By Misty Pratt –
Westboro Beach is a local destination that can be enjoyed in all seasons, but summer is short and sweet here in Ottawa. This is one spot that should definitely be part of your summer bucket list.
Although swimming and sunbathing are the most popular activities at Westboro Beach, there are many other ways to enjoy this vibrant community. “When we go to Westboro Beach we often bike there and bring a picnic,” says local resident Tami Grosset. The family also makes a stop for ice cream along the way in Westboro Village.
The shady little nooks on the beach are the perfect place for younger kids to explore and play, while parents can hopefully score a few minutes to quietly read a book. For those hoping to venture into the water, lifeguards are on duty every day beginning June 16 to August 26, from noon to 7 p.m. For daily water quality results and other recreational water safety tips, go to Ottawa Public Health’s website (ottawapublichealth.ca). You can also look for the flag posted near the beach entrance. A green flag means the water has been tested and it’s ok to swim, red means it’s not advisable.
For tweens or teens thinking about future employment as a lifeguard, the City of Ottawa runs a weekly camp called “Beach Camp: Junior Waterfront Lifeguard Club.” A two-week camp on the beach offers participants several different certifications such as Bronze Cross and Standard First Aid/CPR.
If swimming isn’t your thing, consider trying kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding. The City of Ottawa rents stand-up paddleboards for $21/hour to anyone 18 years and older. Mountain Equipment Coop rents sea kayaks ($40), canoes ($35) and stand-up paddleboards ($35) on a per-day basis, however, reservations are highly recommended for holidays and weekends.
Staying dry is also an option, and a rousing volleyball tournament makes for the perfect afternoon with friends. Inquire at the Lifeguard Office about volleyball nets for $17 per hour (or $54 per day) and book a group event by calling 613-580-2595 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another fun way to pass the time is with a sandcastle-building contest. Advertise a start and finish time for building to take place. One or two individuals can act as “judges” and small prizes can be organized for the winners.
For entertainment reminiscent of the best beach vacations, visit the Westboro Beach Café. Sit on the riverfront patio for a bite to eat and enjoy live music four days a week. The tiki bar serves an assortment of tropical beverages that are guaranteed to quench your thirst on a hot summer day. For the latest shows and events, find Westboro Beach Café on Facebook.
Looking to add a little zen to your beach visits? Consider signing up for yoga on the beach, with Lauren Follett. “Classes are designed to include all levels, from newbie to experienced yogi,” says Lauren. Check westbeachyoga.ca for updates.
Finally, make sure to kick off your summer celebrations by joining the Westboro Beach Community Association’s beach opening barbeque on June 23 (weather permitting.) The closing beach bonfire is set for the evening of September 8.
This article is part of the annual KT Summer Fun Guide. Click the image below to view. Would you like to advertise in this special feature next year? Contact us!