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Five places to cool off in Ottawa during this June heat wave


Ottawa's top doctor is urging people to avoid strenuous physical activity and stay hydrated, warning this week's hot and humid weather is "life-threatening,"

Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for Ottawa, calling for a "prolonged heat event" for most of the week. Daytime highs will be between 30 C and 34 C, with the humidex value above 40.

"I am asking people to adjust your daily routines to stay cool and well hydrated," Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa's medical officer of health, said. "Knock on the doors of neighbours who don't regularly have a cool environment to live in, see if they need some help to cope in the hot weather."

"Take care to keep hydrated when at events; we know this is a busy time of events. Reduce strenuous activity and watch for signs of heat related illness."

CTV News Ottawa looks at five places to cool off in Ottawa and Gatineau during the heat wave.


Lifeguards are on duty at three Ottawa beaches daily from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. this week.

Ottawa's beaches are:

  • Petrie Island Beach
  • Britannia Beach
  • Mooney's Bay Beach

The National Capital Commission's beaches in Gatineau Park and at Leamy Lake are open. Lifeguards are on duty at Gatineau Park beaches from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Leamy Lake.

The Gatineau Park beaches are:

  • La Peche Lake
  • Leamy Lake
  • Blanchet Beach at Meech Lake
  • O'Brien Beach at Meech Lake
  • Breton Beach at Philippe Lake
  • Parent Beach at Philippe Lake


Lifeguards will be on duty at beaches in Gatineau until 8 p.m. this week

  • Parc des Cedres
  • Parc du Lac-Beauchamp
  • Parc Moussette

Swimming pools/splash pads

For a list of swimming pools and splash pads open in Ottawa, click here.

Extended swimming hours

The City of Ottawa has announced the hours of operation will be extended at the following pools on Wednesday and Thursday, weather permitting:

The City of Gatineau has announced extended swimming hours at community pools. For a list of swimming pools and splash pads, click here.

NCC River House

You can cool off at the NCC River House along the Ottawa River.

The River House is located along the Sir George-Etienne Cartier Parkway.

Lifeguards are on duty daily between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Capacity is limited to 125 swimmers at a time on a first-come, first-served basis.

Ottawa cooling centres

The City of Ottawa says you can cool off at Ottawa Public Library branches and at community centres.

Visit the city's website for a list of locations and hours of service.


Parks and multi-purpose trails are open across Ottawa and Gatineau.  Ottawa Public Health recommends cooling off in the shade or at a park or greenspace. 

Gatineau Park is also open for visitors.

Tips to beat the heat

Ottawa Public Health offers the following tips to stay cool:

  • Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  • Avoid heavy outdoor activity.
  • Wear a hat, light and loose-fitting clothing, sunscreen, and sunglasses when outside.
  • Bring a parasol or an umbrella and water when leaving home in case you need to wait outdoors in the heat, such as waiting in a lineup.
  • Cool off in an air-conditioned space when available including malls, museums, libraries, and movie theatres.
  • Cool off in the shade or at a park or green space.
  • Use a fan and mist your skin with water.
  • Take cool baths and showers as often as needed or soak hands or feet in cool water.
  • Keep your home cool by closing blinds and curtains on any windows facing the sun.
  • Open windows at night once the outdoor air is cooler than the indoor air; close windows in the morning before hotter air comes in.
  • Use fans at night to help exhaust warm indoor air and/or bring in cool outdoor air. Top Stories

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