Guide to Swimming in Kingston 2016

swimming, pool, splash, pad, beach, water, lake, ontario, kingstonIt’s been a very hot, dry summer and many of us are craving opportunities to cool off. The City of Kingston offers a variety of options for swimming, wading and splashing. Here’s a run-down of everything you need to know about the best places to swim in Kingston.


Artillery Park, 382 Bagot Street, 613-546-4291, ext. 1700: Since it re-opened in 2014 after a major facelift, the fully accessible space has a 15 metre salt water leisure pool and a 25 metre salt water lap pool. There are even swimsuit dryers in the change room.

Price: Drop-in for adults is $4.78, and a full year membership is $214.

The ARC at Queen’s, 284 Earl Street, 613-533-2500: If swimming for you is all about getting fit, the pool at the ARC has you covered. At 25 by 38 metres, the pool is plenty spacious for laps. The facility also offers recreational swimming alongside classes and camps. The downside? The timing is tight: recreational swimming is only open for two hours in the morning and two and a half in the evening. Swimming and lifeguarding classes are offered. A new swim test must be completed by children under 15 if they wish to swim without their parent in the pool.

Price: Adults can drop in for $10.00, or do a contract for $46.92 a month. Reduced rates for alumni, staff and faculty.

Tomlinson Aqua Park, 303 York Street: One of the advantages that the Memorial Centre’s pool facilities have over Artillery Park is that they’re fully outside, meaning you can swim while soaking up sun. It also means, though, that the pool closes for inclement weather such as thunderstorms. When it’s open, though, swimmers have access to a lap pool and leisure pool, as well as a shallow toddler area, lazy river, diving board, and an impressive ten-metre water slide*. The zero-beach entry makes this facility totally accessible.

*The slide is currently closed due to safety upgrades.

Price: An adult day pass is $3.45, adult evening pass is $2.40, while $114 gets you a season’s pass.

YMCA West, 745 Progress Avenue, 613-634-7008: This west end facility has a 25 metre lap-pool, children’s pool and a mixed gender sauna. The schedule for the pool is tightly packed with lap swims, public swims, camps and lessons and changes from season to season. Click here for the current swim schedule.

Price: Drop-in for adults is $13 and monthly memberships are $49.99.

YMCA Wright Crescent, 100 Wright Crescent, 613-546-2647: The Edward Ratcliffe Aquatic Centre features a 25 metre swimming pool and Ronald McDonald House Charities’ 18 metre hydrotherapy/leisure pool. The schedule for the pool is tightly packed with lap swims, public swims, camps and lessons and changes from season to season. Click here for the current swim schedule.

Price: Drop-in for adults is $13 and monthly memberships are $49.99.


Grass Creek Park, 2991 Highway 2: This delightful park is just a ten-minute drive outside of the city itself. Here, you’ll find 51 acres of green space surrounding a sandy beach with shallow entry into the Bateau Channel of the St. Lawrence. It’s a popular spot for families. No dogs allowed on the beach, although there is an off-leash area nearby.

Price: Free!

Lake Ontario Park, 920 King Street West: Since its refurbishment in 2013, LOP has been a busy place. In addition to the pebble beach, the park also has sandy play areas on the waterfront, accessible paths to the water, accessible washrooms and a splash pad for young’uns not quite ready to swim in the lake. The water quality is also regularly tested by the Ministry of the Environment.

Price: Free!

Waterfront Path: This 8 km stretch of waterfront runs the length of the city, and it’s pretty common to see a young crowd congregating at the pier where King St. meets Beverley St. It’s grassy enough to lay in the sun, and the lake is deep enough for jumping in from the dock. It’s not really a luxurious swim, but for students who want something close by, it works.

Price: To park on the street nearby, you’ll probably pay $1-1.50 per hour.

If the city’s parks and pools aren’t what you’re looking for, there are also a number of splash pads and wading pools (at Victoria Park, The Memorial Centre and Skeleton Park, for instance). For a full list of locations, see here. Don’t forget that not all facilities have lifeguards on duty—double check as you visit.

Tell us in the comments: where’s the best place to swim in Kingston?

Thanks to crmgucd for today’s photo.

Danielle Lennon

Danielle Lennon is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. She was the Editor, Community Event Coordinator and Contributor at-large (2008-2018). She is otherwise employed as a section violinist with the Kingston Symphony, violin teacher, studio musician and cat lover. Learn more about Danielle...

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