CUTEST PUBLIC POOLS IN THE CITY
August 3, 2022
March 30, 2023
We ranked the cutest public pools in the city based on a few essential queer criteria for optimal splish splash enjoyment.
Ranked from our personal preference and experience, these are the cutest public pools to go swimming in Toronto.
We based this list on pool size. depth, capactiy, location, people watching quality, and poolside vibes.
Gus Ryder Pool - AKA Sunnyside
1755 Lakeshore Blvd W
It’s a trek to get to, best done on bike if you can, but it’s worth the hike. Sunnside pool sits right up again Lake Ontario and is MASSIVE. If kids aren’t your thing don’t worry, they’re mostly in the shallow end of the pool. The crowd here is a mix of local regulars, Portuguese dads, teens and quiet gays who want to read a book and feel the breeze of the lake (and the slight hummm of the lakeshore to the other side).
HOT TIP: bring a quarter to store your bad in a locker, they don’t allow anything on the deck.
Alex Duff Memorial Pool (AKA Christie Pits Pool)
779 Crawford Street
Sitting on top of a hill overlooking one of the most diverse and fun parks in the city, Christie Pits pool has a huge hot tub, a huge mid-depth pool and a smaller, but extremely deep freezing cold pool. The latter comes with a big water slide. Though this one isn’t amazing for people watching, it’s a guaranteed cool-down, you might see an Olympic-level diver jumping off the diving board once and a while, and it’s close to so many great food options on Bloor West.
HOT TIP: Bring your bathing suit if you’re hanging out in Christie Pits for an afternoon, run in, take a dip, and get back to the park. This is also a great one if you have kids, friends’ kids or nieces and nephews visiting.
Riverdale Park East Pool
550 Broadview Ave
For the record, we love this pool. Also for the record, it’s closed this season because of “mechanical issues.” So don’t go here this summer until further notice.
Riverdale’s view of Riverdale East park and the Don Valley is unbeatable, and the GAY CORNER on the south/west lawn of the pool is a very special place indeed. There are A LOT of kids at this pool. Teens run wild. But there are also a lot of queers lounging, tanning and dipping all day. Find the corner and you’ll find the fam.
HOT TIP: The bleachers on sight are a great place to catch the late afternoon sun and sunset. There’s two really great restaurants nearby for food after your swim. Oji Seichi and Completo are the ones.
Alexandra Park - AKA DunBat Pool
275 Bathurst Street
Top marks for people watching, this pool isn’t very deep, but they often have great music being played by the lifeguards and the location is super central when you’re in the west end. We often pop in to this pool on the way to or from somewhere on a hot ass day. It’s great for a quick dip and run. There’s no diving, but there’s a lot of tanning with plenty of room around the pool to gather with friends and snack and hang.
HOT TOP: You can bring your stuff on the deck at this pool, so bring snacks and a little speaker and have a daytime seance. Kensington is right around the corner if you need a patio drink of vintage shopping minute…
High Park Pool
1873 Bloor Street West
Tucked away inside High Park, this one is most easily accessed by Bloor West and has a kids pool and deeper adult pool. The lifeguards notoriously blare pop music, so bring earphones (or earplugs) if you don’t wanna hear T Swift while doing laps. This pool is great because it’s deep, cool, has a slide, is super relaxed and is in the middle of High Park. Close to the tennis courts too ;)
Not really for people watching, more for cooling down and chilling for a minute.
HOT TIP: Legit, take a walk through this massive park and even a hike through the trails …
Stanley Park South pool
700 Wellington St W
This pool is tiny, and tucked away behind the tennis courts and big trees at King West’s Stanley Park, but is a great spot to lower your body temperature on a sizzling hot day. It’s probably the coldest pool in the entire city (correct us if we’re wrong), for real, it’s almost an ice-bath, but it does the trick. You’ll find lots of young ones at this pond as well, but you’ll catch clever queers hanging poolside here when it’s too spicey out.
HOT TIP: After your dip, head down under the Bentway, over the bridge and under the Gardiner for a shaded stroll and see if anything cool is happening.
Pam McConnell Aquatic Centre - AKA that amazing pool at Regent Park
640 Dundas Street East
OK, this one’s inside, but it’s next level gorgeous, huge and great for lane swimming and noise-y, fun leisure swims inside a gorgeous solarium. It’s worth going just to float in the pool and look up at the stunning wooden ceiling. It’s open until 10pm some nights and also boasts a warm therapeutic pool.
HOT TIP: chill in the neighbouring park after, there’s often really cute community stuff going on, including outdoor movie nights and local markets.
Peep the city’s full outdoor pool list on the official site if you want find something else.