boating on lake ontario

Summer 2022 Guide to Boating on Lake Ontario

by KC Caslow

Situated between Canada and New York, Lake Ontario is a beautiful place to spend the summer. The water is clean and clear, and the serene beaches are well-maintained. There are also tons of recreation options including swimming, boating, fishing, and hiking. 

In addition, the lake is surrounded by a number of small towns, each with its own unique charm. As a result, you can spend your days exploring the area and your evenings relaxing by the lake. Whether you're looking for a relaxing getaway or an adventure-filled vacation, Lake Ontario is a wonderful choice.

An expansive body of water, Lake Ontario is a prime destination for boating enthusiasts. There are a number of marinas located around the lake, as well as plenty of public beaches where you can launch your boat.

In this blog post, we will tell you everything you need to know about boating on lake Ontario!

Can You Boat On Lake Ontario?

Yes, you can boat on Lake Ontario! In fact, boating is one of the most popular activities on the lake. There are many different types of boats that you can use on the lake, including pontoon boats, speedboats, rowboats, kayaks/canoes, and sailboats.

There are also a variety of rental companies that will provide you with everything you need to enjoy a day out on the water. Whether you want to fish, swim, or just relax and take in the scenery, boating on Lake Ontario is a fantastic way to spend your time.

How Long Does It Take To Boat Across Lake Ontario?

It usually takes about two hours to boat across Lake Ontario, although this can vary depending on the size of the boat, the weather conditions, and the route taken. For example, if you take an inflatable boat or catamaran, you may be able to cross the lake in less than an hour.

However, if you're using a larger boat, such as a yacht, it will likely take longer. Additionally, if the weather is rough, it is advisable to take a different route or wait for the conditions to improve before attempting to cross the lake.

If you're planning on making the crossing, it's important to allow enough time to account for potential delays. The best time to cross the lake is in the morning when the water is typically the calmest.

However, conditions can change rapidly, so it's always a good idea to check the weather forecast before setting out. With a little planning and preparation, you can enjoy a safe and enjoyable journey across one of Canada's most beautiful lakes.

Why Boating On Lake Ontario Is Unlike Anything Else

Lake Ontario Summer 2022 boating guide

There's something unique about boating on Lake Ontario. Maybe it's the way the water sparkles in the sun, or the way the wavelets lap at the hull of your boat. Whatever it is, there's no denying that boating on Lake Ontario is an experience unlike any other.

Of course, part of what makes boating on Lake Ontario so special is the scenery. The lake is dotted with picturesque towns and landmarks, and there's always something new to see. Whether you're cruising past Niagara Falls or taking in the views of Toronto's skyline, you're sure to be impressed by the natural beauty of this captivating lake.

But it's not just the scenery that makes boating on Lake Ontario so special. It's also the sense of freedom and adventure that comes with being out on the open water. It's got some of the best fishing spots in the U.S. and Canada, and there's nothing quite like spending a lazy afternoon reeling in a big catch.

Whether you want to spend the day catching fish, enjoying the sun's rays while paddleboarding, or doing recreational activities like swimming and water skiing, boating on Lake Ontario is the perfect way to do it. Just be sure to take the necessary safety precautions, such as wearing a life jacket and obeying all boating regulations. More on that later in this article.

Must-Visit Spots When Boating On Lake Ontario In 2022

When boating on Lake Ontario, there are a few must-visit spots that you won't want to miss.

Best Swimming Spots

If you want to get the best swimming Lake Ontario has to offer, you have to check out these places:

  • Gord Edgar Downie Pier: This exciting brand new pier offers tons to do for Lake Ontario visitors. Take a dive from the pier into the depths of the water or wade near the shore and enjoy the sandy beach.
  • Frenchman's Bay West: This kilometer-long sandy beach is located in Pickering. The long, tan beach provides some of the region's finest surfing, windsurfing, and kiteboarding conditions.
  • Beachway Park: This Burlington gem features two kilometers of luscious sand, concession stands, walking and biking trails, and some of the best swimming the lake has to offer.

