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Swimming

Public swimming

Due to Provincial restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the City has temporarily closed its indoor recreation and cultural facilities and suspended drop-in and registered programs, except for essential services and virtual programs. Up to date information regarding closures can be found in the City news section.

  • 12 indoor pools and nine outdoor pools
  • 53 wading pools and 127 splash pads
  • Three beaches

Winter 2020-2021 COVID-modified swimming lessons

Due to Provincial restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the City has temporarily closed its indoor recreation and cultural facilities and suspended drop-in and registered programs, except for essential services and virtual programs. Up to date information regarding closures can be found in the City news section.

Clients can go to their online account to withdraw from a registered program and can request a refund for the credit on their account. If assistance is required, please contact 123go@ottawa.ca.

Splash pads (summer only)

Splash pads are closed for the season.

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)

Bring the kids to a neighbourhood wading pool to cool off and play. The 53 wading pools across the city are 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.

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

Age Admission requirements Staff:child ratio
Five years and under

Staff 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

Staff 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 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.

Beaches

The City conducts water quality testing and has lifeguards on duty at municipal beaches daily from noon to 7 pm starting June 27 until August 30, 2020. Please check back here for current information on beaches reopening, and Ottawa Public Health’s website for water quality testing results.

Put your toes in the sand or get involved in some water fun at one of the City’s public beaches.

Britannia Beach will be closed to swimmers and beachgoers this summer for riverbed restoration. The beach will re-open for public swimming and all other beach activities in 2021. Learn more

Accessible wheel chairs available at Mooney’s Bay Beach, Petrie Island Beach and Westboro Beach. Available daily between noon to 6:30 pm

  • Beach accessible wheel chair - Available to rent at no cost
  • For availability, please contact:
  • Users are required to provide own attendant to push chair and assist with transfer in and out of chair

There is no lift on site.

To book an event at the beach, contact Centralized Allocations:

To bring your group to swim at the beach, contact Beach Operations:

Petrie Island Beach

A wonderful sandy beach with spectacular views across the Ottawa River. Great for picnics, a stroll, a swim, a game of volleyball or to watch the boats go by.

  • May 16 to September 7, 2020: Paid parking from 7 am to 6 pm (seasonal passes available)
  • Canteen
  • Picnic tables
  • Play structure
  • Lifeguards

Britannia Beach

Britannia Beach will be closed to swimmers and beachgoers this summer for riverbed restoration. The beach will re-open for public swimming and all other beach activities in 2021. Learn more

  • Free parking
  • Canteen
  • Picnic tables
  • BBQ pits in the park
  • Play structures
  • Accessible washroom

Mooney’s Bay Beach

A popular summer destination for swimmers, rowers and special events, including Dragon Boat Races and HOPE Volleyball.

  • Canteen
  • Picnic tables
  • BBQ pits in the park
  • Play structures
  • Lifeguards

Westboro Beach

This beach is located on National Capital Commission property at Kitchissippi Lookout on the Ottawa River.

  • Free parking
  • Canteen and patio with tables
  • Picnic tables
  • Lifeguards

Water safety

Have fun at the beaches and play safe by following water safety guidelines.

For additional information please visit the City of Ottawa’s Safety and supervisory standards in City pools and beaches.

Water quality

Beach water quality is tested daily for the presence of E coli bacteria. Learn more from Ottawa Public Health.

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

Please note that City Council has approved two fee increases for 2021 registered programs, admissions, memberships and rentals: a 2.5% Cost of Living Allowance fee increase, and a temporary 1.95% fee increase to offset costs incurred due to COVID 19.

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: $2.75
  • Full-time students: $2.75
  • 19 to 64 years: $5.50
  • 65 years and older: $3.50
  • One to two adults and their children: $2.75 per person
  • Groups of 10 or more: $2.50 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
  • 65 years and older: $5
  • One to two adults and their children: $4 per person
  • Groups of 10 or more: $3.50 per person
  • Whirlpool/steam (Kanata Leisure Pool and Walter Baker Sports Centre): $5

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
  • Adults: $9.75

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.

Please note that City Council has approved two fee increases for 2021 registered programs, admissions, memberships and rentals: a 2.5% Cost of Living Allowance fee increase, and a temporary 1.95% fee increase to offset costs incurred due to COVID 19.

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.

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.