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The Most Beautiful Beaches in Ottawa to Visit This Weekend

The Most Beautiful Beaches in Ottawa to Visit This Weekend

As the seventh coldest capital in the world, Ottawa seems like the most unlikely place to enjoy sunny and sandy getaways. However, the city’s river network offers plenty of spots that get you as close to a beach paradise as possible. 

Most of the best beaches in Ottawa are riverside parks and conservation areas, so you’ll encounter lots of wildlife, hiking trails, playgrounds, and beachside activities like kayaking, sailing, canoeing, and more. 

If a change of scenery is what you’re after, here are the best beaches and parks to visit in Ottawa!

Petrie Island Beach

Address: 795 Tweddle Rd, Ottawa, ON K4A 3P4, Canada

Contact Details: +16135802595 

Operating Hours: Monday to Thursday, 10:30 am to 9:00 pm


Every Ottawan knows Petrie Island as a summer spot for people looking to escape the city and dig their feet into the sand. Aside from the lush hiking and picnic grounds on the island, there are also two beaches to look out for: River and East Bay Beach. 

Both beaches are open to the public and are operated by the City of Ottawa. Lifeguards are on duty every summer from 12 noon to 7:00 pm every day. 

There’s a ton of shade thanks to the trees surrounding the picnic areas, as well as plenty of calm water space for kayaking, paddleboarding, and canoeing. Just make sure to clean up after yourself if you plan on picnicking on the sand! 

Tip: There are no changing areas on the beaches of Petrie Island, so make sure to come in swimming attire before heading down to the shore. There are, however, public restrooms available from opening until closing. 

Britannia Park and Beach

From ottawa.playgrounds

Address: 2805 Carling Ave, Ottawa, ON K2B 8K6, Canada

Contact Details: +16135802595

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday, 5:00 am to 10:00 pm

For a more low-key and quiet beach getaway, head over to Britannia Park and Beach, located just south of the Britannia Yacht Club. The beach’s location sits off the west of Ottawa’s city center but isn’t super remote and isn’t too far away from civilization. 

Britannia Park and Beach first opened in 1900 after Ottawans in the then-rural town of Britannia wanted a waterfront recreational space. There used to be a pier and carousel, but yachts and sailboats now line the coast. 

There are fewer restaurants and amenities on this beach, but you can still get your snack fix from a nearby ice cream parlour, breweries, and cafes. If you’re looking for activities, the beach has a volleyball net and paddle boards available for rent! 

Tip: There’s free parking by the beach as well as washrooms and a dog park. If you prefer to host a picnic, there are barbecue pits nearby where you can grill meat and skewers for your friends and family!

Mooney’s Bay Beach

From ottawadragonboatfestival

Address: 2960 Riverside Dr., Ottawa, ON K1V 8N4, Canada

Contact Details: +16135802595

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday, 5:00 am to 11:00 pm

Mooney’s Bay Beach sits right by the famed Rideau River, so if you’re saving a day just to explore riverside attractions or bask in riverside views, this beach is one great spot to check out. It’s usually crowded on weekends, but weekday mornings are quieter. 

There are a lot of attractions here to keep you and your family occupied for a few hours. There are playgrounds for children, a grassy hill, jogging paths, sand pits, pirate ship rides, a beach volleyball court, and a bar area that often plays live music. 

The beach’s main highlight, however, is the Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival that happens every June. Locals and tourists flock to Mooney’s Bay Beach to watch this exhilarating event, so if you’re in the city around June, make sure to pay a visit. 

There are barbecue pits available around the beach, but you have to bring your own charcoal to use. 

There are lots of picnic tables and grassy areas for lounging and dining, but make sure to leave the seagulls and birds alone. Don’t try to feed them or else they won’t leave you and your picnic food alone!

Fitzroy Provincial Park and Beach

Address: 245 Kedey St, Fitzroy Harbour, ON K0A 1X0, Canada

Distance from OT: 45 minutes

Contact Details: +16136235159

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday, 5:00 am to 11:00 pm


Nestled in the heart of the Ottawa Valley along the Ottawa River, Fitzroy Provincial Park offers a tranquil retreat less than an hour from the city centre. 

The park offers two beaches: one in the day-use area with amenities like restrooms, picnic spots, and rentals, and another in Two Rivers Campground ideal for families with young children. Both beaches are unsupervised, and no dogs are permitted.

A few other notable spots on the beach are tiny islands sitting off the coast of the main beach area (you can paddleboard towards them!), a 100-year-old pine forest, and lots of barbecue pits. 

Entrance to the beach isn’t free for visitors. If you’re bringing a car, you’ll be charged starting at $12.25. Rates rise to $15 plus tax on summer days if you plan on staying for a full day! 

You’ll need to get these car permits at least five days in advance to secure your spot within the park grounds. 

While most facilities and amenities are open year-round, some areas may be closed due to inclement weather. 

