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Dog Swimming

Does anyone know of any spots in Ottawa for our dogs to have a good swim? I’ve been getting some inquiries about this and was wondering myself but don’t actually know of any places.

Please leave your ideas in the comments!



  1. Oren says:

    I think somewhere near st pauls has a spot, but I’m not sure. I usually drive out to a park with a dog beach, but that sucks.

  2. greej says:

    the rideau river! south of windsor park or brewer park.

  3. chzplz says:

    Yeah, you can bring them to the lawn behind St. Paul’s on Main Street. They have to run down a slope to get in, so it’s not like you can stand on the shore – not a great spot unless your dog is a keen swimmer.

    Lemieux Island also is a spot people go – I’ve never been able to figure out if it is fully legit or just tolerated.

  4. Kirby's Sidekick says:

    There is a very popular swimming spot at Stanley Park in New Edinburg in the off-leash area of the park (which is bordered by the Rideau River), there is a small beach which is shallow for dogs that like to wade and then deeper further out for swimmers! It is always filled with dogs and Kirby loves it!,-75.685802&sspn=0.008251,0.014634&ie=UTF8&ll=45.440035,-75.686338&spn=0.008251,0.014634&z=16

  5. Off the Bowesville Road about 50 yards in on the left is a small parking area and some boulders to climb over. This is in behind the Ottawa Airport. There is a swimmin’ hole there folks call “The Toxic” (not sure why) but many of our friends take their dogs their to swim. Its a great area, well back from the roads with some light (cow-ish) fencing *and* its an off-leash area.

  6. Sorry, I just realised my directions weren’t that good … Bowesville is off the Leitrim Road between Limebank and Albion Roads. Its just about exactly where the speed limit changes from 70 to 80 Kmh.

  7. buzzo says:

    if you live in the south end ( Mooneys Bay area) you can go to Revelstoke… (south of Walkley off of Riverside!) follow it around till you reach a field, fenced off! and proceed through the gates, follow the path and its heaven for the dogs!! and people too!… Good luck/// all the dogs need a good place to swim

  8. Holli says:

    There’s a sand quarry behind the Aylmer SPCA in which it’s generally accepted you can swim with your doggy. You can take horses there to swim too. It’s very sandy (obviously) but the water has a steep drop off so strong swimmers only! Or, doggies in life jackets 😉

  9. Jason Belec says:

    In Orleans (Ottawa East End), we have about 22km of ravines with trails, bridges, hills, streams, creeks, rivers and quite a few places deep enough for swimming and doggies to intermix. Just after a rain for a day or two is the best if you have a paddler needing exercise, but quite a few places keep enough water flowing all spring, summer and fall.

  10. Daisy says:

    Anyone know about any dog swimming holes in the kanata area?

  11. mel_b says:

    I believe theres a place dogs can swim in shirleys bay off carling just before kanata. although im not entirely sure.

  12. John D says:

    Dogs are not allowed to go in the water in Stanley Park. Although many people do swim their dogs there the NCC officials do come through and will issue fines.

  13. Joe says:

    Ridalco (an Ottawa company) makes custom built stainless steel dog grooming tubs and they are great! Not quite the same as swimming, but very useful for cooling off or to clean up Rex after a day at the lake. (

  14. I’m so happy I found this site, and topic. I’ve been wondering about this for years and though I had heard Shirley’s Bay, at the boat launch, allowed it (or perhaps tolerated it) Lemieux Island is much closer to me.
    Great blog!

  15. rugby2009 says:

    I took my dog to Lemieux Island this passed Wednesday for a dip, when we discovered an underground wasps’s nest on the right side (East side) of the main inlet into the water. The nest is totally covered and not easily noticeable. Please use caution and take care.

  16. lilykins says:

    If you live in the Almonte area, the fair grounds and beach allow off leash dogs and swimming. I’ve taken my dogs there many times and as the water is shallow they’ve enjoyed both full out swimming or just a little dunk to cool off.

