Swimming Lessons

The City of Niagara Falls offers the Lifesaving Society Swim for Life swim lesson program year round at the MacBain Community Centre.  You will need an Active Account to book online.

The Lifesaving Society's Swim for Life program is a complete learn-to-swim program that focuses on lots of in-water practice to develop swimming strokes and skills and making kids water smart. Learn more about Swim for Life

Swim Lesson Registration

Spring Swim Lesson Session runs April 7th - June 15th. Registration will open on March 27th at 6pm online for residents of Niagara Falls.

In person Niagara Falls resident registration opens on March 28th at 9am. Non resident registration opens on March 29th at 9am (online).  

Summer Swim Lesson Registration will take place on Wednesday, June 19th at 6pm for residents online.

Swim Lesson Report Cards

To access your report card, enter your participant number on the Swimgen website. If you need your participant number, please contact us at 905-356-7521 x3330 or [email protected] 

REFUNDS AND CLASS TRANSFERS

  • For Programs, Courses, and Special Events with two or fewer classes/sessions:
    • A refund will be issued if it is more than 48 hours from the start of the course
    • No refunds will be issued within 48 hours from the start of the course
  • For Programs, Courses, and Special Events with three or more classes/sessions:
    • A refund will be issued if the class has not started
    • Once the class has started, registration fees will be refunded on a pro-rated basis
    • No refunds will be issued after the third class
  • All refunds and transfers are subject to a $10.00 administration fee, per participant
  • A full 100% refund is given if the program is cancelled by the City of Niagara Falls

Swim Program Information

The Lifesaving Society Swim for Life Program stresses lots of in-water practice to develop basic swim skills and strokes. The Swim for Life Program incorporates Water Smart education that will last a lifetime. View our swimming level descriptions to see which level is right for you or your child.  The number beside the level represents the skill level, not age of the participants in the class.  Classes are geared to students registered in the appropriate level only.  For safety reasons, anyone who registered in an incorrect level, above or below the child's ability will be un-registered and charged an administration fee.  

Special Considerations

For individuals requiring special considerations to participate, please contact the aquatics department by email at [email protected].

Parent and Tot for parents and children four months and up to 3 years of age

Equivalent to Red Cross Level Starfish/Duck/Turtle and YMCA Splashers/Bubblers.

Pre-requisite: none

This introductory level is designed for children aged 4 months to 3 years of age to learn to enjoy the water with their parent/caregiver. 

Skills taught include Bubbles, Submersion, Assisted Floats and Glides. 

Parent/caregiver is mandatory in the water. Infants must be able to hold their head up.


Preschool children - 3 to 5 years of age

Preschool 1

Equivalent to Red Cross Level SeaOtter and YMCA Bobbers 

Prerequisite: none

An introductory level designed to get your child comfortable in the water. 

Skills taught include Enter and exit (assisted), Face in water, blow bubbles in water and assisted front and back floats and glides.

Parent/caregiver is optional in the water.

Preschool 2

Equivalent to Red Cross Level Salamander and Sunfish and YMCA Floaters

Prerequisite: completed Preschool 1 or equivalent

The focus of Preschool 2 is to get your child to fully submerge their head and exhale in the water.

Skills taught include Submersion, Front and Back Floats and Glides with a PFD and Flutter kick on back with a buoyant aid for 5m.

Participants entering Preschool 2 should be able to blow bubbles and are comfortable putting their face in the water and swimming independently with a PFD.

Preschool 3

Equivalent to Red Cross Level Crocodile and YMCA Gliders

Prerequisite: completed Preschool 2 or equivalent

Preschool 3 spends time working with your child to complete their swim skills without assistance or PFD. 

Skills taught include Submerge and exhale 5 times, Front and Back Floats for 5 seconds, Front and Back Glides for 3m, Front and Back Flutter kick for 5m.

Participants entering Preschool 3 should be able to completely submerge under the water and do a front and back float and glide with a PFD with no assistance. 

