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Swimming

Proof of vaccination required

As of September 22, 2021, you must present proof you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter an indoor recreation facility for most activities, as mandated by provincial regulations.

Required proof

  • Proof you are fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated means you have received two doses of a Health Canada approved vaccine at least 14 days prior. The following are accepted:
    • Electronic or hard copy of your vaccination receipt
    • Ontario enhanced vaccine certificate (QR code)
    • Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) vaccination booklet
    • Confirmation of vaccination issued by another jurisdiction
  • Valid identification that shows name and date of birth and has been issued by an institution or public body. Photo identification is not required and the identification does not need to be government-issued.

Exceptions

  • Age 11 and under
  • Those with a documented medical exemption from a doctor or nurse practitioner.
  • Youth between the ages of 12 and 17 participating in organized sports, including on ice sports, sport leagues, badminton, table tennis, tennis, ball hockey, martial arts, dance, basketball, swimming lessons, aquatic certification courses or volleyball. However, this youth age group will require proof of vaccination for recreational swims, public skating, use of a cardio and weight room or attending an activity or sporting event as a spectator.

Public swimming

While measures are in place to control the risks of the transmission of COVID-19, participants should be aware that there are still risks with participating in a public swim, lane swim or swimming lesson.

  • 53 wading pools and splash pads
  • 13 indoor Pools
  • 9 outdoor pools
  • 4 beaches

Reservations are now available for drop-in public and lane swims.

Indoor pools that are open

The City has taken a hub model to service resumption. You can reserve a swim spot online by selecting from the following facilities and clicking on the reservation button at the bottom of the schedule tab:

The following pools are currently closed:

Outdoor pools (summer only)

Outdoor pools are now closed for the season.

Splash pads (summer only)

Splash pads are now closed.

For more information please email seasonalrecreation@ottawa.ca.

This interactive map shows you the locations of Ottawa’s splash pads. Splash pads marked in light blue are accessible.

Wading pools (summer only)

The 53 wading pools across the city are now closed for the season.

Fees

There is no cost to swim at a City of Ottawa wading pool.

Location

This interactive map shows you the locations of Ottawa's wading pools, along with their dates and hours of operation. Wading pools marked in light blue are accessible.

The City’s beaches

Britannia, Petrie Island, Westboro and Mooney's Bay – are closed for the summer. Lifeguards are no longer on duty.

Swimming and aquafitness activities

Swimming programs

  • Lane swim: Continuous lane swim workout. Children age eight to 10 must pass the facility's swim test. Only essential equipment will be provided for use on deck, you are welcome to bring your own equipment. Maximum of 2 people per reservation.
  • Public swim: An unstructured swim time open to all ages. Non-swimmers aged 10 and under, and all children aged 7 and under must be accompanied by a participating adult or youth, at least 14 years of age, responsible for the direct supervision of the child and actively swimming within arms reach at all times. Children aged 8, 9 and 10 must be tested to demonstrate their ability to swim 25 metres uninterrupted in order to be permitted to swim unaccompanied. Only essential equipment will be provided for use on deck. You are welcome to bring your own equipment. Maximum of 6 people per reservation.
  • Preschool swim: An unstructured swim time with limited pool space allowing for playtime for preschool-aged children and their parents, ages 5 and under. Children 5 years of age and under: maximum 2 children per responsible person 14 years of age and older.
  • 50+ swim: Lap swimming for adults aged 50 plus.
  • Women’s only swim: Open to all women and girls, 14 years of age and older.
  • Women’s only – Family swim: An unstructured swim designed for females-only and their children, boys over the age of 6 are not permitted. Adult females do not have to bring a child to these swims. Children 5 years of age and under: maximum 2 children per responsible person 14 years of age and older.

Inclusive recreation swim programs

  • Swim for persons with a disability: Designated swim for youth and adult participants with a long-term disability. Swim is free of charge for qualifying participants upon completion of a participant information form. If assistance is required in the change room, participants must bring an attendant.
  • Wellness – Aqua therapy: A wellness program ideal for individuals living with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, osteoporosis and individuals recovering from injury or surgery.
  • Wellness – Chronic pain: A wellness program ideal for individuals living with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, osteoporosis and individuals recovering from injury or surgery.

