Happy First Day of Summer!

Summer 2012 officially begins today!!!  Summer solstice, otherwise known as the first day of summer, is the longest day of the year when the sun is the farthest north in the sky. And today it will be of the hottest days we’ve had yet, climbing to 34°C by afternoon.

Here’s a list of the city’s best public or private pools to beat the heat with (or from) the kids:-)

Four Seasons Hotel. A celeb favourite, this third-floor dip is an urban oasis, complete with a two-level sundeck, poolside bar, whirlpool and saunas. Flavoured waters and spritz bottles keep guests cool and hydrated, while fresh fruit kebobs and hourly offerings of sorbet are the height of decadence. (Must be at least 13 years old.) 21 Avenue Rd., 416-964-0411. $60 per day.

Sheraton Centre. Take a dip in the sprawling hotel’s indoor-outdoor pool (Toronto’s largest), or relax on the recently refinished deck and download tunes courtesy of on-site WiFi. A poolside bar serves up snacks and beer. 123 Queen St. W., 416-361-1000. $28.

Radisson on Queens Quay. The outdoor pool opens seasonally, along with its patio and lounge area with a fabulous view of Toronto Harbour. The pool is open to non-hotel guests for $25 during the week and $35 on the weekend. Make sure to bring plastic along with your swimsuit, since the Radisson takes payment by credit or debit only.

High Park. A short walk from High Park station, this pool’s waterslide, beach-like wading area and splash pad are big draws for families. Two poolside concession stands offer barbecued goodies and ice cream. A swim here provides a hint of pastoral charm in a lush, verdant setting. 1873 Bloor St. W., 416-392-7807. Free.

Sunnyside–Gus Ryder Pool. Located beside a Roman-style pavilion, the city’s largest pool (it takes nearly one million gallons to fill it) has a deck that offers a breathtaking view of Lake Ontario. A favourite of those not blessed with air conditioning, the 100-metre pool is open until 11:45 p.m. most nights. 1755 Lake Shore Blvd W., 416-338-7665. Free.

D.D. Summerville. An ideal spot to take the family (or to get away from them), this trio of pools includes a 50-metre Olympic-sized lap pool, a 25-metre pool for the kiddies, and a diving pool with five- and 10-metre-high diving boards (you must be accompanied by a swim coach to use the 10-metre board). Adults have the pool to themselves every night from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Woodbine Beach Park, 1867 Lake Shore Blvd. E., 416-392-7688. Free.

Alex Duff Christie Pitts. A social hub for neighbourhood hipsters, this is also one of the most family friendly pools in the city. Kids have hours of well-supervised fun in the “tank,” a deep-water pool with a slide and diving board; little ones cool off under a massive water-spraying brolly. The 60-person hot tub leaves plenty of elbow room for post-swim soaks. 750 Bloor St. W., 416-392-0910. Free.

Kidstown Water Playground. Aimed firmly at the under-13 set, this complex features a wading pool with a slide, as well as water that sprays from all angles to cool little ones. 3159 Birchmount Rd., 416-396-8325. Free.

Leaside Memorial Pool. Fully accessible with wheelchair lift, elevator to the pool, and accessibly change rooms, which means it can offer respite for anyone and everyone needing a break from the heat. The 25m pool has three wide lanes, and is known for rarely being overcrowded.

Monarch Park. An outdoor 25m swimming pool located southwest of Danforth and Coxwell. With a separate wading pool for kids, the Monarch Park pool offers leisure and adult sessions, instruction, plus a two-storey high waterslide.

Riverdale. Riverdale pool on Broadview, much like Sunnyside, is great for its phenomenal view. The fairly large-sized pool has a waterslide, and is also close to fields and tennis courts for when you want to switch up the activity.

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