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Whether it's your first time or millionth time getting into the water, there are many ways to improve your strokes, develop lifeguarding skills, and maintain your overall fitness. Get back into the swim of things with Toronto's programs, which offer a full range of learn-to-swim, lifesaving, watersports, and leadership programs for all ages.


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preschool swim logo

Preschool Swim
( 3 - 5 years )


The Preschool Swim program is a four level program. This is the first opportunity for a child to participate in a swim program without their guardian. It may also be their first swimming experience.

Preschool Swim 1 – Penguin

  • Introduction to entries and exits, submersion and breath control, and basic floats with assistance

Preschool Swim 2 – Stingray

  • Development of entries, exits, bobbing and floats without assistance
  • Introduction to front
  • Continuous swim of 3m

Preschool Swim 3 - Otter

  • Development of front swim, back swim
  • Introduction to side glides, sculling, and deep water
  • Continuous swim of 5m

Preschool Swim 4 - Dolphin

  • Development of front swim, back swim, and side kick
  • Jump into deep water
  • Continuous swim of 10m
guardian swim logo

Guardian Swim
( 6 months - 5 years )

The Guardian Swim program is a three level program which provides an introduction to the aquatic environment and to basic swimming skills for children with support from their parent or guardian.

The program is for children from six months to five years of age. One parent or guardian must actively participate in the water at all times with the child. The program is designed to promote comfort and safety in the water for the guardian and child.

Guardian Swim 1

  • Introduction to entries and exits, submersion and breath control, and assisted basic floats

Guardian Swim 2

  • Introduction to front and back glide and submersion
  • Development of front float, back float, and surface support

Guardian Swim 3

  • Introduction to front swim with basic arm action, jump into water with PFD
  • Development of all skills unassisted
ultra swim logo

Ultra Swim
( 5 - 16 years )

The Ultra Swim program is for children five years of age and older.

  • Levels 1 through 5 - 30 minutes
  • Levels 6 and 7 - 45 minutes
  • Levels 8 and 9 - 60 minutes

Ultra Level 1

  • Introduction to entries and exits, submersion and breath control, and basic floats with assistance

Ultra Level 2

  • Introduction to deep water, surface support, side glide, and kicking
  • Development of front swim, back kick, and glides
  • Continuous swim of 5m

Ultra Level 3

  • Introduction to front crawl, diving, and back swim
  • Development of surface support, side glide, and kicking
  • Continuous swim of 10m

Ultra Level 4

  • Introduction to side breathing, somersault, whip-kick, and forward roll
  • Development of front crawl and treading water
  • Continuous swim of 25m

Ultra Level 5

  • Introduction to back crawl, eggbeater kick, and elementary backstroke arms
  • Development of front dive, forward roll, front crawl
  • Continuous swim of 75m

Ultra Level 6

  • Introduction to stride entries, surface dives, breaststroke, and interval training
  • Development of front crawl, back crawl, elementary backstroke, and eggbeater
  • Continuous swim of 150m

Ultra Level 7

  • Introductions to shallow dive into deep water, clothed treading water
  • Development of surface dives, eggbeater, front crawl, back crawl, elementary backstroke, and breaststroke
  • Continuous swim of 200m

Ultra Level 8

  • Development of strokes and skills
  • Continuous swim of 300m

Ultra Level 9

  • Development of strokes and skills
  • Continuous swim of 400m
ultrayouth swim logo

Ultra Youth Swim
( 9 - 16 years )

The Ultra Youth Swim program is a three level program. It provides the participants the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in swimming and water safety with participants in the same age group.

  • Youth 1 through 3 - 60 minutes

Ultra Youth 1

  • Introduction of front and back swim, front, side, back glide, submersion and breath control, surface support and deep water

Ultra Youth 2

  • Introduction of stride entry, eggbeater, surface dives, breaststroke
  • Development of front crawl, back crawl, elementary backstroke, surface support
  • Continuous swim of 50-100m

Ultra Youth 3

  • Development of strokes and skills
  • Continuous swim of 100-300m
adult swim logo

Adult/Older Adult Swim
( 17 years+ ) ( 60 years+ )

The Adult/Older Adult Swim programs are a three level program. It provides the participants the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in swimming and water safety. Participants work on skill items at their own pace.e

Adult 1/Older Adult 1

  • Introduction of front and back swim, front, side, back glide, submersion and breath control, surface support and deep water
  • Continuous swim of 25-50m

Adult 2/Older Adult 2

  • Introduction of stride entry, eggbeater, breaststroke
  • Development of front crawl, back crawl, glides, surface support and deep water
  • Continuous swim of 50-100m

Adult 3/Older Adult 3

  • Development of strokes and skills
  • Continuous swim of 100-300m

Other Swim Programs

SPLASH Swim Team

SPLASH Swim Team is a recreational competitive swim program geared towards developing competitive swimming skills. Participants are encouraged to expand their swimming potential by practicing their strokes in a Team based environment and showcasing their skills in a competitive setting during swim meets. Each Team will have two practices a week for 8 to 9 weeks, that provide stroke improvement, competition and promotes fun. Swimmers compete according to the year they were born, not necessarily by their age at the time.

Challenge

The Challenge Program is a three level program that teaches participants competitive skills and provides them with an opportunity to improve fitness and endurance. The levels are Bronze, Silver and Gold. The program runs once a week and participants are challenged to improve their times and skills. There are no swim meets for the Challenge Program.

