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​A sign for the clothing-optional area of Hanlan's Point Beach. Right: A picnic table on the beach.

A sign for the clothing-optional area of Hanlan's Point Beach. Right: A picnic table on the beach.

This Review article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

Summer is still hanging around, so if you're planning on hitting up a local beach, why not consider visiting one of the few nude beaches in Canada?

On the Toronto Islands, you'll find Hanlan's Point Beach, a clothing-optional beach where you can bare it all.

But while the rules of the beach might seem simple (wear clothes if you want, don't wear 'em if you don't want!) there are several unofficial rules that someone who's never been probably wouldn't be aware of.

Luckily, I recently made the trek to Hanlan's Point in Toronto and spent a day on the nude beach. Here are the unspoken rules no one tells you about.

Don't stare or let your gaze linger

Perhaps this is pretty common knowledge, but if you’re visiting a nude beach you should be extra aware of accidentally staring at anyone. The same is true at Hanlan’s Point Beach.

The area can get super busy, and it can almost be difficult to find a place to look. Just keep in mind that you probably wouldn’t want anyone staring at you, so try not to do the same!

Be extra aware of personal space

On the same note, you want to make sure you’re giving others enough space (maybe a bit extra, given the environment).

Be careful not to put your towel down on the first patch of sand you find, only to be within arms reach of two nude sunbathers.

Instead, feel free to spread out (no pun intended).

Be mindful of your snaps

Considering you could have nude or semi-nude people all around you while at the beach, you'll want to make sure you're being careful with photo-taking.

While there aren't any signs saying that cameras aren't allowed, it kind of goes without saying that you shouldn’t be taking a selfie where you can see a woman's bare breasts in the background, or filming a TikTok where you could accidentally capture several male private parts.

Luckily, there are sections of the beach a little further away from the shore where sunbathers tend not to congregate, so you can easily snap a great pic here without invading anybody's privacy.

Keep your butt on the right side of the beach

Hanlan's Point Beach is divided into clothing-optional and clothing-mandatory sections, which are only marked off by signs indicating where each ends.

If you’re hanging out on the nude side and baring it all, try not to wander over to the clothing-mandatory side.

And remember, public nudity is actually illegal in Canada, so winding up butt naked on the wrong side of the beach could make for a pretty bad day.

Watch the sand

You know when you’re walking along the beach in flip-flops and you can feel sand hitting your legs? Imagine lying on the beach and someone walks by you doing that. Now imagine lying on the beach naked and someone walks by you doing that.

All this is to say that, without clothes, there are more, ahem, crevices for sand to get into, so try not to kick up a sandstorm!

Remember, the beach is a clothing-optional area, so don't feel like you have to go nude. If you're really uncomfortable there's always the clothing-mandatory side. And, as a final rule, have fun and always be respectful!

Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

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