Swimming lessons in Toronto
Swimming lessons in Toronto are a rite of passage for most kids, but if you haven't been exposed to the super chlorinated extra frigid water of a Toronto pool, then grab your best pair of water wings and dive in! Swimming is a year round sport here in Toronto, so there's no better time to flex it like Phelps and get your butt in the deep end.
While most locations cater almost exclusively to the wee-ones, some do offer adults only classes as well. With water slides, hot tubs and even a wave pool, you may have just found your new favourite winter sport.
City of Toronto Parks and Rec - Regent Park Aquatic Centre
With the revitalization of this neighbourhood in full swing, special care and attention was paid to the brand spanking new Regent Park Aquatic Centre. With a lap, leisure and a comfy warm water pool, Regent Park residents also have a Tarzan rope, diving board and water slide to keep them occupied. The class schedule is for everyone, from tots up to adults and classes for adults with a disability. Universal change rooms allow accessibility for everyone and drop-in classes make it easy for the commitment shy to try before you buy. Best of all, residents pay nothing, non-residents $73 per term, with each class lasting a minimum of 30 minutes.
St Alban's Boys and Girls Clubs
With hordes of classes for the masses, St Albans's runs a stellar program for girls and boys of all ages at both their Palmerston and Winona Pools. Group ($95), semi-private ($115) and private options ($235) are available. Competitive classes are also available for those junior Olympians who want to build endurance and speed. Adults aren't left blowing bubbles in the shallow end either. With three levels from beginner to master, mature students can make the most of their stroke. Red Cross and lifesaving classes are also available.
The Wave Pool
While Richmond Hill is a bit of a hike for downtowners, it's worth it for the only public wave pool in the GTA. With classes for babes in arms starting at a mini three months old, going right up to adult classes for both men and women (including private and semi-private lessons), there's a little something for everyone, including a 160ft twisting water slide. Classes start at only $76 per term and you can also drop in to use the facilities pay as you go for $8.50.
Your local Y is a great resource for swimming, with classes of all kinds for different levels of swimmer. Aquafit classes, check. SwimFit, sure. But the real meat and potatoes are the Olympic sized pools, family change rooms, and nifty training pools that adjust the depth in minutes. Swimming lessons are an extra $10 a month per membership, with classes ranging from 30 mins each week and up. Teen swimming classes are also available, and volunteers are trained up for junior lifeguard positions.
Shendy's Swim School
With a brand new facility and 20 years of experience, Shendy's has been a popular choice with Leaside-ers for classes for those six months and up. Following the Red Cross program, students can work their way up through the program and graduate as mini lifeguards. 30 minute sessions start at $250 for 10 weeks, while 60 minute classes will run you $380 for 10 weeks. Aqua fit classes and water rehab are also on the schedule.
City of Toronto Parks and Rec - Douglas Snow
With a 50 metre pool a stone's throw away from North York Civic Centre subway stop, Douglas Snow has excellent facilities matched equally with great programming for just about everyone. From pre-school to older adult there's a great mix of lessons to challenge the novice or seasoned swimmer. Classes start at 30 minutes in length and sessions last typically 12 weeks for $75 for residents, and $113 for 905-er's. And yes, there are two water slides to choose from for a celebratory splash after your lesson.
With three locations in the GTA, Olympian Swimming has designed their own program for junior swimmers to advance their skills with the backing of former Olympic athletes. With a tiny 4:1 ratio for class sizes, swimmers are challenged to learn the strokes and move on up through their coloured program, with Bronze Cross and lifesaving programs available as well. Private classes are available, as is the adult learn to swim program. Call them for pricing.
Aqua Kids Swim School
Operating out of four GTA pools Aqua Kids Swim School runs the Red Cross program for kids right up to adults, including classes for boys or girls only, and an option for truly abysmal swimmers to hire a private coach for a lesson at their own personal pool. Low student to teacher ratios ensure special care for your swimmer. Packs of 10 classes start (45 mins) at $359, while a pack of private lessons will set you back $750 per session.
Zodiac swim school
Always wanted to send your son or daughter (or self) to a fancy private school but couldn't afford it? Sending them to swim school at one of these fine institutions is the next best thing, with Havergal and Toronto French School as two locations, and High Park Village as a third. Lessons start at parent and tot, and work their way through Red Cross and Lifesaving. Have a flair for dramatics? Give Synchro a whirl. Adults have their work cut out for them with the Red Cross program, and the specialized classes for triathletes are a smart way to train. Tot classes start at $267 per term, while adult swim starts out at $247 per term.
Jack of Sports
With an impressive 12 pools in their portfolio, Jack of Sports operates their pack of programming for parent and tot up to adult. All classes are one hour in length, guaranteeing you/your kid will actually learn something in their class. Also following the Red Cross program, Jack of Sports offers private and semi-private classes starting at $75/hr.
Beach Swim School
With two locations to serve beach residents, Beach Swim School offers a sea of programming from parent and tot up to Bronze cross/lifesaving classes. Primarily for youngsters, the program offers low instructor to swimmer ratios for their 8-10 week sessions, ranging from a scant $100 up to $340. Class times run from 20 minutes up to 50 minutes, and synchro is an option for those that like to swim circles with their pals.
Felix Swim School
With six locations in and around the GTA, Felix Swim Schools specialize in salt water pool swim lessons. With a mandate of a 3:1 student to teacher ratio for all swim classes, kids from eight months up to adults can learn the Red Cross program ranging from 30 minute to one hour classes all starting at $390 and up, depending on length and location.
Photo of the Regent Park Aquatic Centre by A As Architecure