Let’s face it – summers in Ottawa are short and sweet. If you grew up in nation’s capital, you have probably learned to make the best of that short period of time when the weather is just about perfect. That’s also often the time you’d start calling that friend of yours that has a pool in his backyard, or a cottage on a lake. But what if that refreshing place was just an elevator ride away?

While working with Urban Capital this year (selling the Hideaway Condominiums), our team noticed that the much anticipated outdoor pool was a real hit! I, myself, was able to go for a dip a couple of times over the summer and realized how nice it is to have that kind of amenity right at your doorstep. Whether you’re trying to stay in shape by throwing in a few laps, or just looking to cool off and mingle with some friends and/or fellow neighbours, a pool definitely adds a fun dynamic to condo living.

If that sounds like a great lifestyle to you, read on to find out which pools we consider to be the best in the city. Here is our TOP 5:

#5 – Claridge Buildings

Claridge has included indoor pools in most of its recent and future condominiums developments. Initially, we wanted to put just one of their projects in our top five, but we couldn’t pick one that we really preferred over the others. Claridge introduces a similar concept in most of their developments – a pool shared by two phases. A great idea – costs of the pool maintenance are the responsibility of two buildings, instead of just one. Current existing projects include the Tiffany Towers in Vanier, Fusion in Lebreton Flats, Claridge Plaza 1&2 and 3&4 in the Byward Market, and finally – Tribeca and Tribeca East in Centretown. They also often situate their exercise facilities next to the pool area – a great way to cool down after a work-out. All of those buildings have a different feel to them, which is why it was so hard to choose one that stood out. Ultimately, it would really depend on the location you prefer.

Photo courtesy of Condo Agency

#4 –90 George by Canril

Located right in the heart of the Byward Market, 90 George is amongst the most prestigious condo buildings in Ottawa. The pool area is located on the 4th floor together with all the other building amenities. We also strongly believe it’s amongst the quieter pool areas in the city. We’d even say it has a very hotel-like feel to it. We put it on our list because we love the building, the ambiance as well as the location. Even if you don’t want to enjoy the pool or the combined hot tub, you can head outside on the massive outdoor terrace to either lounge or cook on the BBQ’s, while overlooking the buzzing Byward Market.

Photo courtesy of www.SohoMet.com

#3 – SoHo Lisgar by Mastercraft Starwood (300 Lisgar)

A hidden gem in the heart of downtown, The SoHo Lisgar has what they call the SoHo WaterGardens, a really cozy spot perfect for entertainment. It boasts great amenities such as a lap pool, a hot tub, a gas fireplace, a living wall and an outdoor kitchen with BBQ’s. Located on the South side of the building, it’s a perfect little oasis to escape to when you feel like taking in some Sun or hosting friends for a nice summer get together. On a general note, we feel like Mastercraft Starwood deserve two thumbs up for have awesome amenities in all their Soho projects in Ottawa.

Photo courtesy of www.moveinottawa.com

#2- The Mondrian by Urban Capital (324 Laurier)

Located right in the hub of Ottawa’s business district, the Mondrian’s outdoor terrace is without a doubt a wonderful urban retreat. The giant terrace, located on the 6th floor overlooking Bank Street, boasts a lap pool, lounge chairs and cabana beds as well as a dining area with BBQ’s. It’s the perfect place to mingle and definitely an appealing spot during those warm summer months.

Photo courtesy of Condo Agency

#1 – Hideaway by Urban Capital (340 & 360 Mcleod)

Urban Capital definitely saved the best for last with their final phase of the Central Condominiums project. Hideaway features the “resort-type” outdoor amenities with the major attraction being the heated outdoor salt water pool surrounded by cabanas and lounge chairs. You’ll notice that the concept is very similar to the Mondrian. However, we put it first on the list because of the pool-size and look, as well as the vibe you get when you’re lounging around on a warm summer day. Not feeling like getting wet? There’s also a nice lounge area with a gas fireplace, and a dining area with a common barbecue. Definitely a hip place to be at on those precious summer weekends.

It’s important to mention that our top five is based strictly on our personal preferences and opinions. That being said, there are a many other condo buildings in Ottawa offering a pool that unfortunately didn’t make it in our top five. We do however want to give an honorable mention to Richcraft. The builder has interesting projects with pools including The Galleria (Phase 1 & 2) in the Byward Market as well as the Laurier and the soon to be Bowery in Centretown. There are other buildings that could’ve made the list, but the reality is that some of them are older, so the pool areas are a little outdated compared to the new condos. Given the competitive condo market, builders have push the envelope when designing amenities spaces. We feel like our top 5 reflect the builders that have done it best! Hopefully this gives you readers a better idea of what’s offered out there. Curious to know what units are currently available in any of the above-mentioned buildings or looking for a little more precise information? Feel free to reach out to us!