  17. chelseapie says:

    We often take our dog to the NCC path (bike path) in Aylmer (off Lucerne, a little west of Champlain Bridge). There are several spots off of the trail where she can splash around in the Ottawa River. I highly recommend it.

  18. Cameron says:

    Shirley’s bay is no longer a public area. In fact it never was, but the owners allowed public use. It’s now a private area and as I found out taking your dog there will have bylaw or the police called (in my case) for “trespassing”.

    After the policeman nicely explained it to me everything was fine, but the owners were very aggressive and the signs are very hard to see/find. Just a word of warning,

  19. Liz says:

    Thank you @Cameron for explaining about Shirley’s bay!

  20. Sugar says:

    There’s actually a court battle about Shirley’s Bay because it’s unclear if it’s actually private or public land. Police aren’t sure if they should be handing out tickets to people the residents are calling trespassers. Probably best to stay away if you don’t want a confrontation… But it could eventually prove to be public space. Keep an eye on the news I guess.

  21. Tamara says:

    can you tell me where abouts in Orleans? I would love to take my dog for a swim….
    Thank you

  22. Monica says:

    I too would be interested in where to bring my dog for a swim in Orleans/the East end …


  23. Melissa.G says:

    hi i’m in the corner of ottawa east(orleans) and i’m trying to find somewhere for a Chesapeake/lab mix to go swimming. i need it as fast as i can to help him lose weight(i adopted him and have to make him lose min 10 pounds to 30 max)

    plz help me :)

  24. George's Pal says:

    Hi, Also wondering about Orleans, I have heard that you can go to Petrie Island, BUT just before the beach area, and I know alot of paths, but i havent seen any area with large enough body of water for the dogs to play.
    Any suggestions would be great

  25. Dave says:

    Shirley’s bay, I don’t understand it either, is it a boat launch, a picnic area, or just a place that the homeless call home, anyways, there are signs saying dogs on leash going into the lot, and then when your in there it says no dogs, go figure..I was there last weekend and watched boat after boat come in and out, spilling oil and gas, leaving garbage, spinning tires..and they think the dogs are the problem, if the police come, I just go for a swim with my dog, once in the water, I’m no longer on private property.

  26. Murphy says:

    I bring my dog to the David Bartlett dog park, just off Prince of Wales. There is a spot there where dogs can swim in the water.

  27. Jason says:

    I am just wondering about the waters around Ottawa, most of them I wouldn’t dare swim in but are they safe for dogs? Mooney’s Bay for instance? Is E-Coli & any other bacteria in the water safer for dogs?

  28. Cam says:

    The entire Ottawa River is great for swimming provided there are no signs posted to indicate otherwise. The main issue is ensuring your dog is thoroughly bathed afterwards with a good non-lathering dog specific shampoo (human shampoo is not an appropriate pH and can cause skin problems) especially if there has been heavy rainfall recently, as this results in overflow of the sewage beds in the Pontiac and subsequent high coliform bacterial counts downstream. People may observe “hotspots” (skin infections), or urinary tract or eye infections if this water is not washed off properly (this includes your body as well!). I live west of Ottawa on the river and have been treating canine patients in the Ottawa Valley for 11 years, it’s a beautiful place but there are some protocols to follow to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time in the water!

  29. Tawnya says:

    Hi there I live in the Bridlewood Area of Kanata and I wanna take my dog swimming any suggestions of places that are in walking distance perhaps?

  30. kels says:

    Lemieux Island is wonderful. Off leash, swimming in river lots of trees.

  31. Clara says:

    Re: Revelstoke Beach, lots of people bring dogs there to swim but NCC has handed out tickets there recently. The dock closer to Hunt Club is owned by DND and the Military Police, and the trails between the beach and the dock is city land I believe. For NCC and city property, I think it’s two separate tickets: one for off-leash, one for swimming.

