Swimming Pond Vs. Backyard Pool: Which Is Best?

In this article, Clearwater Creations brings you a comparison of above ground pools, inground pools and natural swimming ponds.

Find out about:

1. The Overall Pros, Cons & Other Ratings of All Three Choices

2. The Case for Above Ground Pools

3. The Case for Inground Pools

4. The Case for Natural Swimming Ponds

5. Clearwater Creations

To learn more about the benefits of swimming ponds, contact Clearwater Creations.


Let’s face it – Everyone loves the water! Find out what type of swimming hole is right for you.

Photo by Edneil Jocusol from Pexels


Swimming Pond or Pool?

Maybe you’re just getting started with the decision to install a pool or pond. So, to help save you time, we have created a summary comparing natural swimming ponds with the two main types of pools: above ground pools and inground pools. If you want more details, skip down below to read more about these three types of swimming options!


1. The Overall Pros, Cons & Other Ratings of The Top Three Swimming Options

Below you will find a summary chart comparing and reviewing the following information about our three main types of swimming holes:

  • Two Main Pros

  • Three Main Cons

  • Average Starting Prices

  • Aesthetics

  • Whether the Pond or Pool is Multi-Use

Here you can get a quick summary of how pools and swimming ponds compare.


2. The Case for Above Ground Pools

Above ground pools are Ideal for young families, people on a tight budget, people on the move, or for small spaces. Let’s find out why.

Young Families

Above ground pools are a great option for those who are new to owning and maintaining a pool. The initial installation costs less than inground pools, and they can be removed if you choose to install an inground pool or even a swimming pond later. People with young children appreciate these pools because their children can play in the water and the pool is small enough that the size and depth of the pool poses less of a risk.

Important Note: Parents should always ensure children are supervised when they are in or near any body of water – whether big or small, shallow or deep.

People on a Tight Budget

Above ground pools are also great options for those on a budget. Above ground pools range between $2,000 – $8,000 depending on what extras you incorporate like decking, fencing, etc. For those of us living in Canada, the nice thing is you don’t need to invest a lot of money just to get wet and refresh yourself on those limited but hot summer days.

People on the Move

The other person who might like an above ground pool is someone who thinks they might move within the next few years. Since these pools are generally considered a bit of an eye-sore when realtors are assessing the value of your home, it is nice to know that these pools can be removed. Even if you plan on staying in your home for 15 years, that is about the time your pool will need major fixing or replacement.

Small Spaces

Lastly, above ground pools are generally limited in size and design and tend to be on the small side. If you don’t have a lot of yard space to dedicate to a pool and a lounge area/deck, then this type of pool may be suited for you.


Above ground pools make a great option for young families on a tight budget.

Photo by Porapak Apichodilok from Pexels


3. The Case for Inground Pools

Inground pools are ideal for people on a flexible budget, people who want to add more value to their home, people with time or extra helpers or people who get squeamish around nature.

People on a Flexible Budget

If you have a more flexible budget, then owning an inground pool will suit you better. Inground pools generally start at $20,000 and can be quite a lot more depending on their size, materials, and any other additional water features like lights, steps, or heaters.

Plus, there is the additional cost of maintaining your pool both seasonally and every few years. According to an article called “How much does a swimming pool cost in Canada?” seasonal maintenance can range between $1,200 and $2,500 or more while long-term maintenance can cost between $4,500 and $15,000.

People with Time or Extra Helpers

Since more maintenance is required to keep your inground pool in good shape, you’ll want to be sure you have some free time yourself or that you have some extra help or the money to hire workers. Maintenance can involve:

  • Testing Water Quality

  • Cleaning the Pool

  • Replacing Pool Liners

  • Resurfacing Concrete Pools

  • And More!

Also, considering we live in Canada, inground pools need to be shut down for the winter and then re-opened in the spring. Some dedication is definitely required for an inground pool.

People Who Want to Add More Value to their Home

People with inground pools in good shape may be able to set a higher price tag on their home if they are selling. These pools are considered to be more aesthetically pleasing than above ground pools and most people will be glad for the opportunity to have a pool in their back yard – especially during pandemics as we have come to know.

Check out this quote from Bankrate:

“One HouseLogic study suggests an increase of 7 percent, at most, under ideal conditions, while HGTV reports that the average inground pool can up your property’s value by 5 to 8 percent.”

People Who Get Squeamish Around Nature

If you don’t like the idea of a natural swimming pond, it may be because you don’t like the idea of swimming with fish or feeling the muck between your toes! If your skin can handle salt water or chlorine, then you will enjoy the clear waters of an above ground pool or an inground pool.


Inground pools are suited for diving as they are usually larger & deeper than above ground pools.

Photo by Point3D Commercial Imaging Ltd. on Unsplash


4. The Case for Natural Swimming Ponds

We have saved natural swimming ponds for last because, in our opinion, they are the ultimate choice! Natural swimming ponds are ideal for people who enjoy nature and less maintenance, larger spaces, and people from Canada who enjoy winter activities!

People Who Enjoy Nature and Less Maintenance

If you want an environmentally-friendly swimming hole free of salt and chemicals, a natural swimming pond is for you. If you love the feel of soft mud between your toes (free exfoliation people!) and enjoy getting up close to plant life and wildlife, again, this swimming pond is for you. These swimming ponds are designed with a natural filtration area, which serves to keep your water clean despite the fact that it may not necessarily look clean – given the fact that most of us are used to pool water.

Another thing to consider is that there is less maintenance required over the long-term. With the natural filtration occurring in your pond, you won’t have to keep up with water quality tests, the addition of chemicals, or the vacuuming of your pool. This is a big plus for people who want to relax at home after a long day’s work. Also, for people with sensitive skin, chemical or salt-free water is great news!

Keep in mind that swimming ponds are also aesthetically pleasing because they naturally fit into their surroundings. They will also add value to your home, just like an inground pool.

Larger Spaces

Since, as mentioned above, swimming ponds require a natural filtration area plus a swimming area, the ideal space for this pond is a larger space – at least if you wish to swim. Having the extra space also means you can make your pond deeper, which means diving is safe, too. Another plus to having these two dedicated sections of your pond means that if you are slightly adverse to wildlife and plant life, you won’t have to get too close to Mother Nature.

People from Canada who Enjoy Winter Activities!

So, as Canadians, we recognize that summer is short here. The benefit of investing in a natural swimming pond is that it can be used throughout the seasons after the warm weather has disappeared. Perhaps you want to paddle around in the spring or fall, or maybe you want to grab your ice skates or pass the puck around when the water freezes over. A swimming pond is the champion of seasonal fun!


Dive in and get a natural swimming pond for loads of fun even after the summer has passed.

Photo by Jens Johnsson on Unsplash


Create Your Swimming Pond with Clearwater Creations!

Clearwater Creations is passionate about the water lifestyle and nature. As award-winning pond builders with knowledge of the Eastern Ontario landscape, staff can help you design a swimming pond that suits you, your budget, and your lifestyle. With over 10 years of experience, you can’t go wrong in choosing Clearwater to help you with the installation of your new swimming pond. Read more about their swimming ponds, also known as recreational ponds, or Contact Clearwater today to learn more.



Some customer testimonials before you go…

The pond is absolutely spectacular! We use it everyday, we can’t get the kids out of it.
— Peter P.
Tim and Joey are amazing…They listened to our thoughts and ideas and brought them to life in a way that was beyond our expectations. Their dedication and love for what they do shines through in the work that they do. They are artists and we and everyone who sees what they have done are blown away by the beauty of their creation.
— Suzy Farhoud