Swim Lessons

Lifeguard in training for swim lessons at the YMCA

Swim lessons are a precious investment. Knowing how to swim can save your life, or even someone else’s.

Taught by certified YMCA instructors, our swim lessons will give you lifelong skills to help you be safe in and around the water. But there’s more to YMCA swim lessons than learning to swim. We want our students to build confidence in the water, meet new people, and develop a lifelong passion for swimming!

We have taught thousands of children and adults to swim through our nationally-accredited swim programs. Swim programs are offered for all ages, beginning as young as six months. Lessons run during all program sessions. Class sizes are limited for safety considerations; please register early.

How to Register

Members can visit their ACTIVE Net account to register for lessons, or email support@osgb.ymca.ca or call 519-376-0484 ext 0. See the schedule for lesson times below.

Spring 2021: Begins April 5

Registration Dates:
  • Members: March 23 at 10:00 AM
  • Public: March 30 at 10:00 AM

Swim Absences

Please call 519-376-0484 ext. 214 if you know your child will not be attending lessons or volunteering. We will inform your child’s Instructor.

Pool Policy

In order to ensure you are completely satisfied with your swim experience, please review our Pool Policy prior to arrival.

Swim Lessons Schedule

Download the swim lesson schedule here:

Swim Lessons Levels

All YMCA memberships include one swim lesson per session. Additional lessons are half the cost of the public rate. Fees are listed under each lesson below.

Water orientation for both parent and child! Practice floats, tows, splashing, blowing bubbles, going underwater and playing games. Parent or guardian must be in the pool with the participants. This class takes place in the leisure pool.

Fees:

  • Members: Included
  • Public: $66

Teach your child the important water safety skills at a young age. Parent or guardian must be in the pool with the participants. This class takes place in the leisure pool.

Skills covered include:

  • Water orientation
  • Front and back tows
  • Splashing
  • Blowing bubbles
  • Games
  • Safety education for parents
  • Entries and exits
  • Kicking
  • Floats
  • Using lifejackets

Fees:

  • Members: Included
  • Public: $66

Beginner Levels
Parent/guardian must be in the pool with the participants. This class takes place in the leisure pool. Beginner level of swim lessons for participants under six years of age and includes Bobber and Floater levels.

  • Bobbers:
    • Assisted entries and exits
    • Blowing bubbles
    • Bobs
    • Kicking
    • Front and back glides
  • Floaters:
    • Basic water safety
    • Open eyes underwater
    • Front and back floats glides
    • Using buoyant aids

Higher Levels
Parent/guardian must be in the pool with the participants. This class takes place in the leisure pool. Higher level of swim lessons for participants under six years of age and includes Glider, Diver, Surfer and Dipper levels. The child has completed several lesson sessions prior to enrolling into this class.

  • Gliders:
    • Introduction to deep water skills (glides, surface support)
    • 5m swim on front and back
  • Divers:
    • Dives
    • Breath control
    • Front, back and side glides
    • 10m swim on front and back

Fees:

  • Members: Included
  • Public: $81

Beginner Levels
Otter and Seal levels are for children who are not confident in deep water. These classes take place in the leisure pool.

  • Otter:
    • Water orientation
    • Submersion
    • Front and back floats
    • Front, back and side glides
  • Seal:
    • Deep water orientation
    • Breath control
    • Front, back and side glides with kick
    • Introduction to back crawl

Higher Levels
Dolphin and Swimmer levels are for children who are confident in deeper water. These classes take place in the lane pool.

  • Dolphin:
    • Introduction to front crawl
    • Introduction to back crawl
    • Vertical surface support
    • Front, back and side glides with kick
  • Swimmer:
    • Front crawl
    • Back crawl
    • Sculling

Fees:

  • Members: Included
  • Public: $85

Star Level 1 & 2
Participants are confident in deeper water and can swim two lengths of the pool. Skills covered include:

  • Front and back crawl
  • Intro to whip kick and breaststroke
  • Sculling
  • Vertical surface support
  • Eggbeater

Fees
Members: Included
Public: $92

Star Levels 3 & 4
Participants are confident in deeper water and can swim two lengths of the pool. Skills covered include:

  • Elementary back stroke
  • Front and back crawl
  • Eggbeater
  • Dolphin kick
  • Breaststroke
  • Sidestroke
  • 150m swim
  • Front, back and side floats

Fees:

  • Members: Included
  • Public: $101

Star Leadership Level 5
Participants must have successfully completed Star 4. Skills covered include:

  • Butterfly
  • 500m endurance swim
  • Lifesaving Society Rookie and Ranger Patrol First Aid
  • Swimming and rescue components
  • Intro to swim instruction

Star Leadership Level 6
Participants must have successfully completed Star 5. Skills covered include:

  • 600m endurance swim
  • Lifesaving Society Swim Patrol First Aid
  • Swimming and rescue components
  • Swim instruction continued
  • Advanced swimming stroke standards

Star Leadership Level 7
Participants must have successfully completed Star 6. Skills covered include:

  • Preparation for entrance into Bronze Star or Medallion
  • Lifesaving and fitness
  • Lifesaving Society First Aid
  • Swim instruction continued
  • Includes a volunteer component with a minimum of four hours required by the end of the session.

