Sauble Beach, Ontario

Sauble Beach (pop. 2000) is a beach community and unincorporated area in the town of South Bruce Peninsula, Bruce County, in the northern area of southwestern Ontario, Canada. It is on the Bruce Peninsula, along the eastern shore of Lake Huron, on the north edge of the Saugeen Nation. The beach takes its name from that given by early French explorers to the sandy Sauble River, originally "La Rivière Au Sable" (river to the sand) also indicating that the river emptied into Lake Huron at a sandy beach.[1] The river was labelled with the French name on maps until 1881, when it became the Sauble River; in early years, a sawmill was built on the river, and later, a hydro electric plant.[2]

Sauble Beach

Vacation town on Lake Huron
Sauble Beach
Sauble Beach
Etymology: After the French word sable (sand)
Live life slow
Sauble Beach is located in Ontario
Sauble Beach
Sauble Beach
Location of Sauble Beach in Ontario
Coordinates: 44°38′10″N 81°16′09″W / 44.63611°N 81.26917°W / 44.63611; -81.26917Coordinates: 44°38′10″N 81°16′09″W / 44.63611°N 81.26917°W / 44.63611; -81.26917
RegionSouthwestern Ontario
182 m (597 ft)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern Time Zone)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern Time Zone)
Postal Code FSA
Area code(s)519
Sign at the entrance to the beach


The first settler is reported to have been John Eldridge, who built a cottage nearby in 1877. Other settlers followed and the village continued to grow with a boarding house and then a store. In the 1900s a large sawmill below the falls on the Sauble River employed 40 people. Initially, development was to the south and later to the east of the river. By the early decades of the 1900s, Sauble Beach was attracting visitors because of its gorgeous beaches; this grew as an increasing number of families acquired automobiles.[3]

Beach and other activitiesEdit

At over seven miles long (11 km), Sauble Beach is said to be the second longest freshwater beach in Canada after Wasaga Beach.[4] Since the town faces west, the sunsets are visible and are very beautiful.[5] While Cottage Life magazine does not specifically mention Sauble Beach, it rates other nearby communities highly in its article 10 spectacular places to watch a sunset in Ontario. "With clear skies, a dry atmosphere, and an unobstructed view of the skyline, many of the west-facing towns along the shores of Lake Huron have the perfect conditions for a breathtaking sunset."[6]

Sauble Beach, Ontario, Sunset

A phenomenon of sandbar deposits building out along the Lake Huron shoreline keeps the water at Sauble very shallow and warm. This is one of the very few beaches in Ontario where cars were, until recently, allowed to drive and park on the sand near the water, at least on the side (left of the entrance) that is part of the Saugeen First Nation native lands. In 2019, however, the First Nation also banned beach parking.[7][8]

Recreational activities include swimming, windsurfing, water-skiing, fishing, golfing, lawn bowling, tennis, street dances, beach volleyball, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and birding. The town hosts an annual Winterfest. In summer, there are weekly Family Movie Nights, an annual sandcastle building contest, Cruise Nights on Tuesdays, a Sauble Beach Guitar Festival and an 8 km Walk/Run. The Festival of the Classical Guitar has been held since 2007.[9]

The Canadian National (Beach) Volleyball Championships have been held there, and the local Sauble Speedway (with a Hepworth, Ontario address) was on the CASCAR professional racing circuit. The Speedway was purchased by new owners in 2017 and they obtained NASCAR sanctioning in 2018.[10] The area is a popular destination among young people especially for their annual May 2–4 campsite revelries.

By September, few tourists visit, making the beach a quiet spot especially mid-week

Users of the TripAdvisor web site rate the following as the top attractions: the beach, Sauble Falls Provincial Park, Pinewoods Golf and Outer Visions Adventure Schools.Since the town is only 21 km from Southampton, Ontario, many visitors also take advantage of the facilities and shopping available in that community, at least occasionally.[11] Based on user ratings, the top restaurants are Luscious Bakery Deli Cafe Inc., Casero, Amicis Coffee Bar and Two Chicks Cafe and Smoothie Bar.[12]

Sauble Beach is the permanent year-round home to approximately 2,000 people. The cottage owners add thousands of seasonal community members, some who stay through the spring to fall time period and others who retreat to Sauble on weekends. In summer, the visitor count soars to over 30,000 on hot weekends and up to 60,000 on a long weekend.[13]

Land ownershipEdit

Cottage owners are uniquely split between those who own property outright and those with cottages on Native lands.[14] A lease relationship exists between the Saugeen First Nation, who also refer to themselves as the "Chippewas of Saugeen",[15] and those who had built seasonal homes on the Native land in the a lakeside area between urban Southampton, Ontario and Sauble Beach. There are approximately 1,200 such cottages.[16][17] Each cottager on Native land pays an annual fee to the First Nation. The current lease contract between the cottagers and two Saugeen First Nation Reserves, Chief's Point 28 and Saugeen 29, is in effect until 30 April 2021.[18]