Aquafitness programs

  • Aqua lite main pool: Offered in the main pool, the class is a low impact total body workout that offers a blend of cardio as well as muscular strength and endurance training combined with specific attention to core stabilization and relaxation techniques.
  • Aqua general shallow: Offered in the shallow end, the general aquafitness class is designed as a medium intensity total body workout, balance of cardio and muscular strength and endurance. A great introduction program offering easy choreography and options to modify the intensity.
  • Aqua lite warm pool: Offered in the warm pool, the class is a low impact total body workout that offers a blend of cardio as well as muscular strength and endurance training combined with specific attention to core stabilization and relaxation techniques.
  • Aqua general deep: Offered in the deep end, the general aquafitness class is designed as a medium intensity total body workout, balance of cardio and muscular strength and endurance. A great introduction program offering easy choreography and options to modify the intensity.

The COVID-19 situation remains fluid and we may need to adapt our programming or pause operations at certain sites throughout the winter and into the spring, should the nature of the pandemic shift once again.

View schedules and links to reserve your spot.

View swimming fees.

Safety and admission requirements for wading pools

Height requirement: 45 inches (115 cm)

Facility's swim test: Must be able to independently recover from floating on their front and back, and be able to cross the deepest part of the pool unassisted.

General supervisory standards for wading pools
Age Admission requirements Guardian:child ratio
Five years and under

Parent/guardian 14 years or older must be within arms reach at all times
Child must wear a wristband

1:4
Six to nine years, height under 115 cm and cannot pass facility's swim test

Parent/guardian 14 years or older must be within arms reach at all times
Child must wear a wristband

1:4
Six to nine years, height at least 115 cm or passes facility's swim test Actively supervised by parent or guardian 14 years or older N/A
10 years and older No supervision, facility swim test or minimum height required N/A

Supervisory standards for camps at wading pools have been adjusted as a 2 meter distance must be maintained between counsellor and camper and therefore ‘within arms reach’ can not be met.

Supervisory standards for camps at wading pools
Age Admission requirements Staff:child ratio
Five years and under Child is unable to enter the pool because a camp counsellor must stay within arms reach, but are unable to, due to social distancing measures n/a
Six to nine years, height under 115 cm and cannot pass facility's swim test Child is unable to enter the pool because a camp counsellor must stay within arms reach, but are unable to, due to social distancing measures n/a
Six to nine years, height at least 115 cm or passes facility's swim test Always accompanied by staff 1:10
10 years and older, height at least 115 cm or passes facility's swim test Always accompanied by staff 1:15

 Each ratio above indicates the maximum number of children that one responsible person 14 years or older can supervise. They may not have any additional children under their care unless the other children are at least six years old and able to pass the facility's swim test or meet the height requirement.

Standard safety and supervisory standards in City pools and beaches

There are safety standards so that everyone can enjoy the City’s swimming pools and beaches.

If you are unsure of how these requirements apply to you, please contact the pool before your visit.

To ensure adequate supervision and to identify people at greater risk, all swimmers need to wear a City-issued coloured wristband to get in the pool.

Non-swimmers and those who cannot pass the facility's swim test must remain in shallow water.

Each ratio below indicates the maximum number of children that one responsible person 14 years or older can supervise. The parent or guardian must be in proper bathing attire, in the water, actively participating and within arm’s reach at all times.

Supervisory standards in City pools

Age Requirements Guardian:child ratio Wristband
5 years and under Accompanied by parent/guardian 14 years or older who must be actively participating and within arms reach at all times 1:2 Orange
6 to 7 Accompanied by parent/guardian 14 years or older who must be actively participating and within arms reach at all times

1:4 or 1:6 if wearing life jackets

Orange
8 to 10, did not pass facility's swim test Always accompanied by parent/guardian 14 years or older who must be actively participating and within arms reach at all times 1:4 or 1:8 if wearing life jackets Orange
8 to 10, passed facility's swim test No guardian supervision required N/A Green

