quarries swimming toronto

The top 5 quarries and swimming holes near Toronto

The top quarries and swimming holes near Toronto offer the ultimate summer cool-down experience. A day at the beach is great, but the novelty of swimming in a massive human-made pit is worth shaking up the routine once in a while, and it's perhaps even more interesting when a swimming hole has been carved out by nature.

Here are my picks for the top quarries and swimming holes near Toronto.

Elora Quarry

Elora is about an hour's drive away, from Toronto making it a very busy place come summertime. The scenery is remarkable here, as the landscape appears both natural and artificial all at once. A beach area has been carved out on the south side of the quarry, though there are also rocks you can swim out to for the purposes of sunbathing.

St. Mary's Quarry

This former limestone quarry is considered Canada's largest freshwater swimming pool. There's a grassy area that serves as a beach, but the floating dock also sees lots of action as swimmers head there to take a plunge off the waterslide into the cool dark waters. There's also a nearby snack bar known as the Tiki Hut.

Grotto at Bruce Peninsula

Surely the most gorgeous place to swim in Ontario (if not the country), this grotto at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula requires a short hike to access, but it's completely worth the effort. Once there, you can swim in the wonderfully blue water enclosed by rock faces that have formed through thousands of years of erosion. Note well, the water is cold!

Innerkip Quarry / Trout Lake

A great place to get your feet wet scuba diving, the former Innerkip Quarry has been stocked with a series of sunken wrecks to explore in its 30 foot deep waters. It's also a nice place to go for a swim on a sweltering day when you want to get out of the city.

Kelso Conservation Area

Kelso Lake is a human-made reservoir that helps to control flooding of the nearby Sixteen Mile Creek. It's also a popular place to swim as its relatively small size leads to warm water temperatures throughout the season. There's a sandy beach and picnic areas on one end of the lake, which is also a destination for Stand Up Paddling thanks to calm waters.

Lead photo by

Bobcatnorth. With files from Derek Flack.


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