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Recreational Swims

All ages

Enjoy a wide variety of recreational swim activities in our five aquatic centres (A.R. Kaufman (Kitchener), Chaplin (Cambridge), Guelph, Stork (Waterloo), and Stratford).  

See our program schedule for swim days and times. Registration for all recreational swim programs opens seven days in advance.  

Aquatic Admission Standards

Admission standards are in place to keep participants safe and will be enforced at all times. Please be sure to read through them carefully and contact us if you have any questions or concerns. Families who cannot meet the required adult to child ratios will not be allowed to participate in the swim.  

Each swimmer shall take a shower with warm water and soap before entering the pool. (Ontario Public Pool Regulation 565.s.19.5) Those with seizure disorders or other serious medical conditions should be accompanied by an individual knowledgeable of their condition and responsible for their direct supervision.


Aquatic Wristband Procedure 

In response to recommendations set out by the Coroner of Ontario and YMCA Child Protection protocols, all participants 9 years and under who wish to swim in deep water or unaccompanied in the pool must complete a brief swim test prior to being admitted to the pool. They will be required to wear a wristband in the pool.


Wristband colours are as follows: 

Facility Admission Swim Test 

Part 1: 25m Front Swim 

The following standards must be maintained throughout the duration of the 25m swim: 

  • Face in the water 

  • Overarm recovery 

  • Horizontal body position 

  • Propulsive forward motion 

  • Comfortable in the water 

Part 2: Tread Water Test 

Only delivered to those who successfully complete the 25m swim test

  • Jump away from the side of pool 

  • Easily surface and begin to tread water 

  • Head/ears maintained above water 

  • Completion of required time — 60 seconds 

Successful completion of the swim test is at the discretion of the lifeguard on duty. The swim test must be completed on each visit to the facility.

Lane Swim (Ages 13+)

During lane swim, the pool is set up with lane markers and speed indicators (fast, medium, slow, and leisure swim). Select the lane that best matches your swimming speed or workout. Swimmers should swim continuously and in a circular fashion when sharing the lane with others. 

Locations: A.R. Kaufman (Kitchener), Chaplin (Cambridge), Guelph, Stork (Waterloo), and Stratford

Family Swim

A great opportunity for families to be active and have fun together. During family swim, all participants under 16 years old must be accompanied in the pool by a parent/caregiver aged 16 or older, regardless of their ability to complete the swim test. Maximum 1:4 adult to child ratio for children over 6 years old. Children ages 5 and under must be directly supervised at a 1:2 adult to child ratio. 

Locations: A.R. Kaufman (Kitchener), Chaplin (Cambridge), Guelph, Stork (Waterloo), and Stratford

Open Swim

Enjoy all the pool has to offer during open swim. Pools will be separated into shallow and deep areas. Toys and select equipment will be available for use.  


Children ages 5 years and under must be directly accompanied (within arm’s reach) by a parent/guardian age 16+ at all times in the water and on the pool deck regardless of their ability to complete the swim test (1:2 adult to child ratio). Children ages 6-9 must be accompanied in the water by a parent/guardian unless they have successfully completed a swim test administered by the lifeguard on the pool deck. Parents must remain on deck to ensure their child has passed the swim test. Once the swim test has been passed, parents must remain in the pool enclosure. Please see Aquatic Admission Standards (above) for more details. 

Locations: A.R. Kaufman (Kitchener), Chaplin (Cambridge), Guelph, Stork (Waterloo), and Stratford

Women's Only Open Swim (Ages 13+)

This swim was developed in conversation with an equity deserving population, and is open for women ages 13 and up. During this swim time, only women staff are on the pool deck, which is only accessible from the women's and women’s plus change rooms. Roller blinds installed on the windows provide privacy for participants.


Members can register up to 7 days in advance of each swim through the member portal, or at the membership desk at any of our health and wellness locations. Non-members may register on the day of the program with the purchase of a day pass.

Looking for swim lessons? We offer women's only swim lessons for adults and youth. 

Locations: A.R. Kaufman (Kitchener), Guelph

Parent/Caregiver and Tot Swim (Ages 0 – 5)

This recreational swim is open to parents/caregivers ages 16+ and their preschoolers ages 0 to 5. Maximum 1:2 adult to child ratio. Non-toilet trained children must wear a swim diaper. 

Locations: A.R. Kaufman (Kitchener), Chaplin (Cambridge), Guelph, Stork (Waterloo), and Stratford

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