Swim Lessons

indoor pool panorama shot

Swim lessons in our indoor pool

Spring 1 Swim lessons –  run March 21 – May 8.

Spring 2 swim lessons – run May 9 – Jun 30. Registration begins April 12, 8am. Lessons will be visible in our system on April 5 in the online widget below.

Please note: we will be offering regular enrollment classes and limited enrollment classes in the Spring 2 session.

How will it work?

We will be 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.

Adult swim lessons are only available as private lessons at this time. 

Ratios for Limited Enrollment lessons will be:
  • 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 will be:

  • 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 email info@dovercourt.org with the additional child’s name and we will charge you the additional fee of $126/ 6 lessons, $147/ 7 lessons and $168/ 8 lessons.

Important program info

Drop off and Pick up locations:

  • Participants may now enter the building through the downstairs doors of the Centre (parking lot level).
  • Please bring proof of your second vaccination for all those born in 2016 or earlier and arrive 10 minutes before your class to allow for vaccine checking by staff. We will be verifying proof of vaccination each time you enter the building.
  • Participants should arrive in their bathing suits through the pool deck doors. There is a bathroom available during lessons.
  • People watching the lessons should wear masks (children under 2 do not need to wear masks).
  • Masks should be worn by lesson participants while waiting for lessons and after exiting the pool (but not in the pool). 

Participants may use the change rooms after lessons but not before. Lockers will not be available. Participants will then exit the building through the parking lot doors. 

Health & Safety:

  • Participants and staff will be screened prior to arriving on site. The completion of an online questionnaire is required at the time of registration and another one may be requested prior to the program start.
  • Those who have indicated that they or a member of the same household has travelled outside the country in the past 14 days will not be permitted into the program.
  • Participants or staff who are exhibiting symptoms of illness may not be permitted into the facility. Those who exhibit signs or symptoms of illness during the program will be and sent home immediately. 

Program Details:

  • Participants must exit the pool deck immediately after their lesson.
  • Swim Instructors will be wearing a face shield while teaching.

Registration Details:

Before registration, please note:

  • Registration will be available online only. Please ensure you have a complete and accurate family account.
  • For this unusual and limited swim lesson program, we are temporarily suspending all of our regular discounts such as Military Families, neighbours, sponsors, and staff and volunteers.
  • Please note that swim lessons cannot be rescheduled. 

Register for a Program

Use the options on the left to filter your results. If you click straight into e.g. Children’s Lessons, you will also have filtering options.
Tip: Once you click the link for e.g. Children’s lessons, keep scrolling to see the options for Spring II dates (Spring I lessons that are already underway will display first).
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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:

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. 

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