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Swimming

Public swimming

The City has many places for you and your family to enjoy the water. Each location offers a broad range of fun and athletic programs.

  • 20 indoor pools, nine outdoor pools and three wave pools 
  • 56 wading pools and 127 splash pads
  • Four beaches 

Browse and sign up for lessons or programs in our Recreation eGuides:

You can also join a drop-in swim session at a City pool near you.

Pool locations

Check out the swim schedules.

East Ottawa: Indoor pools

East Ottawa: Outdoor pools (summer only)

  • Bearbrook Outdoor Pool, 2679 Innes Road
  • Genest Outdoor Pool, 43 Ste-Cécile Street

South Ottawa: Indoor pools

West Ottawa: Indoor pools

West Ottawa: Outdoor pools (summer only)

  • Beaverbrook Outdoor Pool, 2 Beaverbrook Road
  • Corkstown Outdoor Pool, 61 Corkstown Road
  • Crestview Outdoor Pool, 56 Fieldrow Street
  • Entrance Outdoor Pool, 2 Eaton Street
  • General Burns Outdoor Pool, 107 Chesterton Drive
  • Glen Cairn Outdoor Pool, 50 Castlefrank Road
  • Katimavik Outdoor Pool, 64 Chimo Drive

Central Ottawa: Indoor pools

Wave pools

Safety and supervisory standards in City pools

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

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.

Types of swims

Choose how you want to submerge yourself in the City’s pools. 

  • Lane swim: Continuous lane swim workout. Children age eight to 10 must pass the facility's swim test. There may be opportunities for lane swims during family and public swims.
  • Family swim: Unstructured swim with your family in one of the City’s pools. Adults do not have to bring children to participate.
  • Public swim: Unstructured swim open to all ages. During public swims at wave pools, the waves will be shut off.
  • Wave swim: Available at the Kanata Leisure Centre, Ray Friel Recreation Complex and Splash Wave Pool. 
  • Teen swim: Unstructure swim for teens age 13 to 19.
  • Women-only swim: Unstructured swim for women and girls 14 years and older.
  • Women-only family swim: Unstructured swim for women and their children. Women do not have to bring children to participate. Boys over the age of six are not permitted.
  • Swim for persons with disabilities: Free swim available at the Jack Purcell Community Centre. Participants must complete a participant information form. If you need assistance in the change room, you must bring an attendant who will be admitted for free.
  • Pre-school swim: Unstructured pool playtime for parents and their pre-schoolers in limited pool space.
  • 50+ Vitality: A 30-minute class of light exercise followed by a public swim for people 50 years and older. Available at the Canterbury Recreation Complex, Lowertown Pool and St. Laurent Complex.
  • 50+ swim: Lap swimming for adults 50 years and older.

Swimming fees

*Please note that City Council approved a two-per-cent increase for Recreation and Culture program fees beginning January 1, 2018. Fees posted on ottawa.ca may not be up-to-date. Please check with your local facility for current rates.

Indoor and outdoor pool fees

  • Two years and under: Free
  • Three to 18 years: $2.50
  • Full-time students: $2.50
  • 19 to 64 years: $5.00
  • 65 years and older: $3.25
  • One to two adults and their children: $2.50 per person
  • Groups of 10 or more: $2.25 per person

Leisure pool fees

  • Two years and under: Free 
  • Three to 18 years: $3.75
  • Full-time students: $3.75
  • 19 to 64 years: $5.75
  • 65 years and older: $4.50
  • One to two adults and their children: $3.75 per person
  • Groups of 10 or more: $3.25 per person
  • Whirlpool/steam (Kanata Leisure Pool and Walter Baker Sports Centre): $4.50

Wave pool fees

  • Two yeears and under: Free
  • Three to 18 years: $6.50 
  • Full-time students: $6.50
  • 19 to 64 years: $9.00
  • 65 years and older: $7.75
  • One to two adults and their children: $6.50 per person
  • Groups of 10 or more residents: $5.75 per person
  • Groups of 10 or more non-residents: $6.50 per person

Aquafit fees

Drop in for a general Aquafitness class.

  • Seniors, students and youth: $7.50
  • Adults: $9.00

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.

