The YMCA offers a number of times to come in and explore the pool. All Pool visits need to be booked in advance via the My Y App, On-line Scheduler or by calling 902-752-0202. Check the Schedule to see when the following services are offered:

Open Swim

Everyone is welcome at open swim.  Use this time to do your own workout in the pool or have a social outing.  All ages are welcome.  All children under 8 years must be supervised by a responsible person 16 years or older who will remain at arms length during the swim.  Member program or drop-in fee.

Lane Swim

This is a designated time to swim lengths and work on your endurance. There are two lanes open throughout the day with the exception of swim lessons. Member program or day pass.

Open Exercise

Use this time to do your own workout in the pool . Water weights and other equipment are available or take a walk against the current in the leisure pool.  Member program or day pass.

Parent and Tot

Introduce your child to the water. The leisure pool is set at a warm temperature that your baby will enjoy. This swim is also great for meeting other parents and tots. This swim is open for children five years old and under. Member program or day pass.

Inclusion Swim

This swim provides a sensory-friendly, welcoming environment to swim and have fun.  Member program or day pass.

Family Swim

Children 7 and under must have a parent in the pool with them.  All children 8 years and under must be supervised by a responsible person 16 years or older who will remain at arm’s length while in the pool.


Looking for Public & Member Swim times? Specific Pool dates & times for swims and program are found on our Schedules page.


Jump in and discover why everyone from infants to seniors can benefit from being active in the water!

Few things are more inviting than a bright blue, sparkling pool. At the YMCA, we have two indoor swimming pools ready for year-round swim lessons, water aerobics, and family fun.

Surrounded by natural light with floor to ceiling windows, you can enjoy a splash in the YMCA 25 meter lane pool or the leisure pool. Our leisure pool is equipped with a lazy river that can be used for exercise, to mix up your walking routine, or for fun. On the deck, you will find a steam room and hot tub. All spaces at the YMCA Aquatic Centre are fully accessible with chair lifts and there are several available water wheel chairs. Our Centre is welcoming to all ages and abilities.
Explore our swim lessons to find the program that’s right for you or your child.

All Swimming Lesson Class schedules are located in the current Program Guide found on the schedule page.

Continuous Swimming Lessons run annually during the School year from September through June.  You can join anytime and YMCA Membership is required to register. Continuous Swimming Lessons are included in YMCA Membership at no additional cost.

Once children complete a level they are automatically moved to the next level. 

Summer only Swimming Lessons are offered in July & August only and are outside of the regular continuous lesson program; separate registration is required.

New to YMCA Membership or returning to lessons? Register at anytime at the YMCA Membership Services. 

Swimming Lessons & Swim Instruction

Make a Splash!

Knowing how to swim can save your life — or even someone else’s. Taught by certified YMCA instructors, our swimming lessons will give you lifelong skills to help you be safe in and around the water. But there’s more to YMCA swim lessons than just learning to swim. We want children to build confidence in the water, meet new people, and hopefully develop a lifelong passion for swimming!

Parent & Tot Swim Lessons | 6 months - 3 Years

Parent and Tot levels are taught in the same class.

Parent and Tot (Splashers) 
Caregiver assists child to develop comfort in the water and promotes water fun through songs and games. Instruction covers skills such as splashing with arms and legs and pool area orientation.

Parent and Tot (Bubbler)
Caregiver assists child to develop comfort in the water and promotes water fun through songs and games. Instruction covers skills such as holding on to the wall, kicking their legs, assisted front/back floats, and practicing safe swimming.


Pre School Programs | 3 - 5 Years

Preschool 1: Bobber
Child gains comfort in the water without a caregiver. Instruction covers skills such as entering and exiting the pool, blowing bubbles, progression for submersion, assisted front and back floats, glides, and safety.

Preschool 2: Floater
Child learns pool rules and is comfortable entering and exiting the pool on their own. Instruction covers skills such as swimming 10m with a PFD wearing a personal floatation device (PFD), assisted jumps into the water, retrieving objects, and unassisted front and back floats and bobs.

