Grab the sunscreen, umbrella and beach chairs—it’s time to soak up the sun’s rays and splash around the water at one of Ottawa’s best beaches. It’s not always just about going for a swim; the beaches in and around the city offer a lot of inexpensive family fun. Play some frisbee, build sandcastles, or pack a picnic, and the entire family will love the relaxing experience that the beachfront has to offer.
We’ve rounded up a list of some beaches to visit this summer; all a short drive away.
Petrie Island Beaches
We love that Petrie Island has a program for families in the community to learn about the local wildlife and how to help conserve it. Not only are there shady areas with lots of trees to explore, but the lifeguarded beach fronts are great for playing tag or beach volleyball. There’s also a place to grab a bite of food or a drink at the Bananas Caribbean Grill and Take Out.
About an hour away from downtown Ottawa, you’ll escape to La Pêche beach. Lifeguards are on duty between 10 am and 6 pm until September 2. There are change rooms and parking is available. Because of flooding, visit the website to confirm which direction is best to take to get there this time of year.
Other than the gorgeous views, the Westboro Beach Yacht Club cafe is a highlight for this beachfront. It’s an easy way to enjoy a tasty snack or take in live music that’s right on the beach. We think the kids will love playing here, plus the parking is free. This is the perfect spot for an evening stroll as a family.
In the west end of Ottawa, beach-goers can find Britannia Beach. It boasts free parking and a play structure that is sure to be a hit with the kids. With BBQ pits and picnic tables, families can bring homemade lunch or supper and stay to watch the sailboats float by.
Lac Phillipe is a popular destination for beachgoers on the Quebec side of the Ottawa-Gatineau area. There are three different beaches to choose on the lake, all with lifeguards available 10 am until 6 pm. The sandy beach will be fun for kids to build and play on, while the water will entice the family to splash around on a hot day. Parking, washrooms and changes rooms are available.
A popular spot for beach volleyball, Mooney’s Bay in Ottawa’s South end includes a scenic beachfront for playing and splashing around, plus there are tennis courts and a play structure nearby. There is plenty of space for long walks on the beach—which may bring back fond memories for parents, and the kids will love it too!
Mille Roche Beach
The gorgeous St. Lawrence Seaway is only about an hour from Ottawa and perfect for families looking to head out of the city for the day to soak up the sun and play in the water. Mille Roche Beach has water equipment rentals, snacks and play areas, plus it’s near Upper Canada Village, where you can step back in time to experience what life was like in a bustling 1860s community.
Leamy Lake Park
Families living in the downtown core can head to Gatineau, where the lovely Lac Leamy can be found. It has supervised swimming, a play area and plenty of sandy waterfronts to build the best sandcastles.