  32. Ann says:

    A lot of this information is severely outdated. We need an up-to-date site with a map that shows legal and dog friendly swimming places. The NCC seems to hate dogs and it’s hard to find a LOCAL place (I’m in the west end) where you can really exercise your dog. It’s ridiculous. I certainly don’t want to drive across the city every time I want to take my dog to swim.

  33. Cathy Neidy says:

    There is an area off the dirt road part of Earl Armstrong road between Bowsville and Albion right beside the bike trail. It looks like they are filling it in with dirt but there is still a large area for the dogs to swim. You have to park on Earl Armstrong (beside the bike path) and step over the fence, you can see a path there and it’s a bit squishy and rocky but my lab loved it.

  34. Fraser says:

    I just finished a call with city of Ottawa 311 and according to bylaw no dogs are allowed on any beach suitable for both human and dog. This is the same for NCC beaches and Gatineau Park according to their websites.

  35. Tasha says:

    In Orleans, there are two spots. 1st one is just off of Forest Valley Drive, there’s an off-leash dog area that has trails and ravines, I believe it is called Hertiage park. The water is primarily storm run off and it is clear water. There is mud in some areas but right where the culverts are the water is deep enough to throw a stick and clean off the mud before you go back to the car. 2nd spot is a word-of-mouth sorts in Convent Glen north behind Cairine Wilson school on the oval track, between the hours of 7am and 8ish. This is an off-the-record deal with the school so long as dogs are on their best behavior and their humans are too since it is private property. There is a creek nearby that is primarily clay/sediment that runs into the ottawa river, however, be warned there is plenty of poison ivy in the bushes and there’s a ditch surrounding the oval track that has some funky stagnant sludgy water.

    As for Stanley park in the New Edinburgh area, I wouldn’t recommend and it’s not a legit spot either for dog swimming. The surrounding grounds are covered up contaminated soil from the industrial era of ottawa, it’s actually on a list of major contaminated sites in Ottawa that include Lebreton flats slated for decontamination but the funds aren’t available. And although they say it’s safe to walk on, my dog has gone knee deep in the muck by the marsh with black sludgy oily dirt on his feet that took forever to wash off. Not to mention the number of bodies they pull out of the rideau each year, plus all the excess storm run off from the byward market and surrounding streets and parking lots. Some owners have reported medical problems with their dogs like diarhea and lethargy. My dog jumped in once, and he reeked. Also, since it is so close to the falls, the water levels can rise/fall a meter in a day which can cause a swift flowing current. A few dogs have drowned there over the years.

  36. Stéphane says:

    Has anyone taken their dog to Brewers Pond? Is it an official off leash dog park? Thanks!

  37. Peggy says:

    At the end of Revelstoke there is a field where dog owners have been taking their dogs for walks for years. Be aware that bylaw
    officers have been ticketing anyone that does not have their dogs on
    a lead, do not have poop bags with them or if they let the dogs swim,

    so if you see a bylaw van parked make sure that you do all the above.
    the fines have been hefty

  38. Nikhita says:

    Does anyone know any swimming areas for dogs in and around the Barrhaven/Nepean area? I live minutes away from the Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge and would like my 8 week old puppy to start experiencing water sometime in the near future..
    Thanks :)

  39. Elizabeth Roberts says:

    I have a new doggie client who was wondering where to take her 8 yr old 1/2 labe 1/2 bernese mountain dog for a swim. they’re in the gloucester area around montreal road. I know some people take their dogs down along the river, but where exactly? She’s new to Ottawa, just been here a couple of months. What about peitrie island, do they allow dog there at all? Any info would be much appreciated.

  40. Tasha says:

    Petrie Island is a big no-go for dogs and a designated conservation area. But Heritage Park is a designated off-leash park just off of Forest Valley drive in Orleans it is close enough to Gloucester/Montral Road area and there’s a clean stream there shallow enough to be safe but deep enough to provide a good soaking. You can find it on a map at it has a great forested trail to walk through.

