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Swimming Spots in Ottawa – Where to Take a Dip in Nature


Looking for a splash this summer? Hot days call for cool dips, and in Ottawa, we’re spoiled for choice. But with so many spots, finding the perfect place to swim can be like searching for a needle in a haystack.

Here’s a fun fact: Ottawa isn’t just about political landmarks; it also boasts some fantastic locations where nature invites you to wade into clear waters.

In this blog post, we’ll guide you to the top outdoor swimming locales around Canada’s capital. From sandy shores at Britannia Beach to hidden nooks in Gatineau Park, prepare to discover your next favourite spot to beat the heat.

And because wading through options shouldn’t be hard work – we’ve done the legwork for you! Ready for an adventure? Let’s make waves….

Key Takeaways

  • Britannia Beach is great for sunny days with free wheelchair rentals and lifeguards on duty until 29th August from noon to 7 pm. They check the water quality daily.

  • Gatineau Park offers four lakes and many sandy spots for swimming, including Meech Lake and Philippe Lake which have lifeguard-manned beaches, making it perfect for a safe family day out or camping under the stars.

  • Petrie Island features clear waters and sandy shores with accessible wheelchairs available at no cost, plus kayak, canoe, and paddleboard rentals.

  • Constance Bay Beach welcomes you and your pets for a splash in the gentle waves with safety ensured by daily water checks and lifeguard supervision through late August.

  • Hidden gems like Burnstown Beach provide boat launches, rentals for paddleboards, canoes, kayaks, along with safe swimming conditions monitored by daily water quality tests.

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Swimming Spots in Ottawa

Ottawa shines with spots to cool off in the heat. From waves lapping at Britannia Beach to the calm waters of Lac Phillipe, you’ll find your perfect splash zone.

Britannia Beach

Brittania Beach is a hit for those sunny days. Here, you can rent accessible wheelchairs at no cost—how cool is that? The beach also has lifeguards from noon to 7 pm until August 29th, making it a safe spot for a swim.

And don’t worry about water quality; they check it every day. Plus, they’ll let you know if it’s not the best day for a dip.

Last summer, my friends and I spent almost every weekend there. We’d pack our picnic baskets and lay out by the Ottawa River—it felt like our little getaway from downtown hustle.

Oh, and did I mention volleyball? There’s nothing like a friendly game under the sun before cooling off in the waves. So grab your sunscreen and meet me at Brittania Beach! Next up: Gatineau Park—an adventurer’s dream just waiting to be explored.

Gatineau Park is a treasure trove for swimmers with its four lakes and multitude of sandy places to swim. Picture yourself relaxing by Meech Lake, with its pair of beaches perfect for a peaceful day out.

You can launch your kayak or paddleboard into the calm waters without any motorboats zooming by – bliss! And when you feel adventurous, there’s always a trail nearby calling your name for a spontaneous hike.

 ups the ante with three beaches manned by lifeguards. That means you can take a dip knowing someone’s keeping an eye out, making it ideal for families looking to enjoy some quality time together.

Add camping sites into the mix, and voila – you’ve got the perfect spot for an overnight adventure under the stars. But let’s not forget La Pêche Lake – Gatineau Park’s largest body of water offers canoe-camping opportunities that are second to none.

It’s as if nature rolled out a plush green carpet right beside these sparkling blues just for us!

Nature invites us in but leaves it up to us how deep we go.

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Wakefield offers a quiet escape by the river, perfect for those hot summer days. Picture yourself lounging on a sandy shore, book in hand, with kids building castles nearby. The water is inviting, perfect for dipping your toes or taking a full plunge to cool off.

Dogs wag their tails along the banks, happy to be part of family outings. Parking is easy to find, so no worries about trekking miles with your picnic gear.

Next up is Outaouais, where adventures by the lake await…

Outaouais is your go-to spot for a splash with furry friends by your side. This area welcomes dogs, making it perfect for pet owners looking to cool off. Imagine dipping in the water while your four-legged friend paddles alongside you.

This region offers more than just waterside fun. Think sandy strands, easy access parking, and picnic setups ready for those after-swim snacks. You’ll find lovely spots along rivers and lakes, inviting everyone to dive or hike around these beautiful locales.

Don’t forget to check the water quality online before heading out – safety first!

Petrie Island

Petrie Island feels like a little escape right in the city’s east end. It’s got everything for a fun day out – think sandy shores and clear water, just perfect for taking a dip.

And let’s not forget about the kayak, canoe, and paddleboard rentals! You can explore the waters at your own pace or chill on the beach while catching some rays.

What really stands out to me is how inclusive it is. They offer accessible wheelchairs for free so everyone can enjoy the beach without worry. It makes Petrie Island not just a spot to cool off but also a place where barriers seem to melt away under the sun.

Next up, let’s talk about Constance Bay Beach

Constance Bay Beach

Leaving the tranquil scenes of Petrie Island, we venture towards Constance Bay Beach, a hidden jewel near Carp. This spot invites both you and your furry friends for a splash under the sun.

Imagine wagging tails and laughter filling the air as everyone cools off in the gentle waves.