Supervisory standards in City beaches

Age Requirements Guardian:child ratio
5 years and under Accompanied by parent/guardian 14 years or older who must be actively participating and within arms reach at all times 1:2
6 to 7 years Accompanied by parent/guardian 14 years or older who must be actively participating and within arms reach at all times

1:4 or 1:6 if wearing life jackets/PFDs

8 to 10 years Accompanied by parent/guardian 14 years or older who must be actively participating and within arms reach at all times 1:4 or 1:8 if wearing life jackets/PFDs
11 to 13 years Accompanied by parent/guardian 14 years or older 1:15

High-risk people must be in a ratio of 1:1. High-risk people have a condition or illness that may put them at risk in a pool, such as frequent seizures or fainting conditions. This includes people who are unable to control their behaviour or impulses and require direct supervision. The supervisory ratios for groups of high-risk people will be determined by pool staff based on the specific needs of the people and their associated risks. We recommend you call the pool before you visit.

Swimming fees

2021 standard and outdoor pool fees

Bearbrook Outdoor Pool, Beaverbrook Outdoor Pool, Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Complex-Orléans, Brewer Pool, Canterbury Pool, Corkstown Outdoor Pool, Crestview Outdoor Pool, Deborah Anne Kirwan Pool, Entrance Outdoor Pool, François Dupuis Recreation Centre, General Burns Outdoor Pool, Genest Outdoor Pool, Glen Cairn Outdoor Pool, Katimavik Outdoor Pool, Lowertown Pool, Pinecrest Recreation Centre, Plant Recreation Centre, Sawmill Creek Pool

  • Two years and under: Free
  • Three to 18 years: $3
  • Full-time students: $3
  • 19 to 64 years: $5.50
  • 65 years and older: $3.75
  • One to two adults and their children: $3 per person
  • Groups of 10 or more: $2.75 per person

2021 leisure pool fees

CARDELREC Recreation Complex Goulbourn, Minto Recreation Complex-Barrhaven, Nepean Sportsplex, Richcraft Recreation Complex-Kanata, Splash Wave Pool

  • Two years and under: Free
  • Three to 18 years: $4
  • Full-time students: $4
  • 19 to 64 years: $6.25
  • 65 years and older: $5
  • One to two adults and their children: $4 per person
  • Groups of 10 or more: $3.75 per person

2021 wave swim fees

Kanata Leisure Centre and Wave Pool, Ray Friel Recreation Complex, Splash Wave Pool

  • Two years and under: Free
  • Three to 18 years: $7
  • Full-time students: $7
  • 19 to 64 years: $9.75
  • 65 years and older: $8.50
  • One to two adults and their children: $7 per person
  • Groups of 10 or more: $6.25 per person

2021 aquafit fees

  • Seniors, students and youth: $8.25
  • Adults: $9.75

Swim multi-visit pass

  • 12-visit pass for child, students or youth: $34.80
  • 12-visit pass for adults: $55.20
  • 12-visit pass for seniors: $41.40

Swimming membership

A swim membership gives you access to scheduled public swim sessions (excluding wave swims) at all City pools. A combined swim and aquafitness membership gives you access to a variety of fitness classes in different depths of water.

Membership fees include HST.

2021 membership fees for leisure, outdoor and standard pools

  1 month 3 months 6 months 1 year
Seniors, students, youth, children $25.50 $50.50 $92.25 $166.75
Adult $55.25 $109.50 $200.25 $362.25
Household $106.75 $212.50 $388.75 $670.50

2021 membership fees for the Kanata Leisure Centre, the Ray Friel Recreation Complex and the Splash Wave Pool

  1 month 3 months 6 months 1 year
Seniors, students, youth, children $51.50 $116.50 $178.50 $293.25
Adult $70.25 $159.75 $256 $398.25
Household $129.75 $257.75 $446.75 $816

2021 aquafitness membership fees

  1 month 3 months 6 months 1 year
Seniors, students, youth $57.25 $113 $206.50 $374
Adults $70.75 $140.75 $256.75 $466
Household $114 $252.50 $461.50 $838

2021 combined swim and aquafitness membership fees

  1 month 3 months 6 months 1 year
Seniors, students, youth, children $63.25 $125.25 $229.25 $415.50
Adult $78.75 $155.75 $285.25 $517.50
Household $121 $280.25 $511.75 $931

Water safety

Drowning is fast, silent and preventable. This page provides helpful tips to ensure water safety at all times.