Preschool 4

Equivalent to Red Cross Level Whale and YMCA Divers 

Prerequisite: completed Preschool 3 or equivalent

The Preschool 4 program focuses on extending the distance that your child can swim without assistance.

Skills taught include Jump into Deep Water, Sideways entry, Treading Water with PFD, Glide on side 3m, Flutter kick on front 7m, on back 7m and on side 5m.

Participants entering Preschool 4 should be able to float and glide on both their front and back without a PFD or assistance.

Preschool 5

Equivalent to  Red Cross Level Whale and YMCA Surfers/Jumpers

Prerequisite: completed Preschool 4 or equivalent

Preschool 5 starts front and back swim for 5m using arm and leg movement as well as introducing vertical whip kick.

Skills taught include Forward roll entry, Treading Water, Front and Back Crawl for 5m

Participants entering Preschool 5 should be able to flutter kick for 7m on their front and back and jump into the deep end without any PFD or assistance.

Swimmer for children 6 years and older

LSS Swimmer 1

Equivalent to Red Cross Level Swim Kids 1 and YMCA Otter

An introductory level to introduce the basic learn to swim skills.

Skills taught include Enter and exit shallow water, Submerge and exhale 5 times, Front and Back Float 5 seconds, Front/Back/Side Glides for 3m and Flutter kick on front and back for 5m. 

LSS Swimmer 2

Equivalent to Red Cross Level Swim Kids 2 and YMCA Seal

Prerequisite: completed Swimmer 1 OR Preschool 4 and 5

Swimmer 2 takes the learn to swim skills acquired in Swimmer 1 and teaches students the basic movement in Front and Back Crawl.

Skills taught include Flutter kick on front, back and side for 10m, whip kick in vertical position for 30 sec, Front and Back Crawl for 10m as well as Treading Water for 15 seconds.

Participants entering Swimmer 2 should be able to complete a front, back and side glide for 3m without a PFD or assistance

LSS Swimmer 3

Equivalent to Red Cross Level Swim Kids 3 and YMCA Dolphin/Swimmer

Prerequisite: completed Swimmer 2 or equivalent

Swimmer 3 spends time working on stroke form and building your child's endurance in Front and Back Crawl.

Skills taught include dives, in-water front somersaults and handstands. They’ll work on 15 m of front crawl, back crawl and 10 m of whip kick. Flutter kick interval training increases to 4 x 15 m.

Participants entering Swimmer 3 should be able to complete swim 10m of both Front and Back Crawl.

LSS Swimmer 4

Equivalent to Red Cross Level Swim Kids 4/5 and YMCA Star 1

Prerequisite: completed Swimmer 3 or equivalent

After mastering Front and Back Crawl, Swimmer 4 students add the basic skills of legs only and Breaststroke.

Skills taught include treading water for 1 minute, Swim underwater for 5m and 25m swims of Front and Back Crawl.  Their new bag of tricks includes the completion of the Canadian Swim to Survive® Standard. They’ll cap it all off with front crawl sprints over 25 m and 4 x 25 m front or back crawl interval training.

Participants entering Swimmer 4 should be able to tread water for 30 seconds and swim 15m Front Crawl and swim 15m Back Crawl

LSS Swimmer 5

Equivalent to Red Cross Level Swim Kids 6 and YMCA Star 2

Prerequisite: completed Swimmer 4 or equivalent

Swimmer 5 students work on Breaststroke and head-up front crawl.

Skills taught include shallow dives, cannonball entries, eggbeater kicks, and in-water backward somersaults. They’ll refine their front and back crawl over 50 m swims of each, and breaststroke over 25 m. Then they’ll pick up the pace in 25 m sprints and two interval training bouts: 4 x 50 m front or back crawl; and 4 x 15 m breaststroke.

Participants entering Swimmer 5 should be able to tread for 1 minute and swim 50 metres without stopping using either Front or Back Crawl

LSS Swimmer 6

Equivalent to Red Cross Level Swim Kids 7 and YMCA Star 3

Prerequisite: Completed Swimmer 5 or equivalent

Swimmer 6 students start to work on their lifesaving skills while increasing their endurance.

