By Lori Bosworth
Now that summer is here and the kids are out of school, you’ll be wanting to plan a few days at your local public outdoor swimming pool in Toronto. We’ve rounded up what we believe are the best public outdoor swimming pools in Toronto. These swimming pools are operated by the City of Toronto and have lifeguards on duty.
High Park Outdoor Swimming Pool
High Park Outdoor Swimming Pool is one of my favourite outdoor pools since it is situated in the gorgeous High Park. After your swim, you can have a picnic or visit the animals in High Park Zoo, which is located in the park. High Park Outdoor Swimming Pool is great for families and children, since there is a large wading pool and shallow end. There is an entry with stairs and a handrail at the shallow end of the pool. The deep end area of this pool is somewhat small so it’s not ideal for lap swimming. Kids love the spiral water slide that plunks right into the shallow end. The north pool deck is a great place for sunbathing as it faces south. Parking is free all the time; however, you may need to hunt for a spot on weekends. Lockers cost 25 cents to use, which is non-refundable. Lane swim (7 and over) is 7 p.m. to 7:55 p.m. every day and 9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Leisure swim is 12 noon to 3:45 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. every day. Wading pool is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. The last day the pool is open is September 3, 2017.
Toronto’s largest public outdoor swimming pool, located at Lake Shore Boulevard West and Parkside Drive, overlooks Lake Ontario. This outdoor swimming pool has a large kiddie section with steps and a handrail to gradually walk in and an equally large mid-depth and deep end area. There are two designated swim lanes that are open during all swim hours. Lockers are 25 cents (quarters only) and require a quarter each time you secure them. Pool staff will not provide quarters.
Sunnyside – Gus Ryder Outdoor Pool will be open from July for lane swim (7 & over) and leisure swim from 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. every day until September 4, 2017. On Monday, September 4, 2017, the last day the pool is open for the season, the pool will be open only from 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Hours are usually extended to around 11 p.m. during heat waves, but it’s best to call first.
There are two metered parking lots within five minutes’ walking distance of the pool. The parking lots are free until 4 p.m. on weekdays; after 4 p.m. and weekends require a parking fee. You can bring towels, water wings, flip flops, plastic water bottles (no food), sunglasses, sun hats, suntan lotion and books onto the sundeck. No bags are allowed on deck.
Riverdale Park East Outdoor Swimming Pool
Riverdale Park East Outdoor Swimming Pool is located at 550 Broadview Avenue. The whole park is being revitalized so you’ll have to access Riverdale Park East Outdoor Swimming Pool via Montcrest Blvd. The pool has a large shallow end with stairs and handrail entry, as well as a wading pool for young children. There is a fairly large deep-end that doesn’t get too crowded because many of the patrons enjoy sunbathing on the lawn beside the pool. A spiral water slide ends in the middle section of the pool. One one side of the pool, there are tiered benches for sunbathing. Lane swim (7 & over) 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily; Leisure swim 12 noon to 7 p.m. daily. The pool is open until Mon., Sept. 4, 2017. Call 416-392-7801 for more information.
Donald D. Summerville Outdoor Olympic Pool
Donald D. Summerville Outdoor Olympic Pool is right on the beach at Woodbine Park. In addition to a 50 metre Olympic size pool, there is a 25 metre training pool and a diving pool. The diving pool has 5 and 10 metre diving platforms. You can see the expanse of Woodbine Beach from the deck of the pool. After your swim, stroll along the boardwalk and stop for something to eat at the beach snack bars.
Lane swim is every day from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Leisure Swim is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. every day from Sat., July 1, 2017 to Monday, Sept. 4, 2017.
Donald D. Summerville Outdoor Olympic Pool is located at 1867 Lake Shore Blvd. E. If taking TTC, go to Queen Subway Station, board the 501 Queen Streetcar to Woodbine Ave. Walk South to Lake Shore Blvd. E. Alternatively, from Woodbine Subway Station, take the bus 92 Woodbine South. There are also public metered parking lots off of Lake Shore Blvd. E. just east of Coxwell Avenue. Call 416-392-7688 for more info.
Giovanni Caboto Outdoor Swimming Pool
Giovanni Caboto Outdoor Swimming Pool at 1367 St. Clair Avenue West, just east of Lansdowne Avenue, is a great pool for swimming in the west end. There is a huge water slide, a large deep end, as well as walk-in entry at the shallow end. There are tiered benches along one side of the pool for sunbathing. Lane Swim is every day from 6:45 p.m. to 7:40 p.m. as well as on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. Leisure Swim is 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. every day. Parking is limited in the area. Please call 416-392-7662 for more information.
The above swimming pools are the best public outdoor swimming pools in Toronto in our opinion. Do you have a favourite public outdoor swimming pool in Toronto that is not mentioned above? Please tell us about it in the comment section.