Can I Swim in a Pool During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

UBC professor turned TikTok star debunks 6 COVID-19 myths - Vancouver Is  Awesome

Is it safe to swim in a pool during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic? Will the coronavirus spread in the swimming pool? These are questions that may be swimming through our minds as we worry about the potential banning of our favourite cool-down activity during the sizzling days of the summer season.

The short answers are, yes, you are safe from the coronavirus in public swimming pools, and, no, there is no evidence that coronavirus spreads in swimming pool water. The chlorine in swimming pools acts as an effective disinfectant, and mere exposure to water should weaken the virus, as any virus in water is diluted. So it is unlikely that you would be exposed to an appreciable concentration of the coronavirus in the pool, even if you were to swallow an appreciable amount of pool water.

However, there are COVID-19 swimming pool safety measures that can lower “low risk” to virtually “no risk”:

  • Keep at least a 6-foot distance away from people that are not in your immediate household—the way you would outside of the water
  • Try to go to outdoor swimming pools more often as they have better ventilation than indoor swimming pools
  • Try to avoid indoor areas in general, such as locker rooms and bathrooms, by changing into your swimwear and taking showers at home
  • Bring your own pool accessories (goggles, floaties etc.) or sanitation wipes to clean borrowed ones
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before and after eating, drinking, or touching things
  • Hand sanitizers might not be as effective on greasy skin, so be sure to wipe off your sunscreen before using hand sanitizer and then reapply the sunscreen when your hands are dry

Despite already being vaccinated, there are still people that remain unvaccinated, so everyone should practice these safety precautions. The most important things to remember are physical distancing and keeping clean. If you follow these guidelines, you should be able to participate in your session at the swimming pool, COVID-19-free and fun-filled!

Best Swimming Pools in Toronto for 2021

The month of June is already knocking on the door and with it comes the most exciting season of the year: summer. Toronto has several activities you can do during this season and visiting the city’s swimming pools remains a staple. The location and type of pool are important elements to consider when making the decision to enjoy a poolside weekend with friends and family. We have gathered below the best swimming pools in Toronto, including the best rooftop pools, public pools, and hotel pools in the city. Check it out!

NOTE: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the locations may have reduced hours and days of operation. 

Public Swimming Pools: 

Pam McConnell Aquatic Center 

Pam McConnell Aquatic Centre - City of Toronto

Formerly known as the Regent Park Aquatic Center, the site has three indoor pools, a water slide, and space with therapeutic warm water. As it is a large site, this swimming pool is a great choice when your plans include a large number of people. The location is 640 Dundas St. East. 

Alex Duff Memorial Pool 

Alex Duff Memorial Pool - City of Toronto

With a 25m Olympic-size swimming pool and space for children, the Alex Duff Memorial Pool is located in Christie Pits Park at 779 Crawford St. West. In addition to being in one of Toronto’s most central parks, the pool also has a waterslide and an access ramp for those who need it. 

High Park Pool 

High Park - City of Toronto

Located at 1873 Bloor St. West, the High Park outdoor pool offers a unique space to enjoy the summer. Along with a 50m swimming pool, the place has a family change room and wheelchair access into the pool. High Park stands out for its beautiful landscape and the interactive amenities that surround the pool. It’s definitely worth checking out! 

Hotel Pools: 

The Sheraton Center Hotel

SHERATON FITNESS & POOL - Swimming Pools - 123 Queen Street W, Toronto, ON  - Phone Number

The Sheraton Center Hotel has the largest indoor-outdoor pool in downtown Toronto. Although the hotel is private, access to the pool is available for the general public to enjoy it in comfort and safety. The Sheraton hotel swimming pool is located at 123 Queen St. West and prices vary according to your preference of days and times established at the time of purchase. All pricing and availability information for the use of the swimming pool can be found at this link

Cabana Pool Bar 

Retractable Canopies at Cabana Pool Bar | ShadeFX Canopies | Canopy  outdoor, Backyard canopy, Pool houses

With an amazing view of the waterfront, this hotel swimming pool stands out for having unique pools built along Lake Ontario. The Cabana Pool Bar also offers access to drinks and good food which results in a unique experience for those looking for luxury, comfort, and fun. It’s located at 11 Polson St. along the Polson Pier. 

Rooftop Pools:

Thompson Hotel Rooftop 

Thompson Hotel Toronto — Accel Construction Management Inc.

This charming hotel, located at 550 Wellington St. West, boasts breathtaking 360-degree views over Lake Ontario and a rooftop pool that’s ranked as the best in Canada. The rooftop swimming pool’s panoramic skyline views might make it stand out when you’re choosing from the best swimming pools in Toronto. The Thompson Hotel also hosts pool parties from time to time.

Fun Swimming Pool Activities & Games for Kids

Party kid png 2 » PNG Image

The weather is starting to warm up and the backyard pool season is just beginning. Although intermittent COVID-19 stay-at-home orders may restrict your usual summertime plans, days spent around the pool are sure to provide you all the fun and relaxation you need. There are so many fun things to do in the pool to keep kids (and kids at heart) occupied all summer long! Check out this list of swimming activities for kids for some inspiration.