Some years ago, the Saugeen First Nation successfully reclaimed the land that "runs south from the Sauble Beach sign toward Southampton, 18 kilometres away", according to one news report.[19] The beach area to the south of Main St. in the community is referred to by the band as Sauble Park or South Sauble Beach Park.[20][21][22] In addition to the south Sauble Beach area, the Saugeen First Nation claims the rights to another stretch of the public beach, approximately 2 km long, west of Lakeshore Boulevard extending to a point between 1st St. South and 6th St. North. This claim has been in litigation since 1990 when the federal government started an action on behalf of the Saugeen First Nation, stating that the area is part of the Saugeen 29 Reserve. The band also filed its own claim in 1995.[23][24]

Business and community servicesEdit

Local businesses offer retail and services for hardware, appliance and grocery shopping, restaurants and hotels, fire and police services, daycare and a medical clinic. Fire Station 40 is located at 21 Sauble Falls Parkway. The town is policed by the Ontario Provincial Police whose office is in the same building as the fire station.[25]


There is only one school in town under the Bluewater District School Board. Amabel-Sauble Community School was built in 1995 as an experiment in joint ownership between the board and the Township of Amabel (now part of South Bruce Peninsula); the school provides primary curriculum from Jr. Kindergarten to Grade 8. The closest secondary school is Peninsula Shores District School in Wiarton, Ontario. There are no Roman Catholic schools in town; the closest schools with the Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board are in Port Elgin, Ontario, and Owen Sound, Ontario. The closest post-secondary institution is Georgian College's Owen Sound, Ontario, campus.


Sauble Beach is represented by two councillors for Wards 1 and 3 on the Town Council for South Bruce Peninsula in Wiarton, Ontario.[26] There has been friction between the Town of South Bruce and the Saugeen First Nation because of continuing land claims in the Sauble Beach area. A settlement was mediated in 2014 but was subsequently rejected by South Bruce, leading to a lawsuit against the Town, to be heard in court no earlier than 2018.[27]

Provincially and federally, the area is part of the riding of Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound.


There is no public transit in Sauble Beach and residents are car-dependent.

A few roads serve the area:

  • Main Street/Bruce County Road 8
  • Lakeshore Boulevard North
  • Sauble Falls Parkway/Southampton Parkway

Notable peopleEdit


  1. ^ "About Sauble Beach". About Sauble Beach. Sauble Beach Chamber of Commerce. 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  2. ^ "Downtown Revitalization Strategic Plan" (PDF). Town of South Bruce Peninsula. p. section 3.5. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  3. ^ "About Sauble Beach". About Sauble Beach. Sauble Beach Chamber of Commerce. 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Bruce County Assets" (PDF). Bruce County. Bruce County. 2 February 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  5. ^ "Which way to the beach, dude? Canada's best beaches". Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  6. ^ "10 spectacular places to watch a sunset in Ontario". Cottage Life. Blue Ant Media Canada. 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  7. ^ "BEACH RULES". Sauble Beach Chamber of Commerce. Sauble Beach Chamber of Commerce. 2015. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  8. ^, Sauble Long Weekend Sees Half Of Last Year's Numbers
  9. ^ "Sauble Events". Sauble Beach Events. Sauble Beach Chamber of Commerce. 2015. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  10. ^ "Sauble Speedway". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  11. ^ "Sauble Beach". TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor. 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  12. ^ "Sauble Beach Restaurants". TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor. 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  13. ^ Graham, David (1 September 2010). "Recapturing the past at Sauble Beach". The Star. Toronto Star. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  14. ^, Saugeen Land Management
  15. ^, Saugeen First Nation
  16. ^, Let us back into our cottages
  17. ^, Member Organizations
  18. ^, Saugeen Cottager’s Organization Incorporated
  19. ^, Sauble Beach is changing but it is still a place for family
  20. ^, Sauble Park
  21. ^, About
  22. ^, Parking changes this summer at Sauble Beach
  23. ^ "Saugeen First Nation seeks court ruling on century-old boundary dispute in Sauble Beach". CBC News. 7 August 2019. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  24. ^, Saugeen First Nation Seeks Summary Judgement in Sauble Beach Claim
  25. ^ "Town of South Bruce Peninsula". Town of South Bruce Peninsula. 2016. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  26. ^ "Council Contact". Town of South Bruce Peninsula.
  27. ^ Gowan, Rob (18 October 2016). "Gammie holds Sauble land claim meeting". Sun Times. Owen Sound. Retrieved 3 March 2017.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Sauble Beach, Ontario at Wikimedia Commons