Preschool 3: Glider
Child is comfortable beginning the transition from shallow to deep water (water is over the child’s head when touching the bottom) with assistance. Instruction covers skills such as deep water activities and assisted front and back floats in deep water, swims of 5m in shallow water.

Preschool 4: Diver
Child is getting comfortable in deep water. Instruction covers skills such as side-to-side rolls, work on arm action, and increasing front and back swim distances to 10m.

Preschool 5: Surfer
Child explores diving, surface support, creative pool entries and extends swim distances to 15m. Instruction covers skills such as retrieving object from deep water, front and back swim to 15m.

Preschool 6: Jumper
Child further refines front and back swim to 25m and continues deep water activities. Instruction covers skills such as front and back crawl, standing dive, and surface support for 45 seconds

Learn to Swim Levels | Ages 6 - 12

 Instruction covers skills such as submersion, unassisted front and back glide and jumps into chest deep water from a standing position.

Child is comfortable in deep water. Instruction covers skills such as deep water jumping and breath control. Participants continue to work on glides and glide 5m on their back.

Child spends more time in deep water and works to increase endurance and stamina. Instruction covers skills such as treading in deep water for 30 seconds, front glide with kick.

Child can recover an object in water 1.5m deep, tread water for 40 seconds, and front crawl for 15m distance. Instruction covers skills such as surface dives and deep water bobs, front crawl and back crawl.

Star Swimming Levels | Ages 6 - 12

Star 1:
Participant works on endurance to complete a 75m swim. Instruction covers skills such as enhancing front crawl to initial standard and back crawl to initial standard, introduction of elementary breaststroke, swimming on back for 25m, and treading water for 2 minutes.

Star 2:
Participant continues to develop front and back crawl to intermediate standard. Instruction covers skills such as introduction of breaststroke and endurance swim of 100m

Star 3:
Participant continues to practice back crawl advanced standard 50m, elementary backstroke intermediate standard 25m, and breaststroke initial standard 50m. Instruction covers skills such as eggbeater surface support, 200m swim, and starting Lifesaving Society’s Canadian Swim Patrol curriculum.

Star 4:
Participant builds further endurance to swim 100m within 3 minutes. Instruction covers skills such as drowning prevention, Canadian Swim Patrol curriculum, dolphin kick 25m, eggbeater proficiency, elementary backstroke advanced standard 50m.

Star 5:
Participant works on increasing endurance to complete a 500m swim, swims 200m in 6 minutes, as well as front and back crawl and breaststroke of 75m each. Instruction covers skills such as sidestroke intermediate standard 25m, breaststroke advanced standard 25m, butterfly initial standard 15m, and surface dives. Rescue skills include demonstrating non-contact rescue using buoyant aid, and 5lb object support for 1 minute.

Star 6: Candidates help teach a swim skill, as well as deal with unconscious choking victims. Water polo and synchronized swimming skills are introduced. Endurance swim is 600 metres.

Did you complete the star levels? Are you wondering what is next?

To learn more about advanced Aquatic courses, like Bronze Medallion and Bronze Cross, please click here.

YMCA Junior Swim Club | Ages 8+ , Star 2 + Required

Every wonder what competitive swimming looks like? Want to take your swim skills to another level or build your endurance? Try creative and fun drills in the water with others? The JR Swim club sounds just right for you.

Completion of Star 2 or being able to swim 2 full lengths (50m) of the pool with a recognizable stroke is recommended. Ages 8+. Multiple practices available per week.

Private Swim Instruction

Private lessons provide one-on-one instruction to meet each swimmer’s individual needs. All lessons are 30 minutes in length.  (Members only. $20.00 a lesson)

Customized Private Swim Lessons (YMCA Members Only. All ages)
Please contact or 902-601-0455  (Members only. $20.00 a lesson)

Adult Swimming Lessons

Learn the basic swimming skills to become comfortable in the water.  You will learn to safely enter and exit the pool, how to move through the water, and to float with and without assistance.  Other skills such as breathing techniques, flutter kick, and front and back swimming may be introduced depending on individual abilities.  Adult lessons are drop-in and non-registered program. See Program and Facility Schedule for days and times offered.

