Life Travel

The Best Places to Surf in Canada, From Coast to Coast


Surf’s up

Written by Jordana Colomby

Let’s face it, when people are required to wear a coat almost nine months out of the year, surfing isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Canada. Surprisingly, though, our vast nation boasts a vibrant surf culture that offers a diverse array of spots to catch a wave. Here are a few places that you should explore.


Lawrencetown Beach, Halifax

Ideal for new surfers, Lawrencetown Beach might be one of the best spots to hang ten on the East Coast. While Halifax doesn’t come first to mind when thinking of surfing hubs, it boasts a booming surf culture, including the Nova Scotia Female Mentorship group, which encourages females to get out on the water. Locals suggest heading to the beach in August, when the water is warm and the waves are manageable. For seasoned professionals, you can rent a board from East Coast Surf School or sign up for lessons if you’re new to the sport. (Photos: East Coast Surf School)

Saint Lawrence River, Montreal

Not many rivers in the world wield conditions consistent enough to surf, but on the Saint Lawrence River, the waves are constantly rolling in. River surfing is unlike any other experience you’ll have on Canadian waters. The waves form in a half-pipe shape rather than a traditional slope that you would catch in the ocean, making them easier to catch, but also harder to stay up. (Photos: Mike Hitelman)

Port Renfrew, Vancouver Island

Nestled in the heart of the Pacific coast, on the edge of Vancouver Island, Port Renfrew is a hotspot for locals. Here, you can find some of the best waves in the country, and given the temperate West Coast weather, it also makes surfing a year-round sport in spots like Sombrio Beach, Jordan River, and Port San Juan. After a day out on the water, visitors to the area can relax at the nearby Wild Renfrew Lodge. It may not be as well-known as other BC surfing destinations, but its a hidden gem for true adventurers. (Photos: Wild Renfrew Lodge)

Tofino, Vancouver Island

The tiny district on the edge of Vancouver Island is known as the surfing capital of Canada — and for good reason. Since the 1970’s, Tofino has been a well-known destination for surfers across North America because of its 35 kilometre stretch of beaches, year-round surfing, and ideal waves. Summer strolls along the shore make it the perfect place to watch the sunset, or better yet, a late-night dip. (Photos: Jeremy Koreski)