Swim lessons in our indoor pool

Registration & session dates:

  • Summer: July 1 – Aug 24; register now for week-long lessons (Mon – Fri) or Saturday weekly lessons
  • Spring 2: Apr 27 – Jun 28
Summer swim lessons

Why summer swim lessons at Dovercourt?

  • We offer convenient week-long lessons, allowing you to select weeks that work around family vacations.
  • Monday to Friday lessons: Kids pick up skills quickly in daily lessons and may be able to move past previous obstacles.
  • They’re a great option to keep active AND cool, even in hot weather.
  • The skills kids learn in summer are directly transferable to summertime activities, making them safer in and around water.

New! Swim Saturdays

Following “Play Free”, a new initiative from the City of Ottawa to allow more opportunities for children and youth to be active, Dovercourt will offer free Saturday drop-in swims for ages 0 – 17yrs from June 3 to December 30.

Please continue to book your swims up to 7 days in advance. The fees for kids/ youth for those swims have been adjusted accordingly.

Book a drop-in swim >

Why choose Dovercourt for your lessons?

  • We are a Lifesaving Society swim program
  • The LSS “Swim for Life” program is nationally recognized, researched, and proven
  • We have National level trainers and experienced, qualified staff who love to teach kids to swim
  • Our online registration system is fast & easy to use, with filtering options to find the day, time, age and level of the lessons you need.
  • We offer regular group lessons, limited enrollment group lessons, and private and semi-private lessons
  • Our leisure pool was designed specifically for swim lessons, with its warmer water temperatures, organic pod shape and ramp entry.


Kids of all ages can benefit from swim lessons at Dovercourt.

Babies: Dovercourt swim lessons teach infants — through games, songs & activities in our warm water pool — that being in the water is fun, which translates into having a positive experience in all water, even bath time!

Preschoolers: Swimming has been scientifically linked to better academic performance. Studies have found that children who swam during their developmental years achieved several physical and mental milestones faster than their non-swimming counterparts.

School age kids: Everyone has read the stats: children are drowning. This is serious stuff and as children get older, they are more likely to be around water when you may not be present — for example, on a trip to the beach with friends, a camping trip etc.

For youth, swimming is a great full-body workout that strengthens and builds coordination through drills, skills and tools for the developing athlete.

Read more about what makes Dovercourt the best for lessons in the city.

How does it work?

We are offering private swim lessons, group swim lessons as well as limited enrollment group classes for Parent and Tot 1 – 3, Preschool A – E, Swimmer 1 – 6, and Swim Patrol. 

Parents are only required to be in the pool with their children for Parent and Tot and Preschool A transition.

Ratios for Limited Enrollment lessons:

  • P&T 1-3, 8:1
  • Preschool A-E: 3:1
  • Swimmer 1-4: 4:1
  • Swimmer 5&6: 5:1
  • Swim Patrol 6:1

Ratios for regular classes:

  • P&T 1-3, 12:1
  • Preschool A-E, 5:1
  • Swimmer 1-4, 7:1
  • Swimmer 5&6, 8:1
  • Swim Patrol 12:1
For semi-private lessons:

If you would like to upgrade your private package to a semi-private, register the 1st child into the timeslot of your choice, then call us at 613-798-8950 ext. 0 to register.

We will then charge you the additional fee of:

  • $119/ 5 lessons
  • $165 / 7 lessons

  • $189/ 8 lessons
  • $212/ 9 lessons

Click to read about the benefits of Private lessons >

Registration Details:

Before registration, please note:

  • Registration will be available online only. Please ensure you have a complete and accurate family account.
  • Please note that swim lessons cannot be rescheduled. 


Cancellation Policy

Refunds will be provided up to 3 weeks (21 days) prior to the start date and subject to a $20 administration fee (this fee is waived if the amount is left as an account credit).

Within 3 weeks (21 days) of a program start, refunds will not be issued other than in extraordinary circumstances, and with medical documentation.

Register for a Program

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private swim lessons

In addition to group lessons, we offer packages of 5 to 9 private lessons, depending on the session. They are an excellent option for children and adults alike, offering a host of benefits.

Why take Private Swim lessons?

  • You missed registering for the start of the session and don’t want to get behind.
  • A swimmer is stuck on a particular skill, and a few private lessons, in addition to regular lessons, can help them work towards overcoming their obstacle.
  • Private lessons are the quickest way to make up for lost time and catch up to an age group.
  • A swimmer’s specific needs can be better addressed through private lessons.
  • Children (and adults) who fear the water often gain greater confidence in the water through one-on-one instruction.

