The City of Ottawa’s new backyard pool safety rules are now in effect.

The new rules are contained in a By-law passed by Council earlier this year (Pool Enclosure By-law No. 2013-39).

Under the By-law, all pool owners must now ensure pool enclosure gates are self-closing, self-latching and locked at all times, except when the pool area is in use.

Existing pool enclosures installed with a permit remain compliant, but must be locked when the pool area is not in use. All new and replacement pool enclosures must comply with the new By-law.

The By-law has also updated fencing requirements for pools (including wading pools), hot tubs and fish ponds.

Requirements vary, so pool owners and prospective pool owners are encouraged to review the changes at

Throughout the spring and summer, the City and its partners will be informing the public about water safety and reminding residents to always keep children within arms’ reach around and in the water. The City of Ottawa will be inspecting pool enclosures in some neighbourhoods this summer to advise residents about the requirements of the new By-law.

For more information on water safety, visit

Content courtesy of City Councillor Jan Harder at