Adult supervision while swimming

Whether at the beach, in a deep pool or in an inflatable pool, young swimmers should always be supervised by a responsible adult who:

  • Knows how to swim
  • Has access to a reliable phone to call 911 in the event of an emergency
  • Knows the location of safety equipment
  • Knows basic water rescue, first aid, and CPR

Be a Water Watcher

Here is how you can be a Water Watcher:

  • Make sure a responsible adult who can swim is supervising your backyard pool any time people are in the water.
    • Drowning is the second leading cause of preventable death for children under 10 years of age. Backyard pools are the number one location where these drownings occur, often during a short lapse in supervision.
  • Stay within arm's reach of non-swimmers.
    • Be close enough to provide immediate help. All children under 5 years should always be within arm’s reach of an adult when near water or in the water.
  • Stay close to the pool's edge.
    • You need to be able to see or "scan" the entire surface and bottom of the pool and be able to respond quickly.
  • Watch every child. Get extra help if needed.
    • Watch children's faces to see if they look panicked. This could mean they are in distress. If you're having trouble keeping track of all the children, get help from another Water Watcher supervisor to help.
  • Make sure weak and non-swimmers wear lifejackets or personal floatation devices.
    • Lifejackets or personal floatation devices can help prevent accidents but they do not replace adult supervision.
  • Ensure constant supervision. Drowning is fast and silent.
    • Need a bathroom break? Time to tend to the BBQ? Want to check your phone? Designate another responsible adult as the Water Watcher in your absence. Drowning is fast. It can happen in only inches of water and in a matter of seconds!

Backyard pool safety

Did you know that:

  • Backyard pools are the number one location where children drown.
  • Each year in Canada, an average of 487 people die from drowning.
  • Drowning can occur in as little as 10 to 20 seconds, in only centimetres of water.

Everyone using your pool should:

  • Know how to swim. It's never too late to learn how to swim.
  • Know which part of the pool is deep or shallow.
  • Know the location of the nearest phone.
  • Always swim with a buddy, never alone.
  • Be sober. Alcohol and pools don't mix.
  • Stay out of the pool if there's thunder, lightning, or if the bottom of the pool cannot be seen clearly.

Pool fences

Does your pool fence meet the City's Pool enclosure By-Laws?

  • The minimum fence height allowed in Ottawa is 1.5 m or 5 feet 153 cm (60 inches).
  • Every swimming pool fence gate must have a self-closing and self-latching mechanism.

Does the by-law apply to a portable pool?

  • The By-law applies to any privately-owned outdoor pool of water able to hold a water depth equal to or greater than 600 mm (24 in) at any point.
  • This includes ponds, blow up pools, self-inflating pools, and hot tubs.

Life jackets and pool toys

Lifejackets, personal floatation devices, water wings, "pool noodles" and other floatation devices do not keep you safe in the pool. This equipment can be fun, but it is not a replacement for adult supervision!

Lifejackets and personal floatation devices must fit correctly to work. We don't recommend water wings as they can deflate or slip, leaving a child dangling under water.

COVID-19 safety measures at City pool facilities

The City has collaborated with Ottawa Public Health, Canadian Red Cross Society, and Lifesaving Society to incorporate public health prevention and mitigation measures that help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

What you can expect

When you come to an aquatics facility, you’re going to notice several changes we have made to ensure we live up to our commitment to keep everyone safe, including:

  • Saunas, steam rooms, whirlpools, diving boards, rope swings, and water slides will be closed.
  • Plexiglass shields installed for customer service desk to protect workers and users.
  • Directional signage to manage traffic flow.
  • Swimmers will need to maintain the 2m physical distancing rule and follow proper hygiene.
  • We encourage swimmers to use goggles.
  • Swimmers are encouraged to bring their own equipment for their use only, only life jackets and PFD’s will be available for loaning at the facility.
  • Clients are asked to keep their personal items to a minimum.

