7 places to go surfing in Canada if you dream of a summer on the waves

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Although surfing huge waves may seem like something you can only experience in tropical waters, there are actually plenty of places in Canada where you can go surfing. In fact, you can even go surfing in town!

For anyone wanting to “hang ten” north of the 49th parallel here in Canada, you can shred on the ocean, a lake, or even a prairie river.

So whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, check out these spots that might make you feel like you’ve been transported to Australia’s Gold Coast or California’s Santa Cruz.

Of course, before you hit the water, be sure to do the proper research and follow all safety precautions wherever you go.

Tofino, BC

On the west coast of Vancouver Island is the resort town of Tofino, dubbed the surfing capital of Canada.

This place is famous for its many beaches, including 10 miles long Long Beach, Chesterman Beach, Cox Bay Beach and MacKenzie Beach, all of which regularly have tons of waves for all skill levels.

Just be sure to bring a wetsuit as the water is never warmer than 15 C, according to Tofino Tourism.

And, if you’re super hardcore, you can even go out in winter, which is when more intense waves can hit the area.

Calgary, AB

Believe it or not, you can go surfing downtown Calgary on real waves on real water.

According to Alberta River Surf, the 10th Street Bridge is one of the few places west of Ontario where you can go river surfing.

The Bow River, which runs through the Alberta city, has a section right near downtown that provides a standing wave big enough for people to let off steam.

Of course, since this is a river, the flow can change seasonally.

However, that’s not bad for a place hundreds of miles from the sea.

Kincardine, ON

This beach community on Lake Huron can receive significant waves, according to the town’s official website.

The small Ontario town is considered one of the best surf spots in the country, but suffers from fickle conditions that mean the best days are few and far between.

If you want to hit those big waves, you’ll want to travel in the spring or winter, because that’s when the area gets the biggest swells, aka waves.

Ottawa, ON

After visiting the Parliament building, why not head here for some water action?

Canada’s capital is also full of places where you can jump on the waves and live your Californian dream.

The three spots on the Ottawa River, Sewer Wave, Bate Island Wave, and Dessert Wave, each have their own quirks, difficulties, and best times of year to visit.

Given the nature of the river’s flow, the best times to visit are between January and early June, according to sports equipment company Driftwood Canada.

Montreal, Quebec

In front of the iconic Habitat 67 apartment building in Montreal sits an incredibly popular hovering wave named after the architectural curiosity.

One of its biggest draws is that it sits right across from one of Montreal’s most unique buildings. Add in the fact that it’s only five minutes from downtown and you have a recipe for a good time.

According to local surf school Barefoot Surf, it can get very crowded during the summer, so be prepared to queue!

Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia

For action on the Atlantic Coast, Laurencetown Beach in Nova Scotia is a great place to hit the waves.

According to MyWaveFinder.com, the best time of year is between September and November, which means donning a thick wetsuit to withstand winter temperatures.

It’s about 40 minutes from Halifax, so you can surf during the day and enjoy the city at night.

Summerville, Nova Scotia

And the last place, which is also in Nova Scotia, is Summerville.

The beaches in this small rural community offer truly consistent waves for surfers year-round.

According to surf-forecast.com, this place is also rarely busy, so when you go there, chances are you won’t have to wait long.

Since this one is only about an hour from the city of Halifax, it’s a great way to get out and try some east coast surfing if you’re ever in town.

Before you go, check out our responsible travel guide to be informed, be safe, be smart, and above all, be respectful on your adventure.

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