The Dovercourt difference

Personalized attention from Dovercourt’s highly trained and enthusiastic instructors will help swimmers improve all aspects of their swim strokes, including coordination, breathing, timing, and strength. Our warm water pool, swimming pods and ramp entry make it an inviting environment for swimmers. Our instructors use all of the pool’s features to deliver fun, skill-based lessons.

Did you know that our Lifesaving Saving Society Swim for Life program is nationally recognized, researched, and proven? In addition, we have National level trainers and experienced, qualified staff who love to teach kids to swim.

Private lessons benefit adult swimmers too. 

Triathletes often discover that swimming is their weak link and use stroke improvement lessons to level up.

Grandparents want to take their grandchildren swimming but realize their skills need a refresher before they feel truly comfortable.

Christine, our Aquatics Manager, worked with a senior who had previously only done aquafitness but decided on her 75th birthday that it was time to learn to swim! She mastered the front crawl, back crawl and treading water through private lessons and practice —and a deep sense of accomplishment.

Lots of days & times

Regardless of your end goal, our private swim lessons are sure to accommodate your needs. Each session, we have a variety of days and times available. Private lessons can also be made into a semi-private with an additional fee for the 2nd swimmer.

In the program registration widget, click on “Private Lessons” to see what is available and to register.

adult swimming in the pool

Why take swimming lessons at Dovercourt?

Dovercourt Recreation Centre takes swimming very seriously.

In addition to being an essential life skill, swimming is also an enormous life asset – from  both a physical and mental health perspective. Bottom line, those who learn how to swim will have an enormous advantage in life.

Dovercourt strongly believes everyone should have that advantage, and with this, has built a unique and reputable swimming program based on 4 key pillars:

One other important point: Dovercourt’s modern registration system can handle heavy demand at registration times and works equally well on Mac & PC, tablet and phone.

private lesson boy learning to swim one-on-one

Quality of curriculum and instruction

The Dovercourt swimming program is based on the Lifesaving Society’s  Swim for Life® model – a comprehensive approach that focuses on three fundamental strokes.  Learning Swim to Survive® and achieving the Lifesaving Society’s Swim to Survive® Standard are key foundations of the Swim for Life® program.

While Swim for Life® forms the foundation of our swimming program, it is our highly-skilled instructors who ultimately make it the success that it is.  Dovercourt swim staff undergo regular, extensive training on safety, current standards and teaching techniques. 

In addition to their consummate level of instruction, our staff also put a strong emphasis on fun, patience and kindness. Allaying fears and instilling confidence in budding swimmers is a top priority.

And we’re proud to say that many of our instructors were once students of Dovercourt’s swimming program themselves!

kids having fun in pool in recreational swim

Comfort and functionality of facilities

Dovercourt is conveniently located in central west Ottawa. With plenty of parking, an extensive playground, and close proximity to the shops and restaurants of Westboro, Dovercourt offers convenience and ease for families both coming and going.

Read more about our pool here.

jump in swim

Access and inclusion

Access and inclusion quite simply means that everyone is welcome at Dovercourt. Regardless of age, income, race, physical ability, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or gender identity — our swimming program is open to all.

Dovercourt has offered low or no-cost classes to new Canadians, and our Last Minute Club provides free spots in swim classes that have failed to sell out at the start of the program.

And for anyone who wishes to register for swimming at Dovercourt but finds that the expense is cost-prohibitive, you can request a financial assistance form to see if you qualify for a subsidy.

jump in to swim

Swimming influences the development of the whole child

Some have said that swimming is a metaphor for life – we battle waves, go with the flow, try to keep our head above water – and of course, the proverbial sink or swim.

The comparison is apt when you examine the benefits of swimming on the development of the whole child. According to the German Sports College Cologne, learning to swim at a young age can contribute significantly to left and right brain development, healthy self-esteem, strong self-discipline, and even academic success.

Read more about this here:


child swim lessons with flutter boards

Our Swim Instructors

Dovercourt’s highly-skilled instructors are able to teach children proper technique efficiently and effectively, in accordance with the high standards of the Lifesaving Society. Our staff undergo extensive training and regular updates on safety, rescue situations, changes to current standards, as well as techniques for teaching. Many of our senior aquatics staff are instructor and lifeguard trainers and are a valuable resource for our aquatics team. 

swim instructors

The people who teach swimming at Dovercourt are pretty special. Not only are they exceptionally gifted in the water – they’re also warm, funny and kind – and they each have their own story of how they came to be a swim instructor.