The best indoor pools in Toronto allow you to splish-splash all year round, whether you're opting to keep fit with some lane swimming or would rather just frolic with friends and family. While some of you may choose to just drop in on one of the public pools where leisurely swims are usually free (and lane swimming tends to be $3.50), others may wish purchase a membership at a club to receive additional services - whatever floats your boat.
Here are the best indoor pools in Toronto.
Regent Park Aquatic Centre
The Regent Park Aquatic Centre is a stand-alone (and standout) swimming facility that has earned rave reviews since opening in 2012. The ultra-bright and modern facility features a lap pool, leisure pool and warm water pool as well as a Tarzan rope, diving board and water slide - all for free! With non-gendered change rooms, this centre is definitely forward-thinking.
As the name would suggest, the Etobicoke Olympium contains is an Olympic-size pool (50 metres to be exact) with a number of diving boards. The facility was recently renovated for the 2015 Pan Am games, you'll feel like a pro swimmer as you do your laps. If 50 metres is a little intimidating, there's also a smaller leisure pool.
Trinity Community Recreation Centre
With lots of light (and, of course, an amazing park location) the pool at Trinity Bellwoods is a great option if you're lucky enough to live in this 'hood. At only $3.50 to drop in to do some laps (or get a membership to use the rest of the facilities), the pool is about half the size of an Olympic pool (25 metres).
Douglas Snow Aquatic Centre
North York's Douglas Snow Aquatic Centre boasts an Olympic size pool as well as a whirlpool for therapy and general chill-axing. Drop in leisure swims and Aquafit classes are free - perfect for staying fit on a budget all year round.
Birchmount Community Centre
The Birchmount Community Centre in Scarborough is great for people of all ages. With a 25-meter pool, a warm conversation pool with jets and a shallow pool for kids, this is definitely the place for the whole family (and a great place to get your kids into swimming lessons). Leisure swims are free, while lane swimming is (again, the magic number) $3.50. There's also a sauna if you want to sweat it out after.
Centennial Recreation Centre
The second Scarborough pool to make the list is the just-shy-of-25-metre pool at the Centennial Recreation Centre. This centre is truly multi-functional and you could really spend the whole day here swimming, working out, or even going for a skate!
The Jimmie Simpson pool in Leslieville/Riverside offers plenty of swim programs in their 25-metre pool, like Aquafit, swim lessons, and of course, lane and leisure swims. There's also a wading pool for toddlers.
North Toronto Memorial Community Centre
The North Toronto Memorial Community Centre located in Eglinton Park (near Eglinton and Yonge) actually has two pools (though one is outdoors - not winter friendly). When the cold weather rolls around the outdoor swimmers can come indoors to the 25-metre pool for free swims and other varied water-based programs.
Leaside Memorial Gardens Pool
Opening almost 60 years ago, the Leaside Memorial Gardens has a number of different recreational activities, including an indoor pool. The three-lane, 25-yard pool is great for an open swim, private swimming lessons and AquaFit classes.
Wallace-Emerson Community Centre
This 25-metre warm water pool (because who wants cold water?), located inside the Wallace-Emerson Community Centre at Dupont and Dufferin, is free to drop in for a leisurely swim. (It should be noted that the pool has closed for the 2015 year for repairs.)
There's a lot to say about the pools at the Granite Club in North York. With floor to ceiling and beyond windows, the space is clean, white and bright. There are two six-lane 25-metre pools, a Tad pool and an activity pool for kids. The roof above the pool is retractable so you can get the best of the outdoors in the summer, and stay warm in the winter.
U of T Athletic Centre
There are two swimming pools within the U of T Athletic Centre: a smaller 25-metre pool as well as a large 50-metre pool, located on two different floors of the very large building. Both are available for drop in lane swims if you're a member; membership fees vary greatly depending on if you're an alumni, live with a student, or are part of the general community.
Miles Nadal JCC
There's a reason the pool at the Miles Nadal JCC in the Annex is so high on the list - it's a salt water pool! In addition to the 23-metre pool, you can also kick back in their whirlpool and steam rooms. An adult membership to the centre (which includes the fitness center and more) is $80 a month plus an enrollment fee.
A great thing about the YMCA is that they offer membership assistance programs in case you have trouble affording the membership fees. If you're a member at the Central YMCA on Grosvenor, you get to take advantage of the two 25-metre pools. Daily drop in fees vary from $7-$15.
Harbour View Estates Superclub
If you're fortunate enough to live in these estates near Spadina and Bremner (or know someone who does), you can enjoy their 25-metre pool and hot tub, as well as steam rooms in the change rooms.
YMCA West End
Another YMCA with strong swimming amenities is the west end location on College St. The pool is smaller than most, at just 18.5 metres, but it's often open for lane swimming with a couple of hours blocked off for AquaFit classes and swim lessons. Daily drop in fees vary from $7-$15.
Toronto Athletic Club
This fancy-schmancy club in the heart of downtown has an equally fancy pool located on the 38th floor penthouse (I feel rich just saying that). To swim here, you have to purchase a membership, which will set you back about $184 a month plus an enrollment fee.
The Toronto Cricket and Curling Club
This indoor pool has a retractable glass roof and walls - who doesn't love bringing the outdoors in when it's a lovely summer day? With a membership to the Toronto Cricket and Curling Club at Wilson and Avenue Rd, you can enjoy the 25-metre pool, in addition to dozens of other fitness options.
The interesting thing about the pool at the Sheraton hotel near Osgoode Station is that it's half indoors and half outdoors - divided by a glass wall. The heated pool is obviously enjoyed by hotel guests, but you can purchase a day pass for $35.
At just under 25 metres and only wide enough for four lanes, this salt-water pool may not be the biggest on the list, but if you want to take a dip after your workout at North York's Fitness Institute, this pool does the job. Memberships start at $99 for you to use the facilities.
Photo of Central YMCA by Jesse Milns.
by Chynna Wilson via blogTO