Guide to Swimming in Kingston

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We published this Guide to Swimming in Kingston back in 2014. Looking for a more up to date guide? Check out the 2016 version of our Guide to Swimming in Kingston, complete with new listings, pricing and schedules.

Although the last few days may have felt more like October than August, we still have a couple weeks of summer left. If you want to make the most of it by enjoying some time in the water, 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: The facility recently underwent a major facelift and reopened in May of this year after being closed since 2012. Now, the fully accessible space has a 15 metre salt water leisure pool and a 25 metre salt water lap pool. There’s even swimsuit dryers in the change room.

Price: Drop-in for adults is $4.55, and a full year membership is $202.

SCOTT 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, diving board, and an impressive ten-metre water slide.

Price: An adult day pass is $7.75, while $183 gets you a season’s pass.

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.

Price: Adults can drop in for $8.00, or do a contract for $45 a month. Reduced rates for alumni, staff and faculty.


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: Like Artillery Park, LOP recently underwent considerable refurbishment. In addition to the pebble beach, the park also has new sandy play areas on the waterfront, accessible paths to the water, 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 the jumping in from the dock. It’s not really a luxurious swim, but for students that want something close, it works.

Price: To park on the street nearby, you’ll probably pay $2 for 2 hours.

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 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?

Kelly Reid

Kelly Reid has retired as a contributor to Kingstonist. Kelly was one of our arts and culture contributors. Her column for Kingstonist explored the city's art galleries, as well as live music, theatre and performance art venues.

2 thoughts on “Guide to Swimming in Kingston

  • Those are all decent spots…. but if possible, you really want to head either north a bit to the inland lakes (Sydenham, Loughborough, the Rideau), or a few minutes south by boat to any of dozens of secluded Lake Ontario coves. It’ll be quieter, more peaceful, more natural – and there’s no need for shorts or bikinis!

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