  41. Rachel says:

    Hello everybody,
    Just wanted to let you know that Petrie island does not allow dogs anywhere on the island. That includes trails, beaches or on the main road.
    Thank you :)

  42. Elizabeth says:

    I have heard that Lemieux Island just 1km west of the War Museum is ok for swimming, hope this helps.

  43. Patti says:

    I take my dog to Brewer Park on Bronson across from Carleton University. It is a legitimate off-leash dog area and great for dogs that swim. When you enter into the park turn immediately right and drive around the baseball diamonds to the very end of the parking lot. The river is just beyond the parking lot. I have met nothing but friendly people and dogs there. I am in Kanata but the drive is worth it and my lab comes home happy, cooled off and tired. :)

  44. Elizabeth Roberts says:

    I have also heard that Lemieux Island is a good place to go.

  45. April Campbell says:

    Barnsdale Road and McLean Crescent in Manotick. Off leash park with a running stream near the entrance and other locations around the island park that dogs can access (but people can’t – too steep and too muddy!). Great park, well maintained. People and pets are well behaved and respectful. 5 minutes from Strandherd and Greenbank by car.

  46. Les says:

    Barnsdale Road and McLean Crescent in Manotick is pretty steep and muddy. I took my dog there once and didn’t even let him in the water because he’d come out covered in muck. Nice park for letting dogs off the leash though.
    For a major(?) city with hundreds of km of waterfront, it’s incredulous that Ottawa doesn’t officially provide even a few dozen meters of sandy riverbank for dog playtime in the water. Even if a dog does poop in the water it’s not like it will add anything to our sewage-infested rivers anyways.

  47. Melissa Rose says:

    I live around Preston and Carling…. I’ve been told of a pool that allows dogs before draining. Does anyone know where it is?

  48. Tasha says:

    I know the pool at Hampton park at Carling at the queens way used to do this. Check with Critter Jungle in the mall, they’ll be able to tell you more.

  49. Alex says:

    Alexander Park near Carling has recently allowed an hour after 5pm to let your dog swim in the pool (see article:

    It mentions Hampton Park having a pool for dogs as well but I can’t seem to find more information on this.

  50. Dan P says:

    Does Bruce Pit have a water area?

  51. Kristen and Stella says:

    I just heard today from someone who works for the federal government in research that heavy metal is in the soil and water of the Rideau river. I have heard many dogs becoming sick, some put down, after swimming in that water. my own dog, before I heard about this, became lethargic the day after swimming in the Rideau near Stanley park. stay away from there!!
    if you’re willing to drive, there is a reservoir behind the Aylmer spca that was a quarry. i’m going to check it out right now!

  52. Kirsten says:

    Does anyone know any other area in Beechwood/New Edinburgh for swimming?? Thanks!

  53. Tasha says:

    There are no “legal” swimming spots in New Edinburgh/beechwood area for dogs. Ppl often let their dogs swim in the Rideau at Stanley park but a) you could get fined if caught and b) it’s a nasty cesspool of everything that washes off the streets and parking lots, not to mention the historical pollution buried from the Industrial Age. Ottawa in general has little no swimming spots for dogs unless you buy a kiddie pool.

  54. Gail says:


    Did you get to the quarry at the Alymer SPCA? Is it a good place for pups to swim? Thanks

  55. Mellissa says:

    This website, it lists every single beach in Ottawa and area.

    It breaks it down into Wards, simply Control F and type the name of the beach you wanted to bring your dog to, then click the Ward hyperlink beside it.
    It then gives you a list and whether dogs are Allowed, Off-Leash, On-leash or Not Permitted.

    Best website to check for this :)

    Have a good summer!!!

  56. Isa Frongia says:

    Hi Patti fRom brewer park across Carleton university…
    I was so happy to read about this….
    I am from Montreal and would love love love to take them there tomorrow…
    Is it still accessible and pleasant?

  57. Isa Frongia says:

    Hi Patty from Brewer Park across Carlton Univ.
    Read yr article from July 2015. Excited. would love love love to take them there tomorrow. Is it still accessible this summer?

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