Swimming holes are one of the best aspects of summer, though when I talk about swimming holes in Canada, I’m not talking about the local community pools your family would drag you to for family-fun days. Being the beautiful country that it is, Canada is filled with amazing and natural quarries and lakes — and some of the best are hidden in Ontario.
With the weather still warm, now is the perfect time to take advantage of the hidden, water-filled gems that we have in the province. If you don't know which place to visit first, then fear not: because we’ve compiled a list of Ontario swimming holes so good that you will want to add them all to your bucket list.
Content disclaimer: We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit a potentially hazardous location, you check for the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. The locations listed below may or may not have changed their regulations in regards to what you can or cannot do on site since the article was last updated. Always consult with local authorities. If you do plan to visit a location, know the risks beforehand and respect the environment.
Darlington Provincial Park
Darlington Provincial Park offers stunning beach access to Lake Ontario as well as — you guessed it — a great location for camping. The water from McLaughlin Bay and Second Marsh create one of the largest coastal wetland areas on Lake Ontario.
Topaz Lake is located in Killarney, just a few hours away from Toronto. One of the many treasures of the province, you can only get to the lake after an 11-kilometre hike — but you bet your bottom it's worth the trek.
You may be surprised to learn that Hamilton is the waterfall capital of the world, but it shouldn't come as a surprise to the locals. While there are many swimming holes to explore in the #Hammer, perhaps the best-hidden secret is at Princess Falls.
The cozy cottage lifestyle at Wolf Lake is what makes this place so perfect. Also known as Paradise Lagoon, their hiking trails lead you to a peaceful swimming hole.
Bruce Peninsula National Park
Okay, so this place isn't that hidden, but the grotto at Bruce Peninsula National Park has water so blue that you'll feel as though you’re reliving the Mamma Mia franchise.
I’m not going to say it’s the best swimming area in Ontario, but I am going to say it’s pretty close. This tree-covered park is circled by amazing cliffs and has a bunch of places for people to picnic and enjoy nature.
Windy Lake Provincial Park
With fantastic beaches and water, the Windy Lake Provincial Park will make you never want to leave.
Be still fans of The Notebook, because one of your favourite film fantasies can be fulfilled at Decew Falls. And by that, we mean the “swinging by a vine” into the water scene, not the whole star-crossed soulmates bit.
Located in the City of Kawartha Lakes region in central Ontario, Balsam Lake is a beautiful and relaxing getaway from the routine of everyday life.
Bridal Veil Falls
A waterfall near the town of Kagawong on Lake Huron’s Manitoulin Island, the Bridal Veil Fall is approximately 35 feet high.
St. Mary's Quarry
This swimming hole is Canada’s largest outdoor freshwater swimming pool —so you better go and check this place out! And if the water doesn't impress you, there's also beach volleyball, cliff jumping, a water trampoline, and stand up paddleboarding.