The city of Burlington is located on the shores of Lake Ontario, a short drive west of Toronto and about 35 minutes from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ). The city of Burlington together with the help of the Canada Ontario Infrastructure Program is investing $17.4M to redevelop the waterfront. Today, the Burlington waterfront is a vibrant and lively place to visit. It has something for all, fine and casual dining, sports and recreation, museums, and, a Village Market. My favourite part of visiting the Burlington waterfront is that it is pedestrian-friendly. I love when I can visit a place, park once, and explore the area on foot.
What to do at the Burlington Waterfront?
The Burlington waterfront’s main strip is located on the south side of Lake Shore Boulevard between Brant St and Maple Ave. Here you will find a variety of activities to keep you entertained.
- The Brant Street Pier and Lookout. Walk to the end of the pier or climb up to the lookout for a view of Lake Ontario. Great spot to watch the Barges and Boats float by.
- Walk the promenade or ride on the dedicated bike paths through Spencer Smith Park.
- Enjoy some family fun at the Dofasco Waterjet and Playground. This park has a splash pad and the playground is equipped with a merry-go-round and working zip line.
- A small beach was added just to the west side of the pier where you can enjoy building sandcastles and a shallow swim.
- Enjoy skating in the winter or driving model boats in the warmer months at the Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond, a 10,000 square-foot year-round water feature.
- Just north of the Centennial Pond is a 14,200 square foot landmark building called Discovery Landing. It’s the perfect spot to safely watch storms over the water. It is also home to a restaurant, cafe, and an Observatory.
- Just north on Lakeshore Boulevard is the Joseph Brant Museum, and the Art Gallery of Burlington.
Follow the Waterfront Trail west past the promenade to reach Burlington Beachway Park. You can also drive and park at the beach. Burlington Beach is located at 1100 Lakeshore Rd. According to the city’s website, It’s the place where Burlington comes to enjoy the sun, sand, and scenery. It boasts 6.8 acres of park space with two kilometers of lakeside trails, an outdoor pavilion, playground, and seasonal concessions.
Where to stay at the Burlington Waterfront?
There are 2 hotels right on the water just east of the promenade.
Waterfront Hotel Downtown Burlington is located right on the waterfront trail and has great views of the Brant St pier. The budget and family-friendly option. I’ve personally stayed here twice. Once on my own and once with the whole family (husband, daughter, and dog). The hotel is dog friendly. You pay an additional $15 for fido to stay with you but that is much cheaper than a dog hotel. The hotel has a pool, hot tube, gym, laundry, and, an outdoor patio area where you can enjoy the included breakfast (weather permitting).
Pearle Hotel and Spa is located just off the promenade and is the more upscale option, and comes with a higher price tag. The hotel features a pool but guests must be 16+ to use the amenities. The hotel is new and has a modern aesthetic to it. Some suites have soaker tubs.
Food and Shopping
A short walk north of the waterfront you are in downtown Burlington. Here you will be welcomed by a variety of restaurants, both fine and casual options are present. Kelly’s Bake Shop, ranked 3rd in the world, and the Village Square. There are also salons, spas, gift shops, coffee shops, and bars.
At night, the trees light up, and in the warmer months, the patios open to welcome the area’s nightlife. The waterfront is still a bustling place to hang out at night as it is during the day.
Art and Culture
Walking around Burlington’s downtown core you will find art murals and an art installation by acclaimed Canadian artists Brad Hindson and Mitchell F. Chan. The piece is called Portal. We had fun looking into it and it lights up at night.
If you like museums and art galleries you can visit the Joseph Brant Museum, and the Art Gallery of Burlington. Both are within walking distance from the water.
How to get to the Burlington Waterfront?
Take the QEW to North Shore Blvd East, and, drive to Lakeshore Rd.
Approximately 35 to 45 min drive from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ).