As the summer comes to a close, kids are dreading their return to the classroom while their parents rejoice. Normally, back to school season is associated with pumpkin spiced lattes, cozy sweaters, and fun new stationery. However, this year, August isn’t giving up on summer and neither should we! We want to enjoy the best swimming holes near Toronto before summer disappears.
Canadians have still been blessed with beach days and toasty rays, so naturally, it’s the perfect time to discover the top 5 swimming holes near Toronto! Visit some of these pools before school for some quality family time or just to get away from the city with friends.
Here are the top 5 swimming holes near Toronto:
Distance: 110 km (1h 31 min.)
This spot is a favorite among Wellington County residents. Visitors are attracted to this limestone quarry because of its cool water and the 40-foot sheer cliffs that wrap around the swimming hole. Its tree-covered park also make for the perfect spot to have an afternoon picnic. The beach area is large with enough space for sunbathers and plenty of access to the water.
Keep in mind that Elora Quarry swimming hole doesn’t have lifeguards monitoring the swimming area, so parents should watch their children closely to ensure safety. Also, important to note is that no cliff diving is permitted at this swimming hole and watersports such as boats, kayaks, canoes and paddle boards are not permitted at this quarry either.
The maximum daily capacity of the swimming hole is 1,300 people and when this capacity is reached, no further swimmers are allowed. Keep in mind that the capacity is usually reached shortly after the park opens, so if you’re planning a trip make sure you get there early! The park recommends people call ahead to see how busy it is, so that they can avoid being disappointed.
Distance: 60 km (50 min)
This has to be one of the best swimming holes near Toronto! Kelso Lake is conveniently located just a short drive down the 401 in Milton and is a part of the Niagara Escapement. Kelso is actually a man-made reservoir that is used to control the flooding of the nearby Sixteen Mile Creek. Its small size makes the water temperature warm throughout the spring and summer, which makes it a great place to kick back on the weekend. It also has an adjoining sandy beach, so be sure to pack that beach towel and umbrella! In this swimming hole, you can enjoy swimming, canoeing, or try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding during the warmer months of the year.
Distance: 134 km (1h 31 min.)
The quarry is in the center of a camping ground, but anyone can jump in the water for an admission fee of $10.00. The swimming hole is clean spring-fed water, perfect for cooling off in the summer heat. This swimming hole even offers cliff jumping and high diving boards since the average depth is 30 feet. It’s also a surprisingly great spot for snorkeling and scuba due to the plethora of sunken boats, planes, and buses. For experienced divers, there’s even an old mine cave at the bottom to explore! The aquatic wildlife in this swimming hole consists of perch, bass and pike. Unfortunately, this isn’t a pet-friendly area, so you’ll need to leave your pup at home. Amenities include: camping, shower facilities, picnic areas, a dive shop, and a camp store are also present.
Distance: 50 km (51 min.)
There’s no need to leave the GTA to get some relief from the heat! You can either jump in the Bronte Creek or walk downstream to a stretch of water flowing into Lake Ontario. There’s also a supervised wading pool if you’re not up for river water. The pool is one of the largest in Ontario at 1.8 acres and looks more like a lake than a pool. It’s surrounded by grassy terrain, so you can layout a towel and soak up some sun. The swimming hole has lifeguards on duty and the pool will be providing a swim test for children under 10 years of age to ensure safety. Plus admission is only $3.00 for children and $4.00 for adults (on top of admission to the actual park)!
Distance: 170 km (2h 11 min.)
This limestone quarry is considered the largest freshwater pool in Canada! It’s one of the most popular swimming hole destinations in the province. The main fish species found in the swimming hole are common carp, pumpkinseed, and rock bass. For the adventurous, try out the cliff jump, water trampoline or water slide. You can also enjoy other watersports in the swimming hole by renting kayaks and paddleboards. Admission to this swimming hole is $4.50 for children and $7.00 for adults. This swimming hole also offers drop-in swimming lessons for a small fee for levels 5-10. Children under 11 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is at least 12 years of age and responsible for their direct supervision. Be sure to see this Ontario oasis soon because the quarry closes for the year on September 5th of each year.
Ready to enjoy the top swimming holes near Toronto?
Take your pick of these top spots to beat the heat and have a ton of fun. As always, make sure you’re being safe in the water and that your children are being safe in the water. Consider investing in swimming lessons for your kids, to make them confident swimmers. Also, knowing that they are prepared will give you peace of mind when they do enter the water. Not all of these swimming holes near Toronto have lifeguards on duty and while you should always monitor your kids in the water regardless, swimming lessons are an important life skill that can ensure water safety throughout their lives.