Skills taught include stride entries, compact jumps and lifesaving kicks like eggbeater and scissor kick. They’ll develop strength and power in head-up breaststroke sprints over 25 m. They’ll easily swim lengths of front crawl, back crawl, and breaststroke, and will complete a 300m workout.

Participants entering Swimmer 6 should be able to use eggbeater and scissor kick, swim 50 m of Front and Back Crawl and swim 25 of Breaststroke.

LSS Swimmer 7 (Rookie Patrol)

Equivalent to Red Cross Level Swim Kids 8 and YMCA Star 4

Prerequisite: Completed Swimmer 6 or equivalent

Swimmers continue stroke development with 50 m swims of front crawl, back crawl and breaststroke. Lifesaving sport skills include a 25 m obstacle swim and 15 m object carry. First aid focuses on assessment of conscious victims, contacting EMS, and treatment for bleeding. Fitness improves in 350 m workouts and 100 m timed swims

LSS Swimmer 8 (Ranger Patrol)

Equivalent to Red Cross Level Swim Kids 9 and YMCA Star 5-7

Prerequisite: Completed Swimmer 7 or equivalent

Swimmers develop better strokes over 75 m swims of each stroke. They tackle lifesaving sport skills in a lifesaving medley, timed object support and rescue with a buoyant aid. First aid focuses on assessment of unconscious victims, treatment of victims in shock and obstructed airway procedures. Skill drills develop a strong lifesaving foundation

LSS Swimmer 9 (Star Patrol)

Equivalent to Red Cross Level Swim Kids 10 and YMCA Star 5-7

Prerequisite: Completed Swimmer 8 or equivalent

Swimmers are challenged with 600 m workouts, 300 m timed swims and a 25 m object carry. Strokes are refined over 100 m swims. First aid focuses on treatment of bone or joint injuries and respiratory emergencies including asthma and allergic reactions. Lifesaving skills include defense methods, victim removals and rolling over and supporting a victim face up in shallow water.

Teen Swim Lessons Level 1 (candidates must be 12-17 years old) 

Teens will work in a small group setting of five participants with a certified instructor to become comfortable in the water.  You'll work towards a 10-15m swim on your front and back, while doing jump entries from the side and getting objects from the bottom of the pool. Goal is to improve your fitness and flutter kick with interval training.

Teen Swim Lessons Level 2 (candidates must be 12-17 years old)

Teens will work in a small group setting of five participants and will kick it up a notch by working with interval training workouts, dive entries and learning the basics of breaststroke. Deep End Skills such as surface support will be covered as well.  

Adult Swim Lessons Level 1 (candidates must be at least 18 years old)

Adults will work in a small group setting of five participants with a certified instructor to become comfortable in the water.  You'll work towards a 10-15m swim on your front and back, while doing jump entries from the side and getting objects from the bottom of the pool. Goal is to improve your fitness and flutter kick with interval training.

Adult Swim Lessons Level 2 (candidates must be at least 18 years old, completed Adult Level 1)

Adults will work in a small group setting of five participants and will kick it up a notch by working with interval training workouts, dive entries and learning the basics of breaststroke. Deep End Skills such as surface support will be covered as well.

Adult Swim Lessons Level 3 (candidates must be at least 18 years old, completed Adult Level 2)

Adults will work in a small group setting of five participants where you will learn eggbeater, stride entries and compact jumps. There is a 300m workout, and sprints of 25-50m. The goal is to master front crawl, back crawl and breaststroke.

Swim Squad (candidates must have completed Swimmer 2 to participate in Swim Squad)

Swim squad is a team orientated introduction to competitive swimming program. It offers the opportunity to learn skills and improve fitness for youth. By belonging to a team, each person enjoys learning to swim faster by challenging themselves to improve personal best times. Swim squad is based upon the values of fair play and allows each swimmer an opportunity to contribute to their team. The program includes stroke and skill improvement and physical training. Participants should be able to efficiently swim one length of the pool.