Morrison’s Quarry, a half-hour drive from Ottawa, and 2 hours from Montreal, Quebec is the perfect spot to spend a day in summer. Located in Wakefield, Quebec is this secret swimming hole that has the clearest water seen near the city by anyone from Ottawa. The place is usually used for scuba diving lessons as well as for Canada’s highest bungee jump.
The quarry is better known as the Great Canadian Bungee jumping-point. The quarry has a depth of more than 30 m (123 feet) and reaches a total depth of approximately 40 m (131 feet). The lowest extremity is 20-25 feet deep. Like most quarries, it has a downward spiraling path (with a good drop in the shallow end). Visibility ranges from approximately 25ft in summer to more than 100ft in the spring and fall. There are various attractions along the submerged route, a sunken twin engine aircraft, a tug boat, a small car, a picnic table and some jagged pipes that stick straight up on the back side wall at about 20 m. All sights are labelled with buoys.
The swimming area at Morrison’s consists only of 5-10 percent of the entire quarry and it appears that there are differences of opinions between divers and swimmers. Summer swimmers want more swimming space made available, and that is not what the divers want.
It has been said that; “responsibilities to have that many people swimming where the others are diving is too big, you need one lifeguard per each area then that would then make this place too costly to go to, besides, it would completely ruin the calmness and quietness of the water for those who are diving and make it much harder to see if there are any problems with the divers”.
In recent years three people lost their lives in Morrison’s Quarry. Two young men from Ottawa, both 24, dived in the Quarry July 2019, when one ran into trouble. The other man surfaced to seek assistance. The other diver was quickly dragged to the surface by two experienced divers who failed to resuscitate him.
In March 2014, a 53-year-old man was diving in icy conditions at Morrison’s with friends when he didn’t surface. His body was recovered but efforts to resuscitate him failed.
A 35-year-old Father, his 8-year-old daughter and his friend visited the Quarry in July 2015. Despite repeated warnings from Morrison’s Quarry’s owners, the two friends sneaked away and scaled up the cliff of 24 metres (75 feet) to leap into the Quarry. His 8-year-old daughter saw him jump. He surfaced once, then sunk under. His body was recovered the next day.
Morrison’s Quarry is one of the region’s best-known scuba training sites, and is a private property. It’s also a very popular camp site, and the host of concerts and festivals during the summer months. Throw in the Canadian Bungee jump and in the warmer summer months, you have a perfect place to visit.
On arrival there is a $10 charge payable to Mrs. Morrison or one of her daughters. At the time of payment, a dive site liability register must be signed, so make sure that you have your PADI diver ID number. Telephone contact: 613-298-0536.