City of Toronto Winter Swim/Skate and March Break Camps Registration
Every December, thousands of bleary-eyed Torontonians crouch over their computers trying frantically to sign their kids up for City of Toronto winter skating, swimming lessons, and March Break Camps.
This year, registration is divided by districts:
- Saturday December 7 for Etobicoke/York and Scarborough Districts
- Tuesday December 10 for Toronto/East York, North York, and West Toronto/York Districts
Note that registration begins at 7 AM on both days.
The City of Toronto’s programs have something for everyone – children, teens, adults, and seniors. To find out what’s offered at community centers in your neighbourhood, pick up the “Fun Guide” for your area from the Family Care Office or download the Guide from the Parks, Forestry & Recreation website.
Here’s a breakdown on how to sign up:
Getting Your Family & Client Numbers
Start by getting a family account with the City of Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation program. Simply call 416-338-4386 between 8:30AM and 4:30PM, Monday to Friday to get a client and family number that you will then use to register for the programs of your choice. It is best to do this as soon as possible, certainly well in advance of registration.
Subsidization from the City of Toronto- The Welcome Policy!
While the cost of lessons and activities with the City of Toronto is less than what you would pay for private classes, it can still add up. The City of Toronto’s Welcome Policy provides a fee subsidy to help low income individuals and families access City-operated recreation programs. If you are approved for the Welcome Policy, you will receive an annual financial subsidy that can be spent on any of the high-quality recreation programs offered by the City throughout the year. Application forms are available at any City of Toronto rec centre, for download on the City’s website, and can be mailed to you should you call (416- 338- 2000) and request one. The WP subsidy is added to your account the day your application is approved and is valid for a 12-month period from the day it is issued to you. Everything you need to know about the WP subsidy can be found on this page from the City of Toronto. **Note, the processing of applications can take a few weeks when large numbers are submitted. You cannot ask for a refund of paid fees if you have received your subsidy after you have registered and paid for activities. You are only able to use it towards your next registration.
The online registration system is available between 7:00AM and midnight every day
including the day that registration opens. Make sure you have your family and client numbers and the registration codes for the programs you are interested in – these are found in the Fun Guides. Go to and click on the “Register Now” link on the right hand side of the page.
Registering by Phone
The touch tone registration system is available from 7:00AM to midnight every day, including the day registration opens. Call 416-338-0000 and press 1 to begin registering for courses. A detailed prompt system will guide you through the process. Do NOT hang up when the system tells you “You have registered successfully.” You still have to pay for the course!
Registering in Person
If you prefer, you can also register in person at select locations on the day that registration opens from 7am to noon. The places and times are explained in the Fun Guides for each district.
There is fierce competition to get into some high-demand programs such as swimming and skiing lessons. To maximise your chances of getting the program you want, be sure to:
- Be up and ready to log-in or call starting right at 7:00AM on the day registration opens. I always start trying to log in and get through on the phone just before 7:00
- Alternate between calling and trying to get through online
- Have your client & family numbers and course numbers written out next to you, along with your credit card to pay
- Create a list of options: make sure you have a second and even third choice written out in case your preferred time slot is already full
- Be sure to check out the offerings at several community centres, even those outside your immediate district
- Talk to other families in your area, visit the community centres and chat with the staff about their programs to find out what will work best for you and your family
- Consider signing up for a program for yourself while your child is in their session
Written By: Carla Murphy and updated by Melanie Desroches.