1. Marco Polo

This one’s a summertime classic and a staple swimming game for kids! The rules are simple: one swimmer keeps their eyes closed throughout the game and calls out “Marco” periodically. The other children must respond with “Polo” to reveal their location. The objective is for “Marco” to tag one of the other swimmers, at which point the roles will be swapped. A fun additional rule you may want to add is that the other swimmers are allowed to get out of the pool to move to another location; however, if “Marco” suspects that someone is out of the pool and shouts “Fish out of water!”, that player is automatically caught.

2. Sharks and Minnows

In this game, one player is a “shark” while the other players are “minnows”. The shark starts the game in the middle of the pool, with the minnows gathered on one end of the pool. When the shark yells “Shark attack!”, the minnows must swim to the other end of the pool without being tagged by the shark. Every minnow who is tagged becomes a shark, making the game increasingly difficult for the leftover minnows. The last minnow standing gets to become the first shark in the next game.

3. Basketball or Volleyball

These team games are even more fun in a swimming pool! All you’ll need is a net or a hoop and a volleyball or basketball to transform your backyard oasis into a court. You can divide into teams and play a competitive game, or just relax and pass the ball back and forth. Basketball and volleyball are great swimming pool activities for kids and adults alike.

4. Noodle Joust

In this game, two children are placed on pool floaties. Using swimming pool noodles, the children try to unbalance and overturn the other’s floatie until one falls in the water and the other is named the victor!

5. Scavenger Dive

Using coins, diving sticks, or anything else that sinks, have the kids jump into the pool and try to collect as many items from the bottom of the pool as they can. The swimmer with the most items wins!

6. Fruit Basket

One player stands on the edge of the pool facing away from the water with their eyes closed. The other swimmers are in the water touching the edge of the pool; these swimmers must secretly choose a name of a fruit. The player standing outside of the pool calls out names of fruit. Once they call out the fruit a swimmer has chosen, that swimmer must try to get to the other end of the pool without being tagged. The player who is “It” cannot see whether the swimmers are swimming and can only turn around if they think they hear someone swimming. They can then jump in and try to catch them! The round continues until someone is caught. Categories can be switched up from fruit to colours, animals, and anything else they think of!

Interesting Facts about Swimming Pools in Canada

Borden Natural Swimming Pool :: City of Edmonton
Image: Borden Natural Swimming Pool (City of Edmonton)

With the weather warming up, it seems like summer is right around the corner. It’s time to start thinking about opening up your backyard pool, grabbing your sunscreen, and enjoying some relaxing days in the water. In case you haven’t started planning that far ahead, this compilation of interesting swimming pool facts is sure to get you in a staycation state of mind.

  • The first heated swimming pool was built in 1st century Rome by Gaius Maecenas. Maecenas is best known as the patron of the famous poet Virgil and the political advisor to the Roman Emperor, Caesar Augustus. The pool was heated through a furnace-based central-heating system and was surrounded by lush gardens, villas, waterfalls, and other luxuries. 
  • The most expensive pool ever built is the swimming pool at the City of Stars Sharm El Sheik Resort in Egypt. At 23.83 acres, the City of Stars pool also measures to be the largest pool in the world. It’s filled with saltwater from nearby underground wells and is big enough for swimmers and sailboats to occupy it. With natural landscaping and sand surrounding the pool, it truly is a paradise.
  • The first natural pool in Canada opened in 2018 in North Edmonton. The Borden Natural Swimming Pool cost $14.4 million to build and became the first chemical-free outdoor pool in Canada. An interesting fact about the pool’s water is that it does not use any chlorine or salt; instead, it fully relies on plankton, aquatic plants, gravel, and sand for cleaning.
  • The Queen Elizabeth Pool, built in Edmonton in 1922, is the oldest swimming pool in Western Canada. After undergoing extensive renovations in 2011, the pool remains open today for public use.
  • Statistics show that the swimming pool industry took off in the 1950s. Although luxury hotels in Canada began to install indoor swimming pools for the enjoyment of guests in the 1920s, the Canadian pool industry gained traction when the demand for privately owned backyard pools in Canada grew in the 1950s.
  • A backyard inground pool can add about 8 percent to a home’s real estate value. Statistics show that a swimming pool can add a six-figure increase to a home’s resale value. This is especially true if the home is higher priced and in a neighbourhood with a large number of inground pools.
  • Swimming is the most popular organized sport for children in Canada. Over 1.1 million children are enrolled in swimming programs at local pools yearly. This is largely due to the valuable safety training and life skills gained from swimming lessons and the low cost.
  • Kitsilano Pool in Vancouver was opened in 1931 and remains the longest outdoor swimming pool in Canada and North America. Because it’s built ocean-side, the amazing view of the water makes it a perfect swimming pool destination. It even offers a shallow section for children, a deep end for casual swimmers, and roped-off lanes for swimming laps.
  • Quebec has more swimming pools per capita than almost anywhere in North America. Swimming pool statistics in Canada show that Quebec accounts for over 40 percent of pool installations nationwide. For reference, with one in every 26 houses equipped with a backyard pool and about one pool for every 15,000 residents, Quebec boasts more pools per capita than California.
  • Swimming has a multitude of health benefits! The Canadian Red Cross states in their brochure, “Facts and Figures Canada”, that swimming pools can provide restorative and healing environments. Besides being a good outlet for exercise, swimming engages every muscle group and can help develop good posture, alleviate stress, and even provide low-impact therapy for some injuries or health conditions.