The capacity of amenities and other spaces will also be reduced to safe numbers. These changes will allow us to ensure that physical distancing can be practiced regardless of where you are in our facilities and spaces.

Ottawa Public Health states that the risk of serious illness from COVID-19 increases progressively with age, particularly beyond 50 to 60 years. In addition to increasing age, people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions (cardiovascular, high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic lung, chronic liver, cancer, immunocompromise) or severe obesity are at higher risk for severe illness. Every individual needs to take into account their personal risk factors when making decisions about going out.

Health checks upon arrival

  • Upon arrival both staff and users will be required to complete a self-assessment for COVID-19 symptoms before being authorized access to be on site.
  • Entry to the building will be denied for anyone who answers as a risk from the self-assessment questionnaire.

Physical distancing

  • Physical distancing will remain in place for all users not living in the same household or in their social circle.
  • Traffic measures will be implemented around the pools and entry and exit will be staggered so crowding doesn’t occur
  • There will be reduced capacity for the total number of patrons on deck and in the pool, to allow for physical distancing
  • Swimmers at outdoor pools will enter and exit through a gate and not through the facility.
  • Viewing areas will be either closed or their capacity reduced, to allow for proper physical distancing.
  • Parents or guardians who are not accompanying their child in the pool for swimming lessons are encouraged to wait outside the facility.
  • Directional flow of swimmers around the outside of the pool for entering and exiting the swimming area.
  • Signage used to maintain physical distancing in corridors and stairwells. Floor decals guide traffic paths.
  • Swimmers of the same household may swim together in one lane during lane and public swims

Masks and other barrier devices

  • Wear a mask while walking in the facility, since some people who are infected with COVID-19 may have the virus and not know it. Masks can help decrease the risk of spreading the virus.
  • Swimmers may keep their cloth face masks on until they enter the pool
  • Masks must be worn in enclosed public spaces, including at City of Ottawa facilities, as mandated by province-wide masking regulations.

Cleaning and disinfection

  • Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of common and pool areas, high-touch surfaces, change room and washroom facilities, and lifejackets.
  • Only essential equipment will be provided for use on deck, and equipment will be disinfected between users (i.e. lifejackets)
  • Equipment that is not regularly in contact with chlorinated water will be disinfected every 4 hours at minimum.
  • Washrooms will have every second sink and urinal closed.
  • Swimmers must wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer for 20 seconds before entry. Hand sanitizer will be made available at any entrance and exit doors

Do your part to slow the spread

  • Shower at home before going to the pool.
  • Wear your bathing suit to the pool.
  • Practice personal COVID-19 hygiene – washing or sanitizing your hands, staying home if you are ill.
  • Stay two metres from other swimmers and staff.

COVID-19 safety measures at City facilities

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the following safety measures are in place at City facilities:

  • Physical distancing of 2 metres is required at all times for all users not living in the same household or in their social circle.
  • Plexiglass shields installed at customer service desks to protect workers and users.
  • Directional signage to manage traffic flow.
  • Room capacities have been reduced to accommodate social distancing requirements.
  • Additional hand sanitizing stations are available and frequent handwashing is encouraged.
  • Clients will need to conduct a health screening and assumption of risk upon arrival at the facility.
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols have been implemented.
  • Air dryer use, including personal dryers, are not permitted at indoor facilities and change rooms to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
  • All participants/volunteers/staff must wear masks during outdoor recreation programs except when actively engaged in athletic or physical activity.

Proof of vaccination

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and valid ID is required to enter an indoor recreation facility for most activities as of September 22, 2021. More information.

Wearing a mask in City facilities

Masks must be worn in enclosed public spaces, including when entering the facility, in common areas, lobbies, washrooms, change rooms and hallways, as mandated by province-wide masking regulations.

