The Beginner's Guide to Scuba Diving in Ontario

A person scuba dives around an underwater wreck in Ontario.

And if you’ve never donned a tank and fins, there are several operators in Ontario for beginning scuba divers to learn the skills and regulations you need.

Whether you’re a beginner or an avid diver, you’ll love the unique scuba diving experiences in Ontario.

Learn to Scuba Dive


Before you hit the open waters, you need to learn how to dive with a certified scuba instructor and get the proper designation.

The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) is a globally recognized diver training organization with thorough courses that cover the basics, like getting into the water safely, how to clear your mask, start breathing and get underwater in the safety of a pool.

Located in St. Catharine’s, Dan’s Dive Shop is the oldest PADI dive school in Canada and offers everything from beginner’s courses to refreshers for certified divers. Divers-in-training will love the scuba classes at Scuba 2000, a state-of-the-art dive shop and instruction centre in Richmond Hill. Besides certified lessons and gear, they also offer unique diving events and trips. 
 

Where to Scuba Dive in Ontario


Popular dive sites include the ‘Graveyards of Lake Ontario’, Lake Ontario's 'Bermuda Triangle' in and around the Prince Edward Bay, the wrecks of Lake Erie, the 22 historic shipwrecks protected in Fathom Five National Marine Park, off of Tobermory, in the Georgian Bay and the Kingston shipwrecks in the St. Lawrence River. The 1879 Waubuno Shipwreck is one of the most famous freight wrecks to dive to in the Parry Sound area, on the southern tip of Bradden Island.
 

Ontario Scuba Dive Shops

Dan’s Dive Shop

Sign up for a charter with Dan’s Dive Shop and discover some of the region’s best shipwrecks. With expeditions spanning the lakes – like the Penetanguishene shipwrecks in Georgian Bay and the Tiller wreck in Lake Ontario – you might be surprised by the variety of underwater destinations you’ll find in the province.

Location: 329 Welland Avenue, St. Catharines
 

Oakville Divers

Located in Oakville, this dive shop has everything you need for your first dives, from courses and certifications to your very first open water excursions. Check out the Open Water Diver Course, which includes a PADI eLearning program, two days of training, two days of open water dives in Lake Ontario and rental equipment. Make sure to sign up early since Oakville is known for its quality services and fills up early for the season.

Location: 12 Lakeshore Road West, Oakville
 

Dive Source

This Oshawa dive shop and club is the perfect place for beginners to gain experience while also meeting fellow divers. With a club membership that includes free and discounted local dives and charters, discounts on air and rentals, and seminars and clinics so you can continue your education, Dive Source makes getting in the water easy and affordable. From shore dives in the Dolime Quarry to explorations of Georgian Bay, Dive Source has no shortage of life-changing dives to experience.

Location: 423 Bloor Street West, Oshawa
 

Neptune’s Locker Dive Center

Specializing in dives in southern Georgian Bay, this dive shop is the go-to for anyone living north of Toronto, specifically in the region around Marygrove. This corner of Lake Huron boasts warm water and six metre visibility ranges in the summer, making it the ideal spot for beginners still getting acclimated to their fins. Charters explore shipwrecks all over Georgian Bay, including some shallow sites suitable for beginners. Explore the LuckPort wreck nearby or travel to the remains of the Thomas Cranage off of Hope Island for a more open water adventure.

Location: 1390 Champlain Road, Tiny
 

Diver’s Den

This gem is perfect for those looking to explore Tobermory’s beautiful shipwrecks and geological formations. With the options of both morning and afternoon charters, there’s something for every skill level.

Location: 3 Bay Street, Tobermory
 

Diver's Nook

Well known in the diving community, Parry Sound’s Diver’s Nook is a full-service diving shop that also offers PADI lessons. If you’re a certified diver, you can arrange a charter for diving excursions.

Location: 55 Bowes Street, Parry Sound
 

Last updated: December 10, 2021

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