By Adam Slight
Just a month ago I was predicting a frosty summer, and expected we’d be sun-bathing in our cars at this time. The climate proved me wrong in a big way this week (not that I’m complaining!) While it wasn’t long ago that we were begging for this heat, I know that anyone who lacks an air conditioner at home is now desperate for ways to cool off. What better way to chill than to dip into some nice cool water.
Here are 5 ways to get wet (and beat the heat) in Ottawa.
When I was a kid I would beg my parents to take me to the Kanata Wave Pool in the summer. I was an avid swimmer, so the giant waves would captivate my imagination and make me feel like I was the sole survivor of a shipwreck, swept off to sea. I would battle the massive waves and let the current wash me out to the deep end. Then I would climb to shore and realize that my shorts had been tugged off in the undertow. And all the kids would laugh.
And I’d cry.
The beach is usually the first body of water one would consider to cool off at, and Ottawa has a number of nice beaches. My favourite is Mooney’s Bay beach, which is probably Ottawa’s most centrally located beach, just of off Hogs Back. Be sure to check the health advisory before you go, just in case the City of Ottawa has decided to dump a million gallons of raw sewage into our water, and to make sure there aren’t any traces of Nuclear waste either. Also be sure to wear sunscreen, as it is easy to get a sun burn after you’ve had a beer or three (who said anything about beer? I did.)
The Ottawa area has recently been blessed with this world-class water park. The lines may be huge, but the waterslides are insane. If you don’t mind driving about an hour east of the city with some friends on a Saturday, then this is a prime location for a fun day of beating the heat and beating up the person in front of you in line.
If Calypso is a bit too intense, busy, and expensive for your blood, then you might want to check out Logos Land, which is about an hour west of Ottawa. This park is distinguished by its “life-sized” Noah’s Ark located at its gates. The park features water slides, paddle boats, mini-putt and a giant water trampoline on the lake. This is a very family-friendly spot if you’re up for a road trip, but really, who couldn’t have fun with water slides and trampolines.
Ottawa has a number of city-run public pools that are often overlooked in the summer (I really don’t know anyone who has attended these pools other than myself.) I used to attend one in the Merivale/Meadowlands area that charged something like a dollar for admittance. The pools are big, feature some awesome diving boards, lots of shade, and picnic tables to eat at. I visited one of these pools after a long day pulling a rickshaw. I took my shirt off to get in the pool revealing a very dramatic farmer’s tan. Then a bunch of 11 year olds shouted to me from across the pool, “NICE SHIRT!”
And I cried.
In the comments below, share some of your favourite water-related summer spots with us! What did we miss?
+1 for Logos Land! Giant trampoline for 20 minutes followed by a round of mini putt, repeat as many times as possible.