Toronto’s Top Outdoor Pools

by Karen Kwan

During a Toronto summer you’ll find none of that nice dry heat; it’s all hot and humid in Hogtown. So where to take a refreshing swim if public pools and Lake Ontario aren’t your thing? While there are plenty of hotel pools in the city, you often have to be a guest to get access to them. Here’s a handy guide to the top private outdoor pools in Toronto you can get access to.

Credit: Cabana Pool Bar

Credit: Cabana Pool Bar

Cabana Pool Bar
11 Polson Street
Hours: Tues–Thurs 11 a.m.–9 p.m.;  Fri–Sun 11 a.m. –11 p.m.
Cost: $20 admission + $10 for pool access ($20 for pool access on Sundays)

Follow the crowd of ladies in high heels (and put some thought into your outfit, too — everyone dresses to impress here) to find your way to the ongoing daytime party that takes place at Cabana Pool Bar. House music is pumped out over the speakers, while the staff (dressed in all white) serve up drinks (try the signature maple syrup-sweetened Tojito) and grub by Oliver & Bonacini (dig into the juicy burger if you’re not watching your bikini bod).

Credit: Karen Kwan

Credit: Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel

Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel
123 Queen Street West
Hours: Mon–Sun 7 a.m.–10 p.m.

Cost: $35/day pass (passes not available on long weekends)

At this hotel located just west of the Eaton Centre, you’ll find a mix of adults and kids at the pool, the largest indoor-outdoor heated pool in Toronto. The pool is surrounded by some pretty green trees and shrubs, so you can easily forget you’re in the downtown core. Two lanes are roped off for lane swimming if laps are what you have in mind. Should your muscles need a good hot soak, come here for the hot tub.

Credit: Toronto Don Valley Hotel

Credit: Toronto Don Valley Hotel

Toronto Don Valley Hotel
175 Wynford Drive
Hours: Mon–Fri  6 a.m.–11 p.m.;  Sat–Sun 7 a.m.–10 p.m.
Cost: $15/day pass

This modest pool is frequented by hotel guests and fitness centre members alike, but you can usually easily find a lounger to soak up some sun. Should it start to rain, simply head inside to the indoor pool, which offers the feeling of being outdoors thanks to the skylight overhead. While the hotel is currently awaiting a license to serve food and drink by the pool, you can easily fulfill your cravings at the patio beside the pool (I recommend the shrimp tacos — the sauce has a pleasantly spicy kick).

Credit: Radisson Hotel Admiral

Credit: Radisson Hotel Admiral

Radisson Hotel Admiral
249 Queen’s Quay West
Hours: Mon–Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m.

Cost: $30/day pass Mon-Thurs; $40/day pass Fri-Sun and holidays

With views of Lake Ontario, you can almost convince yourself you’re ocean-side when chilling out at the Radisson’s pool. Most of the crowd is content to soak up the sunshine on the chaise longues poolside, while a handful of adults and children splash about in the pool. (Psst, we hear private cabanas and bottle service may be introduced in 2014). Order up some tasty thin-crust pizza, refreshing mojitos and sweet potato fries when your stomach starts to grumble.