Constance Bay Beach shines for more reasons than just pet friendliness. Every day, experts check the lake’s water to make sure it’s safe to swim in. Plus, with lifeguards keeping watch from noon until 7 pm through late August, peace of mind comes standard here.

It’s a haven where safety meets fun—ideal for making those summer moments memorable without a care in the world.

Lac Philippe

After soaking up the sun at Constance Bay Beach, consider taking a short drive to Lac Phillipe. This lake in Gatineau Park offers you not just one, but three beaches to choose from! It’s perfect for anyone wanting to switch things up and find their favourite spot by the water.

Parking is easy too, with spots available for your car—just remember that there might be a small fee.

I had an adventure here last summer and let me tell you, it was fabulous! The beach water is crystal clear because they check it every day to make sure it’s safe for us all. Plus, if you’re worried about getting into the water or have someone with special needs in your group, they’ve got accessible wheelchairs ready and waiting—at no extra cost.

And if lounging on the beach isn’t enough for you, why not start a hike? Lac Phillipe is an amazing starting point for exploring more of what nature has to offer around Ottawa.

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Hidden Gems

The hidden gems are like finding a secret beach party, just without the crowd. Dive in to discover more about these spots!

Burnstown Beach

Burnstown Beach is a hidden treasure, perfect for anyone looking to enjoy a sunny day near the water. They offer boat launch and rentals for stand-up paddleboards, canoes, and kayaks.

So you can splash around or explore the calm waters at your own pace. It’s like dipping your toes into paradise without leaving home!

Swimming here is safe too – they test the water every day to make sure it’s clean. And don’t worry if you forgot your floaties; lifeguards are on duty from noon until 7 pm through late August to keep an eye on things.

Plus, if you or someone in your gang uses a wheelchair, Burnstown Beach has got you covered with free accessible wheelchair rentals. It’s all about making sure everyone has a blast! From personal experience – there’s nothing quite like watching the sunset from a kayak here…

Absolutely breathtaking!

Parent Beach

Parent Beach is a hidden treasure just waiting for you and your friends to explore. It’s the perfect spot if you’re itching to escape the city’s bustle without travelling too far. With its soft sand, clear water, and plenty of space for sunbathing, it feels like a mini-vacation spot right near Ottawa.

And let’s not forget about the picnic tables! They’re ideal for a mid-day snack or a relaxing lunch under the sun.

A day at Parent Beach is like pressing the pause button on life's hustle and bustle.

Next up on our list of gems is Breton Beach…

Breton Beach

Breton Beach is that secret spot you’ve been looking for, a true hidden gem in Ottawa. It’s tucked away, waiting to surprise you with its serene and beautiful setting. Imagine slipping into the calm waters here, surrounded by nature at its finest – it’s like finding your own private paradise.

Last summer, I stumbled upon this beach quite by accident. I was on a leisurely hike around the area and followed the sound of water lapping gently against the shore. The sight that greeted me was breathtaking: soft sandsclear waters, and not a soul in sight.

Breton Beach became my go-to place for a quiet swim or just to laze around under the sun. Trust me when I say, there’s nothing quite like floating on your back here, gaze fixed on the blue skies above…

Pure bliss!


Baxter Beach at Baxter Conservation Area is your go-to for a chill day by the water, just a stone’s throw south of Ottawa. Picture this: soft sand between your toes, ample shade from lazy trees, and picnic spots galore.

And if you’re lucky, an ice cream boat might just float by to add that cherry on top of a perfect outing. With outhouses on-site and parking sorted, all you have to do is bring your sunnies and towel.

Dog lovers rejoice because your furry friends can tag along too at this friendly riverbank spot. After soaking up some sunshine or paddling in the shallow waters of the Rideau River, why not explore the nearby trails? They’re great for stretching those legs with a leisurely walk or maybe even spotting local wildlife as you meander along.

Next up on our list of must-visit outdoor swimming spots…


Ottawa shines with amazing places to swim. From sandy stretches in Britannia Beach to calm waters at Petrie Island, you’ve got choices. Feeling adventurous? Gatineau Park awaits with its lush scenes.

For those hidden nooks, Burnstown Beach offers serenity away from the crowd. So grab your towel and sunscreen — it’s time for a splash!


For a top-notch splash, head to Mooney’s Bay or Westboro Beach. Both spots offer beautiful sandy beaches and plenty of space to swim. If you’re up for a bit of adventure, Lusk Cave is your go-to for a dip along a hiking trail.

Absolutely! Strathcona Park is just a stone’s throw away from downtown and offers lovely river views with cool water to dive into. It’s like finding an oasis in the urban jungle.

Yes, they can! Many places like Blanchet Beach in Gatineau Park welcome dogs with open paws. Just imagine their tail-wagging joy as they paddle alongside you!

Always check water quality testing results to make sure it’s safe to take the plunge. No one wants their swimming session turning into an impromptu science experiment!

You bet! Leamy Lake Park not only has great water but also volleyball courts and picnic areas for that perfect day out under the sun.

For those who prefer shallower waters, wading pools across Ottawa are perfect for dipping your toes without taking the full plunge.