Remic Rapids Park

Address: Kichi Zībī Mīkan, Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9, Canada

Contact Details: +16132395000

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday, 5:00 am to 11:00 pm

Remic Rapids Park is not like most beaches in Ottawa due to its lack of a sandy coast. Despite that, this riverside park offers a plethora of sightseeing spots, most notably the balanced rock sculptures by artist John Felice Ceprano. 

The park sits on the banks of the Ottawa River and has a long history as a thriving trading post for Indigenous peoples. Aside from the rock sculptures, Remic Rapids Park also serves as a significant spot for migratory birds. 

There’s a bistro, a restored area for wildlife, hiking paths, and vantage points to watch the sun go down. The place isn’t super crowded, but it’s a quiet spot to get some alone time if you’re walking along the river.  

There’s a free parking lot near the Remic Rapids Park that’s open from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm. The parking lot has a two-hour limit per vehicle, however. 

A lot of birds and geese flock to the park year-round, so be mindful of where you’re going and where you leave your trash. Don’t try feeding them, either! 

You can dip your feet in the water when the tides are low, but it’s best to stay dry and not swim. The water here is very shallow! 

Shirleys Bay Park

From ctvottawa

Address: Shirley Blvd, Ottawa, ON K2K 2Z2, Canada

Contact Details: +16132395000

Operating Hours: Open 24/7


Another low-key beach spot in Ottawa is Shirleys Bay Park, a rocky beach and port for sailboats. The park is globally renowned as a conservation area along the Ottawa River and is a prime spot to find arctic and boreal birds (over 270 of them!). 

During the summer, Shirleys Bay Park serves as a prime spot for scenic bike rides, canoeing, kayaking, sailing and fishing. However, the park turns into a hotspot during the winter as the area turns into a cross-country skiing and snowshoeing destination. 

Several natural trails take you through Shirleys By through the park’s Shoreline Trail. You’ll encounter Canadian beavers, an apple orchard, and scenic views of Gatineau Hill along the way!

Dogs and pets are allowed within the Shirleys Bay Park premises, except during the winter and along the Shoreline Trail. All pets must be leashed! 

Shirleys Bay Park has both sheltered and unsheltered picnic areas near the parking lots, so you can bring your snacks or picnic food with you to the park. 

Leamy Lake Park

Address: Leamy Lake Pkwy, Gatineau, Quebec J8X 3P5, Canada

Distance From Ottawa: 12 minutes

Contact Details: +16132395000

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday, 8:00 am to 10:00 pm


Located in Gatineau, Leamy Lake Park and Beach are just a 10-minute drive from Downtown Ottawa!

Covering 174 hectares, Leamy Lake Park offers a plethora of amenities including a children’s playground, barbecue pits, hiking and biking trails, two volleyball courts, and a supervised beach area. 

Lifeguards are present for visitors wishing to swim in Leamy Lake’s open waters. If you’re not keen on water activities, you can also go birdwatching and catch sight of over 180 species of birds like the Northern cardinal, cedar waxwing, and woodpecker. 

Leamy Lake Park’s waters are open for swimming during the summer months, which usually lasts between June to September. 

The park offers free parking for visitors coming outside of the swimming season, but the park and beach will be closed during winter. 

Westboro Beach

Address: Ottawa, ON, Canada

Westboro Beach is one of the more popular beaches in Ottawa and is currently under renovation. The beach’s rehabilitation project started in 2017 and promises a new 9-kilometre-long riverside park. 

Before construction works started, Westboro Beach was open all year and featured bike-friendly paths, a beach cafe and bar, paddleboard rentals, and lots of spots for sunbathing. 

Sometimes, the Westboro Beach Cafe hosts live music events where musicians and artists play music for visitors coming to enjoy the sandy beach. The waters are fairly calm every summer, making it completely safe for children to swim in!

Tip: The rehabilitation project’s final design removed the existing parking lots. There are currently bike racks near the coast since a portion of the beach is still open to the public amidst construction. 

Constance Bay Beach 

From constancebaypaddle

Address: Lane St, Ottawa, ON K0A 3M0, Canada

Constance Bay Beach sits on the western side of Ottawa and is a prime spot for locals and tourists to unwind next to clear waters. The beach is also horse-friendly, so you can take your horse out for a ride here (a uniquely Ottawan thing to do, in our opinion). 

For more water-centric activities, kayak and paddleboard rentals are also available here, as well as sailing, boating, and fishing areas. There’s a beach shop selling snacks and drinks if you’re feeling parched too!

The water here is pretty shallow and remains calm throughout the year, so you can definitely bring your pets and children out for a swim. Parking is free and there are several picnic spots on the ground if you want to relax too. 

Constance Bay Beach has shallow waters, and there are lots of mussels scattered around. Tread carefully with your pets and children, as the sharp edges of these mussels can hurt their feet! 

It might also help to bring an outdoor umbrella with you since there are little shaded areas around the beach.