queens Quay. Aside from the cost of the ferry, there is no admission fee. Canada’s only other official clothing-optional Beach is Wreck Beach in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The compelling beach season starts in late May and ends in late September while swimming off the beach is possible only well within this period.

As is typical for most public nudist-friendly venues, males make up a large percentage of beach users, but women can make up to one-third of the total on popular weekends. Recent years continue to see an increase in the number of families who attend. The beach is a popular destination for the city’s large gay community.

It is the second officially recognized clothing-optional beach in Canada and the only one created by a municipal bylaw.

Despite its proximity to Toronto Harbour, the beach can boast outstanding water quality since it faces southwest and away from the mainland. Water quality is monitored daily (on weekdays) during the summer and meets a Blue Flag standard set by the Foundation for Environmental Education.

The Beach section closest to the city centre airport (YTZ) is also becoming a trendy spot for kiteboarding.

Hanlan’s Point Beach was a traditional site for nude sunbathing for decades. In 1999, Toronto City Council approved a one-year pilot project for a nude beach at Hanlan’s Point, following a naturist organization and Councillor Kyle Rae. In 2000, the council extended the project for another two years. Finally, in 2002, the clothing-optional beach was made permanent. The Toronto City Council decision was met with strong opposition from conservative councillors such as Giorgio Mammoliti. It was also an infrequent target of police crackdowns for nude sunbathing. Its official status has resulted in a distinct increase in ferry traffic. It appears to be a profitable component of the public- and private-sector advertising campaigns since it draws visitors to Toronto. Police and park officials now work in partnership with the beachgoers to maintain a friendly atmosphere.

(About Hanlan’s Beach adapted from source Wikipedia  )

FYI what is Fetch?

The fetch also called the fetch length, is the length of water over which a given wind has blown. Fetch is used in geography and meteorology, and its effects are usually associated with the sea state. When it reaches the shore, it is the main factor that creates a storm surge, which leads to coastal erosion and flooding. It plays a large part in the longshore drift as well.

Fetch length, and wind speed (wind strength) determine the size (sea state) of waves produced. The wind direction is considered constant. The longer the fetch and the faster the wind speed, the more wind energy is imparted to the water surface, and the larger the resulting sea state will be. (Source: Wikipedia )

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