Summertime means Swimming time !
After the hot summer we’ve been having – with more in store, according to forecasters – finding a great place for a swim seems like the perfect way to cool off and enjoy what’s left of the warm weather.
Sure, there are the usual suspects, but there are also others worth considering. Here are 5 options to try:
All of Ottawa’s beaches are popular and typically have many facilities (washrooms, picnic tables, shade, etc.) to make them even more appealing. They can get quite busy and you’ll need to check on water quality testing before you go to make sure you’ll be able to swim.
Quebec-side NCC beaches
There are several NCC-operated beaches to choose from, many in Gatineau Park and because they’re run by the NCC that means there are washrooms, lifeguards (during certain hours) and some have rentals such as kayaks and canoes. O’Brien beach at Meech Lake is one that often comes up on top beach lists. Be sure to check for water quality before heading out.
The Pond is a hidden gem in Rockcliffe Park next to McKay Lake that is a former sand and gravel quarry. It’s only open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. (and patrolled other times to make sure you don’t abuse that), but it’s a delightfully quiet spot and a departure from the typical Ottawa beach. Note that there are no facilities here, though.
It’s nice to have a reason to talk about The Bay without it being flood-related! Auger’s Beach is another gem, this one with a beautiful sandy beach that is often not crowded. There are no lifeguards, very limited amenities and the city does not include this beach in it’s regular testing, but there are regular water quality updates from the Ottawa Riverkeeper. There are also restaurants nearby and dogs are welcome on the beach.
The water park
Not exactly a beach but definitely a fun family outing, Calypso Waterpark offers a wealth of water options from slides and water games to a wave pool and two lazy rivers to float down. A heads up that a recent dress code change following a human rights complaint means women are allowed to go topless — something to keep in mind if you’ve got children who might ask awkward questions. It’s also a much pricier option than heading to your local city-run beach.
Enjoy the rest of the Summer and go swimming around Ottawa!!