Autism Swim Lessons

In partnership with Autism Pictou County we provide one to one swim lessons for a half hour each week for persons with autism spectrum disorder and related disorders. The program is focused on teaching water safety and survival first with swimming skills evolving naturally as they progress.

Registration for this program takes place through Autism Pictou County. For more information, please contact Autism Pictou County.

Pictou County Tri-Club

Did you know that the YMCA is also home to the Pictou County Tri-Club?

From beginner to more advanced, everyone is welcome to attend weekly drop-in training meet ups.

To join one of the Tri Club Workouts visit the My Y App or see the current Facility & Program Schedule on the daily schedule page.

Aquatic Fitness Classes

Add water to your fitness workout!

The resistance of the water strengthens your muscles as you push and pull your body through the water. Water exercises reduces the impact on your joints as you improve your cardiovascular fitness.

Try out a class!

All participants are required to pre-book your spot in a class. Here’s How!
YMCA Members:  by using the My Y App, on-line scheduler or by phoning 902-752-0202 (front-desk)
Non-Members: Please complete your booking the day of by phoning 902-752-0202 (front-desk).

Click here to View our Schedule to see when classes are offered.

Aqua Fit - Warm Water

This is an AquaFit class that is taught in the leisure pool where the water is kept at a warmer temperature. This class is medium intensity.

You will need: bathing suit, towel and photo I.D. (16+) or membership card. | You may want to bring: water bottle, lock, and flip flops or water shoes.

Aqua Fit

AquaFit is a water workout that strengthens the entire body using water resistance and various equipment. Aquatic exercise allows you to use the resistance of the water in a full range of motion to maximize your strength and cardio workout.

You will need: bathing suit, towel and photo I.D. (16+) or membership card. | You may want to bring: water bottle, lock, and flip flops or water shoes.

AquaFit - Boot Camp

A great HIIT cardiovascular workout using floatation belts and various equipment in deep and shallow water. This is a 45 minute class that is suitable for intermediate to advanced participants. Confidence in the deep water is required.

You will need: bathing suit, towel and photo I.D. (16+) or membership card. | You may want to bring: water bottle, lock, and flip flops or water shoes.

Aqua Fit - Deep Water

A great cardiovascular workout using a flotation belt in the deep water. There is less impact on the joints. This is a 45 minute class suitable for beginners to advanced. Confidence in deep water is required.

You will need: bathing suit, towel and photo I.D. (16+) or membership card. | You may want to bring: water bottle, lock, and flip flops or water shoes.

Aqua Fit Mobility

An aquafit class for individuals looking to increase their mobility by gentle movement. Stretching and exercise in the warm water, using the resistance of water and various equipment.

You will need: bathing suit, towel and photo I.D. (16+) or membership card. | You may want to bring: water bottle, lock, and flip flops or water shoes.

Aqua Fit - Baby & Me

This AquaFit class is for parents and a baby in the warm water leisure pool. Participants use a baby boat and integrate into a fitness class and routine.

You will need: bathing suit, towel and photo I.D. (16+) or membership card. | You may want to bring: water bottle, lock, and flip flops or water shoes.

Become an Instructor! YMCA Aquafit Instructor Information

Our YMCA offers National YMCA certifications in Aquafit, Cyclefit, Personal Training, Group Strength and Group Cardio in partnership with YMCA Canada.
Our program includes a blend of online, small group, and in-class apprenticeships for certifications. Prerequisite is 50 hours in the last 2 years of the fitness type you wish to be certified in.

Contact Marla at or call 902-600-9773 if you are interested in getting certified. Volunteer commitment required in exchange of certification.

Aquatic Certification Courses

Develop lifelong skills!

