Community Recreation provides programming for Torontonians of all ages and ability. The diverse programs and opportunities allow participants to be able to try an activity, develop different talents and explore the benefits of recreation.

For a positive and safe recreation experience, please read the following information regarding participant safety and supervision, program standards, emergency procedures, and health of participants.

For information regarding policies pertaining specifically to Camp, After-School and Recreation Discovery and Recreation Adventures programs, visit For Parents and Caregivers.

Washroom Guidelines

Recreation programs for young children without a caregiver are intended for children who are toilet trained. Staff cannot change diapers. To ensure your child’s successful participation in the program:

  • Encourage your child to use the washroom before the program begins.
  • Tell staff about any special toileting routines or signs your child uses when they need to use the washroom.
  • Use pull-up training pants

Provide an extra set of clothing in case a toileting accident occurs. Clothing should be easy for your child to remove by themselves. Be sure to label the extra set of clothing with your child’s name.

Cooking Programs

Cooking programs teach children the basics of cooking and healthy eating. All cooking programs follow food safety and personal hygiene guidelines developed in consultation with Toronto Public Health, and offer nutritious food choices in line with Canada’s Food Guide. If your child has any allergy concerns, refer to the Food Allergies and Dietary Restrictions section.

Food Allergies and Dietary Restrictions

The City of Toronto and its staff cannot guarantee that the ingredients or supplies within programs that prepare, serve or cook food are free of possible allergen-containing ingredients. Participants enrolled in the program must be aware of this risk. The City will not assume any liability for adverse reactions to food consumed or food items participants may come in contact with while participating in the program. Participants or their caregiver will be required to fill out a Participant Information Form on or before the first day of the program. Speak to staff to discuss any food allergies or dietary restrictions.

Safety Equipment

A component of safety includes the using of protective equipment. Participants in programs or sports that require protective equipment must bring that equipment with them in the correct size. For more information on specific program safety equipment, visit:

Concussion Safety

For information regarding Concussion Safety, visit Sports Programs.

Examples of sports programs include but are not limited to:

Severe Weather

Weather conditions that may affect programs are regularly monitored by staff through information from Environment Canada and the Weather Network. Severe weather conditions may require programs to be modified or cancelled to ensure participant safety. In the event of a program cancellation, staff will attempt to notify caregivers as soon as possible. Communication of program cancellations will be made by phone, posting of facility signage and service alerts.

For more severe weather information regarding specific activities, visit:

Program Attendance

Our program staff are responsible for maintaining accurate attendance for all programs. Staff will take attendance daily, at the beginning of the program and during the program as needed. Attendance lists will contain minimal information to ensure personal information is kept confidential. Attendance lists will be in possession of staff at all times or kept securely in the facility after program hours.

Supervising Your Children

Staff receive training on how to transition their groups between activities and locations. Transitions are planned in advance and are considered an important part of the child’s program experience. Staff escort or use a buddy system when children use transition areas such as hallways, change rooms and washroom facilities.

Staff-to-participant ratios are always maintained to ensure the safe supervision of your child. Ratios are based on age and activity, for both Registered and Drop-In Programs.

Registered Programs

Includes Arts, General Interests, Sports and Youth/Leadership.

Ratios by age range.
Age With Caregiver Without Caregiver
Zero to two years (Early Child) 1:15 n/a
Three years (Early Child) 1:15 1:8
Four to five years (Early Child) 1:15 1:10
Six to eight years (Child) n/a 1:12
Nine to 12 years (Child) n/a 1:15
13 to 24 years (Youth) n/a 1:15

For more information on ratios based on specific activities, visit:

Registered programs are intended for the individual client that is registered in the program. Programs “with caregiver” require a parent or caregiver of at least 14 years of age to directly supervise the participant who is registered and actively participate in the program. Additional children are not permitted to attend unless also registered with appropriate caregiver present.

Lost Participants

Staff conduct participant head counts on a regular basis, at the start of programs, during transitions and before any emergency situation to ensure that there is an immediate awareness of missing participant(s). Staff are trained in specific procedures to locate participants, including contacting the police if participants are not found and it is determined that the participants are not with a caregiver.

Program Expectations

Learning New Skills

City of Toronto programs are designed to provide your child with opportunities to learn and practice new skills through progressive skill development. Our staff will encourage your child to master new skills at their own pace.

Receiving Updates on Your Child’s Progress

Staff will give caregivers updates on their child’s progress at designated program time. Caregivers may speak with staff at the beginning or end of a class if there are other questions.

Equipment Inspection Standard

In addition to regularly inspecting play areas and program equipment, staff visually inspect equipment for any issues before use. If an issue is identified, staff immediately notify their supervisors and do not allow children to access it. Equipment that can’t be repaired will not be used and staff will arrange alternative activities.

Taking Pictures or Filming During Programs

The City of Toronto recognizes the public’s desire to capture the special memories made in program spaces by filming and photographing them. To protect the privacy, safety, accessibility and comfort of all users, filming and photography may not be allowed. Speak to a staff person on site before photographing or filming.

On occasion, there will be an interest in taking photos or videos at programs for future Parks, Forestry and Recreation promotions. Caregivers may be asked to complete a Multimedia Consent Form and return it to staff.

Using a phone, tablet, camera or other electronic or photographic device is not allowed in washrooms and change rooms at any City of Toronto facilities.

