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Recreational Use of Stormwater Ponds

Storm Ponds

The City’s storm water ponds may be used for recreational purposes. Certain restrictions and conditions are in place to ensure that health and safety issues are properly addressed. All users of the ponds, whether during the summer or winter, do so at their own risk.

What is a storm water retention pond?

A storm water retention pond is an engineered artificial body of water. Its primary function is to protect residential property from flooding by storing peak storm water flow and street run-off and releasing it into the storm sewer collection system in a controlled manner. These ponds are an important part of the City’s storm water management system.

What recreational activities are permitted on the ponds?

Activities such as skating, broomball and hockey are permitted during the winter months. Summer use is restricted to non-motorized boating, (i.e., paddle boats and canoes). Swimming is not recommended. If one intends to use the ponds for activities such as winter carnivals or summer events, a Special Event Permit is required.

Vehicles are not permitted in parks or around ponds. Users will be held responsible for any damage to pathways, turf, shrubs or trees when accessing ponds in summer or winter.

The City may for any purpose close the pond for any use for any length of time.

What must I know about winter use?

Anyone who skates on ponds needs to consider the ice safety and thickness. High risk areas at the pond inlets and outlets that carry water through the pond are marked on signage at the ponds.

For the nine ponds that are signed and designated for winter use, ice thickness is measured by Fire and Protective Services until it reaches 40.6 cm (16 inches).  At 30.5 cm (12 inches), warning signs posted around the ponds are covered and the pond is open for use under the conditions outlined in the policy.

Vehicles are not permitted on the ice.  Small, push-model snow blowers are allowed. Users assume all risk and maintenance responsibilities for the ice, (i.e., flooding, shovelling, safety, etc).

What must I know about summer use?

For public safety, any activity that may result in direct contact with the water is not recommended and the City makes no representation on the quality of the water within the storm water retention ponds. Non-motorized boating, solely propelled by human power is permitted.

Maps Showing High Risk Areas

The following storm water retention ponds are measured by Fire and Protective Services for ice thickness. Below are maps of neighbourhood ponds showing inlets, outlets and any other high risk areas:

Briarwood Pond – Briarwood neighbourhood
Brand Road Pond – CN Industrial
Dundonald Pond – Dundonald Park
John Avant Pond – Erindale neighbourhood
Lakeview Pond – Lakeview District Park 
Marshall Hawthorne Pond – Stonebridge Neighbourhood
North Industrial Pond – 58th Street
RCAF Pond – RCAF Memorial Park
Trounce Pond – Lakewood Suburban Centre