Elevated levels of different contaminants are typical to stormwater management ponds. Despite that, a number of works report stormwater ponds serving as habitats for a variety of biota. In this study we aimed to examine phytoplankton communities of urban ponds, as the basis of the aquatic food web, and compare them to those of natural shallow lakes. Stormwater ponds were selected from two distant geographic locations: three in Denmark and three in Canada. As a reference to natural systems, three Danish shallow lakes were sampled. The sampling was carried out in the spring, summer and fall of 2014. The phytoplankton communities in ponds were found to be at least as rich in taxa as natural shallow lakes. Their abundance and biovolume varied highly among the types of water bodies as well as in each pond or lake individually, depending on the sampling month. We did not find any significant differences among ponds and natural shallow lakes at the investigated taxonomic level, despite some distinction observed by multivariate DCA and CCA analyses. Little difference was found between Canadian and Danish ponds as well, even though they are separated by a large geographic distance. This study shows that stormwater ponds are habitats for diverse planktonic algae communities which have some similarities to those of natural shallow lakes. Also, the similarities observed between Danish and Canadian ponds indicate some consistence with the urban homogenization hypothesis, although this should be further looked into by future works examining a larger number and distinct types of ponds.