Swimming is a life skill, and knowing how to swim makes it possible to safely enjoy pools, water parks and the outdoors. Quality swim lessons are taught by certified YMCA swim instructors who create a fun and caring learning environment. Students learn fundamental swimming skills, while fostering a life-long appreciation for physical activity and fitness through swimming.

Currently, the Downtown Y does not have adequate staffing to accommodate group swim lessons.

Swimming Lesson Seasons

Swimming Lessons are offered for registration in seasons. At the end of each season, participants will re-register for the next season; lessons no longer following the continuous registration format. Registration is offered on a first come first serve basis.

Fall 2023 Saturday September 23th– Sunday December 17th, 2023

Swimming lessons will be available on Saturday and Sunday mornings between 9:00am – 11:30am. There will be a Group Lesson program break the weekends of  November 4th/5th and November 11th/12th; Group Lessons will resume on November 18th.


Registration for the Fall Season, will be available online only, on Monday September 11th at 12:00pm (noon).

If your child has not participated in YMCA swimming lessons before, when registering please select Unknown from the Level dropdown menu. Swimmers without a known level will be assessed and assigned to a level on the first day of lessons.

Due to the limited availability of spaces, participants may only register for one weekly group lesson set per season. In addition, those that are unable to commit to a full season of lessons, and expect 3 or more lessons will be missed, are asked to wait for the next season to register for lessons.  Members who register for more than one lesson per week will be withdrawn from their lessons.

If a lesson timeslot is full please register for a waiting list; we will contact you if a space becomes available.

Lessons are available to all Vancouver Island Y members, regardless of home branch.

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Swim lessons are included, at no additional cost, in child or family memberships.

Membership at the Y provides access to many facilities and services.  An active membership (memberships on Hold are not considered active) is required at registration and for the duration of the swim lesson season (a. Membership does not guarantee registration. If a member does not secure a space in swim lessons there will be no refund of membership fees.

YMCA Swim Lesson Levels

Swimming lessons are based on age at the start date of the lesson season; Preschool Age lessons 3-5 years and School Age lessons 6-12 years.

Review the YMCA Swim Lesson Criteria – what your child will learn in the lesson.

To review swim level conversion chart, click here.

Parent and Tot Swim Lessons

Learn how to enter and exit the water together; practice holds and supports to swim safely together; play games that encourage toddlers to blow bubbles in the water and get faces wet; and start to develop floating and kicking skills. Parent participation required.

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Adult/Teen Learn to Swim Lessons

Adult/Teen Learn to Swim is for participants 13+ yrs and covers an introductions to front and back floats and glides, working towards a 10-15m swim on front and back, learning safe entries into shallow and deep water, breath control and underwater skills, flutter kick and treading water.

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Aquatic Leader in Training

The Aquatic Leader in Training (ALIT) program offers a unique aquatic alternative for kids who really love the water! This program keeps kids interested and active in aquatics — especially quick learners and those caught between programs. Must be able to swim 8 lengths of the pool. Learn about lifesaving, lifeguarding and first aid while improving swimming skills in a fun environment. A great way to learn about a future career. ALIT does not run during the summer months; please refer to Advanced Aquatics programming for alternative course options.

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Private/Semi-Private Swimming Lessons

Private and Semi-Private Swim Lessons are for current Y members. Your membership must remain current and in good standing, for the duration of your lessons. Registration is required. Private Lesson fees are $32.50+gst per lesson; Semi-Private Lesson fees are discounted at 50% for the additional swimmer.  Lessons are non-refundable.

Available to participants 3+ yrs.

Member booking the lessons is responsible for registering 2nd participant within same swimming ability and ensuring they are present for lessons.

Registration opens Monday September 11th at 12:00pm(noon); lesson availability is accessed through the Online Service Portal, here. Fall season Private Lessons are available in two sessions, September-October and November-December ; please pay careful attention to the lesson dates when registering.

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Review the private swim lesson refund/cancellation policy.


Progress reports can be retrieved online using your child’s Customer ID number.  If you do not have this ID number or your child’s report is not listed please email our team.


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