Mooney's Bay Park

I've cycled right by Mooney's Bay many times. We used to live in Riverside South, and the Bay provided a great view of the river on my way to work.

This past weekend I finally got a chance to go there and spent the morning frolicking on the beach with family and friends. We didn't realize it until later, but dogs are not allowed (luckily, no one ticketed us for bringing along our elderly pug)

The pug cooling off

The pug cooling off

Mooney's Bay Park is a beautiful spot located on the shores of the Rideau River. It's a popular venue for rowers, especially during the annual dragon boat festival

What can you do at Mooney's Bay Park?

So much to do! There is a large play structure for kids, and ample green space for flying a kite or kicking around a soccer ball.

There are picnic tables everywhere except the beach area, and we were lucky enough to grab a shady spot under a tree. We had a lovely picnic without melting :)

The highlight of the outing was swimming and playing on the beach. The swimming area is roped off, and lifeguards are on duty every day (until August 16th) from noon until 7 pm. We built sand castles and waded into the water. It became quite deep towards the end of the roped-off area, so doing some laps would have been possible if I hadn't had the kiddos!

The in the distance

The in the distance

The Beach Shack is a popular spot for cool treats, and The Beach House Bistro Bar offers drinks for the adults as well as a variety of menu options.

I spotted a few Stand Up Paddleboarders, and was excited to see that the City of Ottawa offers classes! If you're not into water activities, you can also rent volleyball nets for $15/hour or $50/day. We saw several tournaments going on while we were there.


  • Get there early if you're hoping to avoid the crowds. You will snag a great picnic table, and in the heat of the summer, it's nice to avoid the hottest time of the day!
  • The downfall to spending the morning at the beach is that there are no lifeguards on duty. Make sure your kids are wearing life jackets or other flotation devices, and keep an eye on them at all times.
  • Dogs are not allowed in the park OR on the beach (oops)
  • Parking is ample, but you do have to pay. Again, arriving early will mean you can find a spot easily.
  • Watch out for the goose poop!! It was everywhere, but I noticed the main part of the beach was kept pretty clean.
  • Make sure to check the daily beach water quality results. Until Ottawa can clean up its act, our water quality will remain iffy.
  • There are washrooms and a water fountain, although the cleanliness of the building is kind of gross - it looks as though they're under construction.

Have you been to Mooney's Bay Park?