Fees:

  • Members: Included
  • Public: $101

This program is designed for tweens and teens that want to learn to swim but are too old for regular swimming lessons and too young for adult lessons.  Content will be based on the needs of the swimmers.  Please state swimming ability at time of registration.

Fees:

  • Members: Included
  • Public: $85

Adult Lesson: Shallow
It’s never too late to take the plunge! Learn the basics of swimming with the guidance of an instructor. Set your own goals and work at your own pace to improve.

Adult Lesson: Deep
Refine the strokes of your choice, develop endurance and learn new skills under the direction of an instructor. Swim for fitness, health and wellness! Must be comfortable in deep water.

Fees:

  • Members: $42.50
  • Public: $85

Work one-on-one with an Instructor to improve strokes or skills that need a little extra practice. All ages are welcome. Bring your most recent swimming progress report with you for your lesson. Please specify swimming or ability level at time of registration.

Fees:

  • Members: 98
  • Public: $150

Transitioning Between Swim Lessons

Children who have started but not completed the Preschool program can continue in the Learn-to-Swim program once they are 6 years old. Preschool levels contain similar content to the Learn-to-Swim levels. Content and teaching style are geared towards the age of the participantsRefer to the chart below, along with your child’s report card to determine which level your child should be registered in.
Level you were registered inIf you were INCOMPLETE, register inIf you were COMPLETE, register in
BobbersOtterOtter
FloatersOtterOtter
GlidersOtterOtter
DiversOtterSeal
SurfersSealSeal
DippersSealDolphin

Comparison chart as of February 2011. The chart should be used as a guide only. These are program equivalencies. For example, if your child has successfully completed Red Cross Swim Kid 1, they would enrol in YMCA Seal level.

Red Cross Swim PreschoolYMCA
StarfishSplashers (3-18 months)
DuckBubblers (19 months – 3 years)
Sea TurtleBobbers (19 months – 3 years) (parented)
Sea OtterBobbers (unparented)
SalamanderFloaters / Gliders
SunfishDivers
CrocodileSurfers
WhaleSurfers
Dipper
(Incomplete: Ready for RC Swim Kids 3 or 4)
(Complete: Ready for RC Swim Kids 4 or 5)
Learn to Swim and Star Levels (6 years and up)
Red Cross Swim KidsYMCA
Red Cross Swim Kids 1Otter
Red Cross Swim Kids 2Seal
Red Cross Swim Kids 3Seal
Red Cross Swim Kids 4Dolphin
Red Cross Swim Kids 5Swimmer
Red Cross Swim Kids 6Star 1
Red Cross Swim Kids 7Star 2
Red Cross Swim Kids 8Star 3
Red Cross Swim Kids 9Star 4
Red Cross Swim Kids 10 – incompleteStar 5
Red Cross Swim Kids 10 – completeStar 6

COVID-19 Safety for Swim Lessons

We have adapted our Swim Lessons in order to comply with safety protocols. We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.

Class Size

  • Our class sizes will be smaller than before as participants must be spaced out with a 15-minute changeover time to help with physical distancing in change rooms.

Parent/Guardian Participation

  • All children under the age of 6 must have a parent/guardian in-pool to assist your child.
  • For participants over the age of 6, lessons begin and remain in a depth of water your child can touch or is comfortable swimming in, before moving to deeper water.
  • Your child may have regressed and is not at the level they were in before. If you are unsure which class to place your child in, please call our Customer Service team at 519-376-0484, ext.0 for assistance.
  • Private lessons: child must be able be comfortable in water on their own or have a parent in the water with them.

Symptoms

  • If a child is ill, has symptoms, or was sent home from school they may not attend lessons that night.

Change Rooms

  • All participants, including parent/guardian participants, MUST come dressed ready to enter the water. Infants will be permitted a diaper change into a swim diaper once signed in.
  • Please do not come early to a lesson. Arrive with just enough time to remove clothing and for a quick shower before entering the pool deck.  Please wait on a red dot and wait for the instructor to provide you with instructions.
  • Ensuring physical distancing is important! Parents/guardians need to ensure children in change rooms maintain physical distance from other participants.

Masks

  • Instructors will be teaching on deck. When instructors need to demonstrate skills or be in the water they will be wearing face shields.
  • Masks are required in change rooms, but may be taken off immediately before showering. Then replaced and worn onto the pool deck. There are hooks available for your mask once on the pool deck.
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