Best Fishing Spots

As we mentioned earlier, fishing is one of the most popular pastimes on Lake Ontario (and with good reason). Here are the must-visit fishing spots on the lake:

  • Olcott, NY: Located in Niagara, Olcott has some of the best opportunities to catch king salmon in the summertime.
  • Oswego, NY: Another hotspot in upstate New York, Oswego is the hotspot for catching brown trout.
  • Picton, Ontario: If you want to catch giant walleye in the fall and winter months, you have to come to this northeastern section of the lake.

We wrote a complete guide on the best fishing spots in Ontario if you want some more suggestions on other lakes nearby - take a look!

Good Docks To Stop For Food & Drinks

If you're looking for a place to stop and enjoy some food and drinks while boating on Lake Ontario, you should check out one of these docks:

  • Hanlan's Point Dock: Located in Toronto, Hanlan's Point Dock is the perfect spot to enjoy a cold drink or beachside bite to eat after a long day of boating.
  • Port Credit Harbor: This popular Mississauga destination is always bustling with activity. After docking your boat, you can enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants or cafes in the area. In the late summer, they have an in-water boat show as well!
  • Niagara-on-the-Lake: Niagara-on-the-Lake is a picturesque town located on Canada's side of the Niagara River. After docking your boat, you can explore the many shops and restaurants in the area or take a leisurely stroll through Queen's Royal Park.

How To Stay Safe When Boating On Lake Ontario 

Spending your summer out on lake Ontario can be a life-changing experience. But, we want to share a few safety precautions to help you ensure that experience changes your life for the better - not worse.

Take The Necessary Cold Water Precautions

Although boating is a popular summer activity, it's important to take the necessary precautions when boating on Lake Ontario. The water temperature can vary greatly from one day to the next, and even in the summer it can be quite cold, which can cause cold shock response.

Cold shock response is a condition that can occur when a person is suddenly exposed to cold water. The body's natural response to the cold is an initial increase in heart rate and blood pressure, followed by gasping and hyperventilation. This can lead to an increased risk of cardiac arrest and drowning.

If you find yourself in cold water, it is important to keep calm and avoid sudden movements. Try to move slowly and gradually towards warmer water or shore. If you start to feel dizzy or lightheaded, stop swimming and float on your back until you can regain your composure.

As with any body of water, you can also drown. Cold water drowning is more serious than regular drowning and it takes place in four phases:

  • Cold shock
  • Swimming failure
  • Hypothermia
  • Post-rescue collapse

To minimize the risk of cold water drowning, it is important to wear a life jacket at all times while boating. You should also stay out of the water unless you have proper gear if it is below 60ºF.

Always Double Check Boat Pressure After Launching

Once you've launched your boat, take a few minutes to check the pressure gauge and make sure that everything is where it should be. If you're not sure what the recommended pressure is for your boat, consult your owner's manual or ask a professional.

By taking a few minutes to double check the pressure, you can help ensure that your boat stays in good condition all season long (and that your safety isn't compromised).

Be Aware Of The Boating Restrictions On Lake Ontario

The boating restrictions on Lake Ontario vary throughout the year, so it is important to be aware of them before heading out on the water.

In general, there are three main types of restrictions: speed limits, areas where boats are not allowed, and areas where only certain types of boats are allowed.

Within 600 feet of the shore, for example, the speed limit is usually 6 knots (about 7 mph). There are also areas where boats are not allowed at all, such as in swimming areas or within 100 feet of a dock or moored vessel.

Parting Thoughts On The Summer 2022 Guide To Boating On Lake Ontario

In this article, we outlined information on boating on Lake Ontario as well as safety measures to take when doing so. It is important to take precautions when boating on Lake Ontario as the water temperature can vary greatly and cold water can cause cold shock response. You can have a ton of fun out there with a portable boat for sightseeing. Or, reel in catches all day long on an inflatable fishing boat. Whatever you do, just be sure you also follow the boating restrictions we’ve outlined.

Lake Ontario is one of the most beautiful places to boat in the summertime. In the winter, it is a hotspot for fishing. The different seasons offer different opportunities to enjoy this massive body of water. No matter what time of year it is, if you take the proper safety precautions, boating on Lake Ontario can be a fun and rewarding experience.