Stroke Improvement

The Child Stroke Improvement program provides participants from Ultra 5 and up an opportunity to work on the components of front crawl, back crawl, elementary backstroke and breaststroke. The Adult Stroke Improvement/SwimFit program provides participants an opportunity to improve strokes and fitness under the guidance of an instructor.

Pre-lifeguard Programs

Patrol Program

Rookie Patrol (9 yrs+) Prerequisite: Ultra 8

Components include: timed 100-metre swims, 350-metre workouts and swims with clothes. Develops swimming strength and efficiency with emphasis on personal responsibility for Water Smart behaviour.

Ranger Patrol (9 yrs+) Prerequisite: Ultra 9

Components include: timed 200-metre swims, 100-metre fitness medley and support/carry a five-pound weight. Content is challenging but achievable with effort. Drills improve rescue abilities in the water.

Star Patrol (9 yrs+) Prerequisite: Ultra 9

Components include: timed 300-metre swims, 600-metre workouts, lifeguard whistle signals, and airway and bleeding first aid priorities. Demands good physical conditioning and lifesaving judgement.

Junior Lifegurd

Junior Lifeguard Club (8 yrs+)

Learn all about the exciting world of lifeguarding.

  • Improve your skills
  • Improve your strokes
  • Make new friends
  • Get fit and have fun!

Prerequisite: Children must be able to swim two lengths of the pool comfortably.

The JLC offers a unique aquatic alternative for children who love the water and want more than just “lessons” or wish to complement the skills they are learning in swimming lessons or swim Team.

Bronze Program

Bronze Star and Basic First Aid (CPR-A)

Bronze Star is an excellent preparation course for success in Bronze Medallion. Participants develop problem solving and decision making skills individually and with a partner. Learn one-rescuer adult CPR, obstructed airway response and how to contact Emergency Medical Services. Candidates will develop Water Smart confidence and the lifesaving skills needed to be their own personal lifesaver. These are official training certifications of the Lifesaving Society – Canada’s lifeguarding experts.

Bronze Medallion and Emergency First Aid (CPR-B)

Prerequisites: Bronze Star or minimum 13 years of age

Teaches youth and adult lifesavers how to respond in complex water rescue situations. Bronze Medallion develops physical fitness, decision making and judgement skills in preparation for challenging rescues of increased risk. Lifesavers must demonstrate stroke efficiency and endurance in a timed swim. Candidates must be able to complete a 500-metre swim in 15 minutes or less by the course exam date. Emergency First Aid with CPR-B teaches general knowledge of first aid principles and the emergency treatment of injuries. Skills include: victim assessment, adult, child and infant CPR, and obstructed airway response, identification and treatment of respiratory and circulatory emergencies. Bronze Medallion and Emergency First Aid (CPR-B) are prerequisites for all future lifesaving awards.

Emergency First Aid

The Emergency First Aid course is for those who want a general knowledge of first aid principles and the emergency treatment of injuries. Skills include: victim assessment, CPR, choking, respiratory and circulatory emergencies such as heart attack and stroke and how to deal with external bleeding. Successful candidates receive both Emergency First Aid and CPR-B certifications. Emergency First Aid is recognized by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

Bronze Cross

Prerequisites: Bronze Medallion and Emergency First Aid

This course is designed for lifesavers who want the challenge of more advanced training including an introduction to safe supervision in aquatic facilities. Bronze Cross teaches the difference between lifesaving and lifeguarding, the principles of emergency procedures, Teamwork, and use of special equipment. Candidates must be able to complete a 600-metre swim in 18 minutes or less. Bronze Cross one of the prerequisites for lifeguard training in the National Lifeguard Service (NLS) program and Lifesaving Society Instructors.

Please note: Bronze Cross courses appearing in the FUN Guide do not include Standard First Aid (CPRC) Certification. Standard First Aid (CPR-C) remains a prerequisite for the National Lifeguard Certification program. It will be necessary for candidates registering for Bronze Cross courses offered in the FUN Guide, to complete a Standard First Aid (CPR-C) course, prior to registering for National Lifeguard (NLS) certification.

The following is a list of the recognized certifying agencies for Standard First Aid (CPR-C) accepted by the Lifesaving Society:

  • Lifesaving Society
  • Canadian Red Cross
  • St. John Ambulance
  • Canadian Ski Patrol

If you are interested in taking a combined Bronze Cross and Standard First Aid (CPR-C) course or following the next steps in the aquatic continuum, please see our Aquatic Leadership guide available online at toronto.ca/aquaticleadership or from most local community centres or district offices.

preschool swim logo

Preschool Swim

The Preschool Swim program is a four level program. This is the first opportunity for a child to participate in a swim program without their guardian. It may also be their first swimming experience.
guardian swim logo

Guardian Swim

The Guardian Swim program is a three level program which provides an introduction to the aquatic environment and to basic swimming skills for children with support from their parent or guardian.
ultra swim logo

Ultra Swim

The Ultra Swim program is for children five years of age and older.

There are nine levels:

  • Levels 1 through 5 - 30 minutes
  • Levels 6 and 7 - 45 minutes
  • Levels 8 and 9 - 60 minutes
ultra youth swim logo

Ultra Youth Swim

The Ultra Youth Swim program is a three level program. It provides the participants the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in swimming and water safety with participants in the same age group.
adult swim logo
olderadult swim logo

Adult/Older Adult Swim

The Adult/Older Adult Swim programs are a three level program. It provides the participants the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in swimming and water safety. Participants work on skill items at their own pace.

Other Swim Programs

SPLASH Swim Team, Challenge and Stroke Improvement

Pre-Lifeguard Program

Patrol Program, Junior Lifeguard and Bronze Program
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