Membership fees for leisure, outdoor and standard pools

Category 1 month 3 months 6 months 1 year
Seniors, students, youth, children $23.00 $46.00 $84.00 $152.25
Adult $50.00 $99.75 $182.75 $331.25
One to two adults and their children $97.25 $194 $355.25 $613.00

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

Category 1 month 3 months 6 months 1 year
Seniors, students, youth, children  $47.00  $106.25  $162.75 $267.75
Adult  $63.75  $145.75  $234.00 363.75
One to two adults and their children  $118.25  $235.50  $408.50 $746.25

Aquafitness membership fees

Category 1 month 3 months 6 months 1 year
Seniors, students, youth, children  $51.75  $103.00  $188.50  $342.00
Adults  $64.25  $128.25  $234.75  $426.00
One to two adults and their children $104.00 $230.50 $412.75 $766.25

Combined swim and aquafitness membership fees

Category 1 month 3 months 6 months 1 year
Seniors, students, youth, children  $57.50  $114.25  $209.50  $380.00
Adult  $71.50  $142.25  $260.75  $473.25
One to two adults and their children $110.25 $256.00 $468.00 $851.50

Splash pads (summer only)

Young or old, splash pads are a great way to cool off in the summer. This interactive map shows you the locations of Ottawa’s splash pads. Splash pads marked in light blue are accessible.

Splash pads typically open during the Victoria Day long weekend. They stay open until mid-September, depending on the weather.

Please note: Splash pads are not supervised.

Wading pools (summer only)

Bring the kids to a neighbourhood wading pool to cool off and play. This interactive map shows you the locations of Ottawa's wading pools, along with their dates and hours of operation.

Safety and admission requirements for wading pools

  • Height requirement: 45 inches (115 cm)
  • Facilty'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.

Each ratio below 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.

General supervisory standards for wading pools

Age Admission requirments Guardian:child ratio
Five years and under

Parent/guaradian 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/guaradian 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 1:10
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

General supervisory standards for parks

Age Admission requirements 12 year old:child ratio Staff:child ratio
Zero to four years Actively supervised 1:4 1:4
Five to nine years Actively supervised 1:10 1:10
10 years and older Actively supervised during camp N/A 1:15

High-risk participants must be in a ratio of 1:1. High risk participants are people who have a condition or illness that may put them at risk in an aquatic environment (such as frequent seizures or fainting conditions). This includes people who are unable to control their behaviour or impulses and require direct supervision.

Beaches

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

Lifeguards are on duty from June 16 to August 26, 2018, every day from noon to 7 pm. 

Rent stand-up paddle boards and volleyball nets at Petrie Island, Britannia and Mooney's Bay from May 19 to September 3, 2018. Westboro Beach offers rentals from June 16 to August 26, 2018. 

  • Volleyball nets: $17 per hour, $53.25 per day
  • Stand-up paddleboards: $20.50 per hour

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 19 to September 3, 2018: Paid parking from 7 am to 6 pm (seasonal passes available)
  • Washrooms
  • Picnic tables
  • Canteen
  • Lifeguards
  • Play structure
  • Interpretive cottage

Britannia Beach

Located on the Ottawa River at Britannia Bay, the beach is great for swimming, picnics or watching the sailboats go by.

  • Free parking
  • Washrooms
  • Canteen
  • Outdoor showers
  • Picnic tables
  • BBQ pits in the park
  • Play structures

Mooney’s Bay Beach

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

  • May 19 to September 3, 2018: Paid parking between 7am and 6pm (seasonal passes available)
  • Washrooms
  • Canteen
  • Picnic tables
  • BBQ pits in the park
  • Play structures

Westboro Beach

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

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

Water safety

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

Water quality

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

Water safety in summer camps

To keep all campers as safe as possible around water, our highly-trained camp leaders are certified in:

  • Standard First Aid/CPR/AED
  • Lifesaving Society’s Safeguard program, specifically designed to help guardians ensure safety while around water.

Campers must follow important water safety rules during swims:

  • Swimmers seven years and under must wear lifejackets outside of swimming lessons
  • Swimmers eight years and older are swim tested by our fully certified lifeguards.

Swim test

In order to swim in the deep end, swimmers must successfully complete a swim test.

  • Swim tests vary slightly by facility according to each site’s features.
  • Swimmers must:
    • Show comfort in the water
    • Swim a distance equal to the pool’s length without help, a lifejacket or stopping to rest
    • Show strong forward movement
    • Be able to take breaths without touching the bottom of the pool

**A modified swim test is used at wading pools.

Swimmers are given a coloured band based on their swimming ability. This helps our camp leaders and lifeguards keep them safe.