Words by Jim Bamboulis
If you’re anxious to get out of town for the day, take a dip in the water and cool down from the summer heat, then these eight outdoor swimming spots near Toronto are perfect for everyone, and exactly what you need to enjoy your summer!
St. Marys Quarry
This beautiful limestone quarry in St. Marys, is not only Canada’s largest outdoor swimming pools but is also ruggedly beautiful and naturally stunning. Enjoy beach volleyball, cliff jumping, a water trampoline, Tiki Hut snacks, two rafts, a slide and stand up paddle-boarding.
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For info about operating schedule and all relevant fees at St. Marys Quarry, click here!
Trout Lake Quarry @ Innerkip
This outdoor swimming spot has been family owned and operated for decades. Small with spring-fed water, this quarry has an average depth of 30 feet with multiple shore access points. Swim, boat, fish, camp and even scuba dive in the cool water on a hot day. Who knows, you might find something!
To check the latest admission and other relevant fees about Trout Lake at Innerkip, click here!
Located near the beautiful 70 foot limestone cliffs of the Elora Gorge, the Elora Quarry is a perfect place to spend a day on the water. The ‘old swimming hole’ is surrounded by trails and dense forest making it perfect for hiking, picnicking, and barbecuing. This outdoor swimming spot makes a perfect day trip from Toronto and it’s loved by all.
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For more info about access, fees and safety advisories at the Elora Quarry Conservation Area, click here!
Byng Island Conservation Area
At two-acres, Byng Island Conservation Area is home to the largest outdoor swimming pool in Canada! It has a wading area and spray pad for those in need of some relaxation and a deep-end and diving board for those more adventurous. Life jackets are available if you need one, so are change-rooms. The pool is wheelchair accessible and lifeguards are on duty, making this outdoor swimming spot ideal for everyone looking for fun in the sun with a touch of peace of mind.
Thinking about heading to Byng Island Conservation Area, click here first for info you’ll need to maximize your day at the park and at the pool!
Bronte Creek Provincial Park
Bronte Creek Provincial Park is a stones’ throw from Toronto and it happens to be home to a lovely 1.8 acre outdoor swimming pool. It has a starting depth of a few centimeters and increases to about six feet in the centre. It being a Provincial Park, it has several maintained amenities, including lifeguards on duty. Pro tip: explore the historic farmhouse located in the park, hike any of the handful of trails, work up a sweat before cooling off in the pool.
For operating hours, amenities, and fees at Bronte Creek Provincial Park, click here!
Kelso Conservation Area
Kelso Conservation Area in Milton, Ontario is located within the stunning Niagara Escarpment and provides views of rocky cliffs and gorgeous forest. Within the Conservation Area, you find a massive 35-hectare lake, complete with a boardwalk, boat rentals and fishing areas. You also find one of the best outdoor swimming spots anywhere near Toronto, complete with a beach and concession stand. Top it off with a lifeguards on duty and you can a complete day at the beach everyone can enjoy. The beach at Kelso has a designated swimming area that is lifeguard supervised.
For more info, including water quality and fees about Kelso Conservation Area, click here!
The Grotto at Bruce Peninsula National Park
Located within Bruce Peninsula National Park, you’ll find beautiful landscapes and crystal clear turquoise water. You’ve arrived to the Cyprus Lake Grotto, one of the most breathtaking scenes I’ve seen in Ontario. If you’re brave enough to handle the cold water or adventurous enough to scope out the caves, do it. Otherwise, bring a camera and some sunscreen and enjoy the blue. This is an outdoor swimming spot you’ll be returning to, guaranteed!
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If you’re thinking about heading north and visiting The Grotto and Bruce Peninsula National Park, get all the info you need here before you head out!
Valens Lake Conservation Area
Valens Lake Conservation Area gives you a ‘northern’ feeling much closer to home. This 300-hectare space features a 300-metre wetland boardwalk and even an observation tower to view the forest and lake. It’s also perfect for hikers, anglers, campers and of course, swimmers. Bring a picnic, set up shop on the sandy beach and enjoy that summer breeze. Heads up, this beautiful outdoors swimming spot does not have lifeguards on duty so your crew is your responsibility.
For info about Valens Conservation Area, including relevant fees, click here!
Hey y’all. I’m Jim. I spent 16 years in the broadcast media world before starting up Travel Mammal, a site dedicated to working with brands to promote travel, food, and cultural experiences.
I’ve created content and collaborated with everyone from Chevrolet, Lonely Planet, Trivago, Nevada Tourism and The Weather Network to New Brunswick Tourism, Yellow Pages, Tourism Toronto, and Airbnb. Safe travels, y’all.