Ottawa has four major public beaches that are open for most of the summer. Add to that more than 50 wading pools and 9 outdoor public pools – and there are plenty of ways to keep cool. When winter arrives, you can head inside to one of the 20 public swimming complexes. (And that’s not even counting all of the facilities on the Gatineau side!)
Indoor swimming pools
- City of Ottawa pools - Ottawa has 18 public pools, ranging from smaller facilities like the Plant Pool , to larger complexes like the Nepean Sportsplex.
- Kanata Wave Pool (Kanata Leisure Centre)
- Splash (Gloucester Wave Pool)
- YMCA pools (Carlingwood, Metro/downtown and Orleans)
- Soloway JCC
- Carleton University pool
- In Gatineau, there are three main indoor pool complexes: Centre aquatique Paul-Pelletier in Aylmer, Centre aquatique Lucien-Houle in Buckingham, and École polyvalente Le Carrefour in Gatineau. For pool schedules and information, click here.
- City of Ottawa Swimming Lessons
- RA Centre Swimming Lessons
- YMCA Swimming Lessons
- Boys & Girls Club of Ottawa Aquatics
- Soloway JCC
Ottawa has four supervised beaches with lifeguards, washrooms, and other amenities. Beaches are open from late June to late August each year, with lifeguards on duty from noon until 7:00pm.
- Britannia Beach (2085 Carling) On the Ottawa river at Britannia Bay.
- Mooney’s Bay (2926 Riverside) On the east shore of the Rideau River just south of Hogs Back.
- Petrie Island (727 Trim Road) On the Ottawa River in the east end.
- Westboro Beach (745 Ottawa River Parkway) Located at the Kitchissippi look-out on the Ottawa River.
Check before you go:
Each day in the summer, health officials sample beach water to test for E.coli bacteria. When the bacteria count is too high, the beaches are closed. You can check the latest beach conditions by clicking here. Another great web site for beach conditions is SwimGuide, listing water quality for hundreds of beaches in North America. Water quality at National Capital Commission sites can be found here.
City of Gatineau Beaches
There are three public beaches maintained by the City of Gatineau. They’re open from June until August each year.
- Parc des Cèdres (Rue Raoul-Roy and Ottawa River)
- Parc du Lac-Beauchamp (745, boul. Maloney Est)
- Parc Mousette (361, boul. de Lucerne)
You can check out the water safety rating at each of the Gatineau beaches by clicking here.
Gatineau Park Beaches
The beaches in Gatineau park are some of the nicest (and quietest) in the region, including Meech Lake, Lac Philippe, La Pêche Lake and Lac Leamy (in urban Gatineau).
For a complete listing of Gatineau Park beaches, including water safety conditions and maps, click here.
Even more beaches
- Constance Bay Beach. It’s along the Ottawa River north of Kanata. Not an “official” City of Ottawa beach, and no lifeguards. There are public washrooms and a 911 paramedic station nearby.
- Fitzroy Harbour Beach. Part of Fitzroy Provincial Park, northwest of Kanata.
- Robert Simpson Park, Arnprior. This beach has lifeguards from 12pm-4pm, June until August.
- Riverside Beach, Carleton Place. On the Mississippi River.
- Baxter Beach on the Rideau River . In the southern part of Ottawa, just south of Kars. Part of the Baxter Conservation Area.
Water slides / Water parks
- Mont Cascades Located in Quebec, about 40 minutes north of downtown Ottawa.
- Calypso Calypso opened in 2010, and features heated water. It’s located in Limoges, which is about 40 minutes east of downtown Ottawa.
- Travelodge Wet & Wild Waterpark
- Alottawata: A new water park opening in the west end of Ottawa someday (“coming soon” for many years now), west of Barrhaven near Moodie Drive & Brophy Drive.
Salt Water Pools
Here are some indoor saltwater pools in Ottawa. If you know of any others that we should add to this list, please contact us
- Soloway JCC The Soloway JCC pool is a 4 lane, 25m Main Pool with a beach-like ramp, therapeutic hot tub, shallow baby pool, slide, water basketball nets and patio lounges.
- Centre Aquatique Paul-Pelletier A public swimming pool in Aylmer
- The Ottawa Athletic Club Features an indoor salt water swimming pool for club members.
- The Goodlife Fitness Centre at 1200 St. Laurent Blvd has a salt water pool, 22 metres long and 5 feet deep.
- There’s a salt water pool in Amberwood in Stittsville. Available to members only.
- Several hotels have salt water pools for guests, including the The Chateau Laurier, The Westin Hotel, Minto Place Suite Hotel, The Delta and Best Western Baron Hotel in Bells Corners.
- The Brookstreet Hotel has indoor and outdoor saltwater pools.
(Contrary to popular belief, salt water pools are not actually chlorine-free. The salt is converted to chlorine by an electrolytic cell [source].)
Wading Pools, Outdoor Pools, Splash Pads
Ottawa has over 50 public wading pools, open free for kids during the summer from the end of June to the end of August. For a complete listing of wading pools, click here.
- There are also nine public outdoor pools open in the summer. For a complete list, click here.
- Ottawa also maintains numerous splash pads (outdoor water parks) for kids all summer long. For a complete list, click here.
- RA Centre Outdoor Pool
- In Gatineau, there are at least seven public outdoor pools. For a complete list, click here. Access to the city’s outdoor pools is free.
- Gatineau also has several outdoor wading pools and water parks.
Swimming, Diving and Synchro Clubs
- Nepean Masters Swim Clubs
- Ottawa Swim Club
- Ottawa Youth Olympians Swim Club
- Ottawa Synchronized Swimming Club
- Ravens of Carleton Swimming
- Swimming Canada
- Swim Ontario
- Swim Ottawa
(Originally published July 2008 and updated many times since then.)