Participant Behaviour Standards

Healthy Child and Behaviour Development

The City of Toronto is committed to quality recreation programs for children and youth in a safe and inclusive environment. Staff are trained to manage child and youth behaviour in a supportive and positive manner and to look out for the safety of all participants at all times.

Code of Conduct

The City of Toronto promotes a safe, welcoming, positive and inclusive environment, where everyone is valued and respected. Staff, volunteers, participants and parks and facility users are expected to follow the Code of Conduct Policy by being considerate and respectful of other people and their rights, and by also demonstrating proper care and regard for City property and the property of others.

The City of Toronto will support individuals so they can participate but will not tolerate unacceptable behaviour in any of its programs, facilities or properties. The City will take steps to make sure that incidents of violence or inappropriate behaviour do not occur. Staff may suspend or ban anyone who has engaged in an activity which is not allowed on City property.


Staff are trained in and responsible for creating a safe and caring environment free from bullying for all participants. Staff will intervene to stop bullying among any participants using approaches that are positive, supportive, consistent and proactive.

Medical Emergency

In the event of a medical emergency or serious injury involving a participant, staff are trained to immediately contact Emergency Medical Services and follow a series of procedures, including notifying caregivers. All of our staff are trained in First Aid and will provide first aid and/or CPR on-site for any medical emergencies that arise.

Non-Medical Emergencies

Emergency Response Procedures are in place in all program areas and staff are trained in these procedures and protocols. These procedures help staff ensure the safety of participants during emergency situations. Examples of procedures include those for fire, lockdowns, bomb threats, chemical spills and gas leaks. Site-specific Emergency Response Plans help staff respond effectively to emergency situations and handle operational issues.

Preventative Health Measures

Equipment Cleaning and Illness Prevention

Staff are trained to regularly clean and disinfect equipment and toys that are susceptible to contamination or have been contaminated. Remember to label personal refillable water bottles to help prevent sharing water and spreading germs.

Hand Washing

Staff will make sure that children have washed their hands before meals and snack time and after using the washroom, in accordance with Toronto Public Health’s Hand Washing Guidelines.

Allergies and Health Needs

An Administration of Medication Form and Waiver must be completed if a participant has any health needs and/or carries medication. If a participant has a life-threatening allergy and carries an auto-injector (example: Epipen®), an Anaphylaxis-Consent for Administration of Epipen® Form must be complete. These forms must be given to staff on the first day of the program or the participant may not be able to attend.

Participants with an auto-injector (e.g. Epipen®) and/or asthma puffers must have their labelled medication with them at all times during program hours. Medication cannot be kept on-site after program hours. It will be sent home each day with participants.

Program Health Concerns

Head Lice

If a participant shows signs or symptoms of head lice (pediculosis), staff will immediately notify caregivers and recommend they see a health professional. Staff will make sure that contact between participants is minimal.

Staff will provide all caregivers with a letter on head lice and a Toronto Public Health Head Lice Fact Sheet. Staff will wash, sterilize and vacuum items and surfaces. Every effort will be made to maintain the privacy of participants and families. For additional information on head lice, visit the Health and Wellness’ Head Lice information page.

West Nile Virus Guidelines

For outdoor nature programs or trips, it is recommended that participants bring insect repellent (labelled with the participant’s name), and/or protective long-sleeved clothing that is light-coloured and breathable. Staff will remind participants who have brought repellent to apply/reapply it when mosquitoes may be present. Where possible, our staff will avoid areas with stagnant/standing water and other areas where mosquitoes can breed. For additional information on West Nile Virus, visit the Health and Wellness’ West Nile Virus information page.

Sun, Heat and Smog

For programs with outdoor activities, participants should bring sunscreen (labelled with the participant’s name). Staff will remind participants to reapply sunscreen throughout the day and after water-related activities. Participants will be encouraged and reminded to drink water frequently. During extreme weather conditions, programs may be modified.

Programs and Participant Illness

Contagious Illness or Health Conditions

City programs follow guidelines developed with Toronto Public Health for common contagious illnesses or health conditions. Participants may be restricted from a program if they have contracted a contagious illness or a health condition that could affect the health and safety of others or could have negative implications for their own health and safety.

Child Who Becomes Ill during a Program

If a participant becomes ill during a program, staff will ensure that they receive proper care. Caregivers will be notified immediately and asked to pick-up the participant.

Create a New Account

To sign up for recreation programs you will need Client and Family Numbers. For information on how to create your account, visit How to Register for Recreation Programs’ Create or Manage Your Account section.

Once you have an account, you can register for programs, check your account transactions, registration status and print and save your receipts (they are not mailed). Contact Client Services at 416-396-7378 for questions pertaining to your account.

You can only register for members of your own immediate family and those who you’re responsible for under the law. Registration for more than one family is not allowed.

Register and Pay

Visit How to Register for Recreation Programs‘:

For lower-cost options, visit:

If You Can’t Make It

Programs are popular and many have waiting lists. If you can no longer attend the program you are registered for, contact the community centre where the program is offered or call 416-396-7378, so the spot can be offered to someone else. If you do not attend the first two classes and have not notified us, you will be contacted and may be withdrawn from the program. This will allow others on the waitlist to participate. So…if you can’t go, let us know!