Mooney’s Bay Beach, located on the east shore of the Rideau River just south of Carleton University, is a popular summer destination for swimmers, rowers, and volleyball players.

In the summer, Mooney’s Bay Beach is one of the City of Ottawa’s four supervised beaches. The city’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department set up a swimming area, which is supervised by trained lifeguards from 12pm-7pm each day, from the third week in June until the third week in August. From mid-May until early September, volleyball nets can be rented per hour or for the day and stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) can be rented by the hour. This can be done from beach and lifeguard staff.

Mooney’s Bay is an artificial bay on the Rideau River. The Bay was created during the construction of the Rideau Canal when a dam was built, creating Hog’s Back Falls, with canal locks for boats to bypass the falls. This created a widened area of the river, suitable for boating.

Interesting Fact: Mooney’s Bay was named after three generations of Mooneys who held the position of Lockmaster at Narrows Lock covering 87 of the first 112 years of the lock’s history.

After rainfalls, swimming is often prohibited due to excessive bacteria. Check out the City of Ottawa Daily Beach Water Quality Results page for the latest water quality readings.


  • Washrooms and change rooms
  • Pay parking (7 am to 6 pm)
  • Seasonal parking passes available at the Terry Fox Field House – 2960 Riverside Dr
  • Canteen
  • Picnic tables and barbecue pits
  • Tennis courts and play structures

Hope Beach Volleyball Tournament

HOPE Beach Volleyball Tournament

HOPE (Helping Other People Everywhere) was started 35 years ago by Fred Logan and his friends as part of a group of events, inspired by Terry Fox, whose sole purpose was to give back to the Ottawa Community. What was a small group of teams has grown into the World’s Largest One Day Volleyball Tournament, that has continued to support Ottawa’s local charities.

This year’s SummerFest event takes place on Saturday, July 15th with registration for teams opening on Friday, April 28th at midnight. We are thrilled to be partnering for the next 3 years with Big Rig Brewery for the “Big Rig Brewery presents HOPE Volleyball SummerFest”!

Hogg’s Back Falls

Mooney’s Bay empties into the Rideau Canal Locks and Hog’s Back Falls. Both continue along until they empty into the Ottawa River at another system of locks for the Canal and at Rideau Falls for the river.

Winter Skiing

In the winter Mooney’s Bay is the site of a small cross country ski trail with ski rentals. Check out the Mooney’s Bay Ski Trail page for more info.