About Kingston, ON
There was a time when Kingston’s waterfront unswimmable, having been polluted by longtime urban development and neglect. In 2001, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper was created to ensure swimmable, drinkable, and fishable waters, marking the beginning of a period of restoration and redemption for the waters of Lake Ontario.
On July 26, 2018, the Gord Edgar Downie Pier was opened in Kingston at Breakwater Park. Named after cherished Canadian artist Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip, an advocate for healthy waters, this pier is not only Canada’s first deep water urban swimming pier, but is also the first fully accessible one.
Located in the heart of eastern Ontario, Kingston is known for its education, research and healthcare facilities as well as its arts, entertainment, and leisure scene. This city is home to a number of parks and trails, and of course, to the sparkling waters of Lake Ontario. Due to its position at the head of the St. Lawrence River and the Rideau Canal, Kingston is also a bustling port.
Along the shoreline of Lake Ontario, beaches are sandy, rocky, or stoney. On the islands near Kingston, beaches are sandy or rocky and may feature dunes or wetlands. Inland, Kingtson’s nearby lake beaches may have rocky, sandy, or grassy shores surrounded by forests or parkland.
Swimming Water Quality in Kingston, ON
Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health monitor the recreational water quality of swimming spots in Kingston. Water is sampled weekly from mid-June to Labour Day Weekend, and the results are made available on Swim Guide.
Water Sports and Activities in Kingston, ON
Swimming, canoeing, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, and boating are popular activities in Kingston’s waters. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try deep diving to explore some of the city’s sunken ships. Just a heads up–you may run into a serpentine water monster now known as ‘Kingstie’. This creature has been a part of the region’s legends for centuries, from the Seneca to the settlers.
Onshore, favourite pastimes include beach volleyball, fishing, camping, and walking or biking the Waterfront Trail. Boat cruises of the nearby 1000 Islands are also a great way to explore Lake Ontario.
Weather in Kingston, ON
Kingston’s climate is cool and temperate, with cooler summers and winters than other cities in Southern Ontario and significant rainfall and wind. July is Kington’s warmest month, with an average temperature of 20 °C (69 °F).
Although Kingston’s waterfront offers a wealth of water recreation, make sure you take a moment to swim off the Gord Edgar Downie Pier at least once during your visit, and appreciate the beauty and bliss of swimmable waters, as well as the efforts that go into keeping them that way.
Swim Guide shares the best information we have at the moment you ask for it. Always obey signs at the beach or advisories from official government agencies. Stay alert and check for other swimming hazards such as dangerous currents and tides. Please report your pollution concerns so Affiliates can help keep other beach-goers safe. Swim Guide, "Swim Drink Fish icons," and associated trademarks are owned by SWIM DRINK FISH CANADA. See Legal.
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