A City Secret

Family at Beach

Every city has its secrets and it’€™s time we shared this one with you.

You don’€™t need to drive to Quebec for a day at the beach– ”take the kids to chill at the pond in Rockcliffe Park, right here in the city.

‘€˜The Pond,’€™ as it’€™s known, was originally a sand and gravel pit. Formerly called ‘€˜The Sandpits,’€™ it’€™s now a popular swimming hole for those in the know.

The Pond is adjacent to McKay Lake in Rockcliffe Park, off Pond Street. Swimming is open to the public from June to September between 7 am and 2 pm. The 2 pm closing time is seriously enforced– if you’€™re not on your way out by then, conservation monitors will remind you to get going.

It’€™s big enough to feel like a little lake, but small and calm enough that you could probably paddle an air mattress to the other side and back, €”so if your wee ones get too far from you in their water wings, retrieving them is no problem.

The biggest challenge you’€™re likely to face is finding this hidden oasis, as it’€™s not visible from any nearby street. Park on Pond Street and look for people carrying beach bags.

Of course, there is a secret path. That’€™s all we can tell you for now.

Find more ways to cool off with these Ways to Stay Cool in Ottawa.


1 Comment

  1. Concerned Citizen on July 27, 2019 at 9:17 pm

    The Pond is not supposed to be a swimming beach, but a conservation area. Very few people used to go swimming there so that never caused an issue. Thanks to the internet, it is no longer a “secret” like you call it. It is extremely crowded now, which is making it quite dirty and noisy. Many people do not respect the rules and leave their garbage everywhere. I’m a 71-year-old citizen that lives in the neighbouring Vanier area and I used to enjoy it since it was only a sandpit. Lately, it turned into a hellhole thanks to this article (and many like it). While I appreciate many of your good recommendations, I really wish you would consider taking it down. I expect it will be a matter of time before this place is completely closed off to the public. So even if you don’t remove the article, soon it will be irrelevant. Thanks for understanding and good luck.

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