Petrie Island boasts two large public beaches on the north-east corner of the island. One is the North Beach or River Beach, the other is the East Bay Beach. Public parking for 320 vehicles is provided (parking fee is $2 for 5 hours, 7:00-18:00, 7 days a week).
The beaches are operated by the City of Ottawa and are supervised by lifeguards from noon to 7 pm, 7 days a week. The 2012 season runs from June 16 to August 19. The washrooms will be opened May 19th to September 3rd, 2012, Monday to Thursday 10:30 am - 9 PM, Friday to Sunday 10:30 am - 7 PM. Parking fees will be in place at Petrie from May 19 to September 3. For further information, call the city's general information line at 311.
Click for beach status. Water quality is monitored daily by the City of Ottawa for coliform and e-coli bacteria. For water quality information, call 613-580-2424 ext. 13219 or visit their website. The information is updated at noon daily, based on the previous day's water samples. A no-swimming advisory will be issued if bacteria levels are over 200 E. coli per 100 millimetres of water tested or if they are over 100 E. coli per 100 ml of water tested on two or more consecutive days, or if there is 20 mm of rain. The city maintains recent water quality statistics. We have more information on the water quality issue.
There is also a picnic area near the interpretation center. It includes more shade trees than the main beach, as well as picnic tables and a shelter. It too has a sandy beach which is supervised. The picnic area is a great place to bring small children during the week.
Gas barbeques are permitted in the picnic area, but not on the main beach. Please, no charcoal hibachis, there is no place to safely dispose of the hot coals. Open fires are not permitted.