Registered Rec Programs

Swimming Guidelines & Policies

Children 7 years of age or older are required to use the change room of their own gender. If this is not suitable, please see facility staff so that appropriate accommodation can be arranged. Universal change rooms are for parents or guardians with children of opposite gender under the age of 7 years. Note: Not all facilities have universal change rooms. 

Swimming lessons

Please note, only lessons operated by the City of Hamilton are permitted. Refer to RecConnect for detailed program offerings at your neighbourhood facility.

Serious medical conditions

Those with serious medical conditions should be accompanied by an individual knowledgeable of their condition and responsible for their direct supervision. The patron accompanying the individual with the special needs is not required to pay an entrance fee.

What to wear

Proper bathing attire means bathing attire only. Sorry, no street clothes, shoes or undergarments.

Pool fouling

All children not toilet trained must wear an article of clothing that will keep fecal matter contained in the event of a fouling.

We suggest you use:

  • Plastic pants
  • Little Swimmers pool pant diapers

Standard diapers are not allowed.

A pool fouling will cause a closure of our pools anywhere up to 24 hours. The Ministry of Health enforces this regulation. Your co-operation is greatly appreciated.


Showering before you enter the pool will keep it clean for your swimming experience. We also ask that shoes not be worn in the shower area as Health Regulations require the shower area to be kept clean and disinfected.


The City's Recreation Division is committed to the safety of Hamilton children.

  • All non-swimmers must remain in the shallow end.
  • Children ages 0 to 5 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and remain within arm's reach of guardian at all times.
  • Children ages 6 to 9 who do not pass the facility swim test must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and remain with arm’s reach of guardian at all times.

Facility Swim Test

To successfully pass the facility swim test individuals must:

  • Demonstrate comfort in the water
  • Swim a minimum of 2 widths continuously in shallow water

Lifeguards may, at any time, ask for a demonstration of swimming ability regardless of age or if they feel there is a question of the participant's safety.

Facility Swim Test for children 9 years of age or younger

  • Those who cannot pass the Facility Swim Test, must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, and must be within arm's reach of guardian at all times. 
  • Those who can pass the Facility Swim Test may be admitted without a parent or guardian into the pool
  • A guardian is defined as an individual at least 12 years of age or older who is responsible for the direct supervision of children within their care.

Supervision requirements

Age of Child Supervision Ratio
Children ages 0 to 5 Two children to one guardian (2:1)
Children ages 6 to 9 who are non-swimmers Four children to one guardian (4:1) or
Eight children with lifejackets to one guardian (8:1)

Lifejackets are based on a first come, first served basis. Limited supply available. We recommend that participants provide their own lifejackets to ensure availability and proper fit.