Refreshing water awaits at the many beaches in the Ottawa area. Supervised swimming can be found at Britannia Bay, Mooney's Bay, and Westboro beaches in the city of Ottawa. Meech Lake, Lac Philippe and Lac la Pêche in Gatineau Park offer a welcome respite from summer's heat. Water quality is checked regularly and posted at (613) 244-5678, and beaches are occasionally closed briefly after heavy rainfall. Most beaches are easily accessed via the bike paths.
There are also a number of good beaches on the Quebec Side:
- Britannia Bay Ottawa River, Richmond Road to Britannia Road or just follow the Ottawa River Parkway bike path
- Mooney's Bay Rideau River, Riverside Drive. By car, Riverside Drive, just north of Walkley Road. Or take Colonel By Drive bikepath to Hog's Back. Cross Meadowlands Drive and take the path through the marina.
- Westboro Ottawa River, off the Ottawa River Parkway at Kitchissippi Lookout
- Rideau Township Baxter Conservation Area on the Rideau River, south of Manotick
- Rideau River Provincial Park, near Kemptville, 45 minutes south of Ottawa
- Fitzroy Provincial ParkFitzroy Harbour, Highway 417 west, about 40 minutes west of the city
(admission charge for park)
- Bonchere Provincial Park, near Pemboke, Hihgway 17, about an hour northwest of Ottawa
- Leamy Lake, between Hull and Gatineau
- La Deschenes Parc des Cedres, west of the Aylmer Marina, 10 minutes from Ottawa
- Meech Lake, in Gatineau Park
- Lac Lapeche, in Gatineau Park
- Taylor Lake, in Gatineau Park
- Lac Phillipe, in Gatineau Park