Continue advancing your swimming and leadership skills by enrolling in Aquatic Leadership Courses. Click on the courses below for more information.
To find upcoming courses and registration, Please click here:

To view our seasonal program guide of courses, click here: YMCA Programs

Bronze Star + Basic First Aid (12 Hours)

Bronze Star: develops swimming proficiency, lifesaving skill and personal fitness. Candidates refine their stroke mechanics, acquire self-rescue skills, and apply fitness principles in training workouts. Bronze Star is excellent preparation for success in Bronze Medallion and provides a fun introduction to lifesaving sport.

Prerequisite: None (Swim Patrol or Star 6 experience recommended.)

For more details please click here: Bronze Star, Lifesaving Society Information

Bronze Medallion & Emergency First Aid (20 Hours)

Bronze Medallion: challenges the candidate both mentally and physically. Judgment, knowledge, skill, and fitness – the four components of water rescue – form the basis of Bronze Medallion training. Candidates acquire the assessment and problem-solving skills needed to make good decisions in, on, and around the water. Bronze Medallion is a prerequisite for assistant lifeguard training in Bronze Cross.

Prerequisite: Minimum 13 years of age or Bronze Star certification (need not be current).

Click here for more information: Bronze Medallion

Bronze Cross + Intermediate First Aid (30 Hours)

Bronze Cross: begins the transition from lifesaving to lifeguarding and prepares candidates for responsibilities as assistant lifeguards. Candidates strengthen and expand their lifesaving skills and begin to apply the principles and techniques of active surveillance in aquatic facilities. Bronze Cross emphasizes the importance of teamwork and communication in preventing and responding to aquatic emergencies. Bronze Cross is a prerequisite for advanced training in the Society’s National Lifeguard and leadership certification programs.

Prerequisite: Bronze Medallion and Lifesaving Society Emergency or Standard First Aid certifications (need not be current).

Click here for more details: Bronze Cross 

National Lifeguard - Pool (40 Hours)


National Lifeguard is a legal certificate for lifeguarding throughout the country and is recognized by the province of Ontario for lifeguarding public swimming pools.
National Lifeguard certification is available in four options: Pool, Waterpark, Waterfront, and Surf.

Prerequisites: Minimum 15 years of age, Bronze Cross, and Lifesaving Society Standard First Aid (need not be current) or Standard First Aid from one of these approved agencies.

National Lifeguard Pool certification is a prerequisite for the Waterpark option and National Lifeguard Waterfront is a prerequisite for the Surf option.

First aid prerequisite: For prerequisite purposes, the Lifesaving Society only accepts Standard First Aid certificates from training agencies on the approved list. When a first aid certification from an agency other than the Lifesaving Society is used as a prerequisite for a Lifesaving Society award, a photocopy of the certification card must accompany the Lifesaving Society test sheets.

National Lifeguard candidates: If you are using a Standard First Aid certification from an agency other than the Lifesaving Society to fulfill the National Lifeguard prerequisite, you must provide a photocopy of your certification card to accompany the National Lifeguard test sheets. We will not issue your National Lifeguard award if this proof of prerequisite is missing.

Click here for more information: National Lifeguard 

YMCA Swim Instructor (YSI)

This course is the foundation for building strong leaders in YMCA aquatics.  Content covers YMCA Healthy Child Development, planning effective lessons using progressions and activities, and an understanding of the YMCA E.G.G.S. (E – Explanation/Demonstration, G – Group Practice, Group Feedback, S – Specific Practice and Feedback teaching method.  Instructors will also review skills and strokes, different learning styles and temperaments, and how to react to emergency situations in a class setting.  Participants will also learn to deliver the Lifesaving Society Canadian Swim Patrol and Bronze Star.


  • Minimum 15 years of age at the time of certification
  • Current Bronze Cross or Lifesaving Society National Lifeguard Certification
  • Current Standard First Aid with CPR C / AED
  • Swim strokes at YMCA intermediate stroke standard or equivalent.

If you are interested in working for the YMCA as a Swim instructor, please email your resume to our Aquatics Director Emma Dwyer at