We require that all clients wear masks. Only the following programs, activities and individuals are exempt from the mask requirement:

  • Swimming: masks may be removed when entering the water but are required in other areas of the building.
  • Arenas: A mask is required at all times except while on the ice surface.
  • Children under the age of 5 years chronologically or developmentally, who refuses to wear a mask and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver.
  • Individuals with medical conditions or disabilities rendering them unable to safely wear a mask.
  • Individuals who are unable to put on or remove their mask without assistance.

Those who are exempt need to let staff know at the entrance during the screening process and let us know how they meet one of the exceptions listed above. They may be asked to use a face shield if their circumstance allows.

All other City of Ottawa programs not listed above, require clients to wear masks throughout participation with the goal of preventing transmission and reduce the number of COVID-19 cases.

Additional safety measures at City pools

When you come to an aquatic facility, you’re going to notice several changes we have made to ensure we live up to our commitment to keep everyone safe, including:

  • Clients are asked to keep their personal items to a minimum.
  • Swimmers are required to keep their masks on until they enter the pool.
  • Traffic measures will be implemented around the pools and entry and exit will be staggered so crowding doesn’t occur.
  • Swimmers at outdoor pools will enter and exit through a gate and not through the facility.
  • Viewing areas will be either closed or their capacity reduced, to allow for proper physical distancing.
  • Equipment that is not regularly in contact with chlorinated water will be disinfected every four hours at minimum.

Do your part to slow the spread by:

  • Showering at home before going to the pool.
  • Wearing your bathing suit to the pool.

Additional safety measures at City arenas

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the following safety measures have been implemented at City operated arenas:

  • Participant access to the arena is granted 20 minutes prior to the booking start time.
  • Spectators are permitted at 50 per cent capacity.
  • Limited capacity in change rooms.
  • Designated skate tying areas outside dressing rooms.
  • Showers are off limits at this time.
  • Water fountains should be limited to bottle filling only.
  • Players are encouraged to arrive dressed in as much equipment as possible.

Additional safety measures at City fitness facilities

Participants may remove their masks and store them in a safe/secure space while actively engaged in an athletic or fitness activity, or when outdoors.

This includes:

  • weight and cardio rooms
  • during drop-in sports
  • public skating
  • fitness classes
  • on-ice activities
  • walking track.

Masks should be worn while transitioning between areas.

Examples:

  1. A participant may remove their mask during a workout in a weight and cardio room. If the participants stop their workout, leave the workout area or transition to another area of the building, they are expected to wear their mask.
  2. A participant may remove their mask during a drop-in basketball activity, pickleball, badminton etc. When the activity is over, or if they leave the area to visit the changeroom, approach a staff member with a question or fill their water bottle in the lobby, they are expected to wear their mask.

Ottawa Public Health states that the risk of serious illness from COVID-19 increases progressively with age, particularly beyond 50 to 60 years. In addition to increasing age, people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions (cardiovascular, high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic lung, chronic liver, cancer, immunocompromise) or severe obesity are at higher risk for severe illness. Every individual needs to take into account their personal risk factors when making decisions about going out.

Drowning prevention in the winter months

Many factors including temperature, thickness, snow cover, water depth and currents can affect ice safety.

Did you know?

  • Almost two thirds of ice-related incidents occur on lakes and the rest occur on rivers.
  • Quality and thickness of ice can change very quickly.
  • Snow acts as a blanket, slowing ice formation and growth.
  • A sudden drop in air temperature can create cracks in the ice.
  • In less than five minutes, cold water begins to affect your ability to move your arms and legs.
  • Minimum ice thickness recommended by the Life Saving Society
    • 10 cm (4 inches) for walking or skating alone
    • 12 cm (5 inches) for snowmobiles
    • 25 cm to 30 cm (10 to 12 inches) for skating parties or games

Ice safety

  • No ice is 100% safe!
  • Check with local authorities before heading out.
  • Let someone know where you are going and when you should be back.
  • Carry a small personal safety kit including:
    • a lighter
    • waterproof matches
    • magnesium fire starter
    • pocketknife
    • compass
    • whistle
  • Carry ice picks, an ice staff, a rope and a cell phone.

More tips can be found on the Red Cross and Life Saving Society web sites.