It’s getting hotter by the day, Toronto! One great way to cool off this summer is at one of the many nearby swimming holes in Ontario. Some of these natural destinations are just a short drive from the city, but all of them are well worth the trip. They provide the perfect escape from city living with gorgeous scenery and water to match. Any one of these options make for a great day (or longer) trip, so pick one and hit the road!

Here are 9 swimming holes in Ontario to make a splash this summer.

Editor’s Note: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, please travel with caution and adhere to all provincial and regional health guidelines. Check these spots beforehand to ensure they are open to the public and stay safe!

ELORA QUARRY

 

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This special spot is a staple Ontario swimming hole. And the heart-shaped lake has made an appearance in countless Instagram posts. With only about a 1.5-hour drive from the city, you’ll be met with clear blue waters and gorgeous surrounding cliffs.

Where: 319 Wellington County Rd 18, Elora

TROUT LAKE QUARRY

 

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This Ontario swimming hole is famous for its underground waterpark. Made up of sunken ships, school buses, and planes, there’s plenty to explore with a dive here. You can spend the day or book a campsite and make a whole weekend of it.

Where: 51 George St, Innerkip

THE BRUCE PENINSULA

With water this clear, who needs the city? The Bruce Peninsula is famous for its gorgeous, glistening lake and beautiful hiking trails. Plan a trip to explore the area and marvel at the amazing views from the Lion’s Head Lookout.

Where: Bruce Trail, Tobermory

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ST MARY’S QUARRY

 

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As Canada’s largest outdoor freshwater swimming pool, St Mary’s Quarry is a must visit. The place offers great outdoor vibes at their deep water pool – you’ll literally be swimming with the fishes! If you’d rather float on top instead of interacting with the wild life, you can use one of the spot’s inflatable rafts. They’ve even got cliff jumping if you’re the adventurous type.

Where: 425 Water St S, St Marys

ALGONQUIN HIGH FALLS

Speaking of adventures, this next spot offers a thrilling natural water slide. The outdoor attraction will have you gliding down a rocky slide into the swimming hole of the Barren River. It’s great for an outdoor adventure or day trip. Plus, the location has loads of hiking trails, canoeing opportunities, and campsites in case you want to extend your stay. Before you go, just know that this one is a lot more of a hike from Toronto than others on this list.

Where: Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario 60, Ontario

TOPAZ LAKE

 

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This next pick is a hidden gem but sits about 4 hours north of Toronto. You’ll find it when you hike the 22.7 kilometre path that is La Cloche Silhouette Trail. Once you’re there you can splash the day away in the beautiful blue waters.

Where: 960 ON-637, Killarney

BRONTE CREEK

This 1.8 acre pool was designed specifically to look like a mini lake. Sure, it’s not the most natural of the swimming holes on our list, but it’s still worth the visit. The swimming spot has a gradual entry to really give you that beach feel. Plus, it’s less than a one hour drive from the city!

Where: 1219 Burloak Dr, Oakville

BATHTUB ISLAND

This spot makes our list purely because of its fun name. The natural bathtub is located in Katherine Cove and provides breathtaking waters that are yours to discover. Take a dip any day this summer to enjoy the cool water, surround rock beds, and gorgeous views.

Where: Trans-Canada Hwy, Algoma, Unorganized, North Part, ON

BALSAM LAKE

Last but not least, we’ve got Balsam Lake. This nearby beach offers much more than just swimming. Although that activity is killer here too. They’ve also got canoeing and fishing available in the water. Plus, loads of trails for biking or hiking. Is there anything more you could ask for?

Where: 2238 Kawartha Lakes County Rd 48, Kirkfield

Whether you plan on spending a day or a whole weekend, these Ontario swimming holes are definitely worth the trip. Let us know which you head to first!