Pool Policies

Municipal Pools Re-opening Schedule


The schedule for reopening municipal public pools is as follows: 

  • Howard Armstrong Recreation Centre pool will reopen to the public on September 8
  • Nickel District will reopen September 10
  • R.G. Dow and Onaping will reopen September 14
  • Gatchell Pool will open on September 28

In addition to established provincial and public health guidelines for the operation of indoor pools, reopening plans will also follow the key recommendations put in place by the Lifesaving Society Ontario. New protocols will include, but are not limited to: 

  • No drop-in participation. All users must register for an available timeslot for recreational swims through the online registration system at www.greatersudbury.ca/leisure or by calling the 311. 
  • Timeslots have been scheduled to accommodate cleaning requirements throughout the day. 
  • Swimming lesson offerings will be phased in throughout the fall once facilities open. A limited number of lessons will be available. 
  • Program locations and start times will be staggered to allow for proper disinfecting of high-touch areas.
  • Diving boards, saunas, hot tubs, lockers and shared pool equipment, such as flutter boards, will not be available. Showers are available for rinse off only. 
  • Participants are encouraged to attend the facility dressed in pool attire. 
  • Staff will monitor usage and adjust schedules as required. 
  • More site specific information will be provided at the facility. 


Bookings will be accepted up to 7 days in advance. Please note that this includes the actual time of day. For example, if you are looking to book a timeslot for 1 p.m. on a Monday, you are able to book it as of 1 p.m. the Monday prior.



Pool Policies

Recommended admission standards for supervised public pools have been developed by the Office of the Chief Coroner in order assist in maintaining adequate surveillance over young children while they are inside the pool enclosure. The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care strongly supports these Standards for the purpose of preventing injuries and fatalities. The City of Greater Sudbury supports and enforces the following admission standards at all public swims:

Children 6 years of age or younger

  • Must be accompanied and directly supervised by a parent or guardian at least 16 years of age who is responsible for their direct supervision and is within arm’s reach in the water.
  • Children wearing personal flotation devices (water wings, lifejackets, etc.) must remain in the shallow end of the pool. They must be under the direct supervision of a parent or guardian at least 16 years of age who is within arm’s reach in the water.
  • Maximum of two children per parent/guardian. (2:1)

Children aged 7 to 10

  • Are assumed to be non-swimmers and must be accompanied and directly supervised by a guardian who is at least 16 years of age who is responsible for their direct supervision and is within arm’s reach in the water.
  • Children wearing personal flotation devices (water wings, lifejackets, etc.) must remain in the shallow end of the pool. They must be under the direct supervision of a parent or guardian at least 16 years of age who is within arm’s reach in the water.
  • May be admitted into the pool unaccompanied if they can pass a facility swim test administered by a lifeguard. The parent/guardian must be present for the swim test. (Please see Swim Test Criteria below for further information.)
  • Maximum of four children per parent/guardian. (4:1)
  • Maximum of five children per parent/guardian (5:1) only when all children are wearing lifejackets.

Children aged 11 and up

  • Are permitted to swim without a parent or guardian
  • Are advised to swim with a buddy

Swim Test Criteria

  • The swim test will include a front swim of 30 metres and treading water for 1 minute.
  • During the front swim the lifeguard must see an attempt at over arm recovery with a near horizontal body position.
  • While treading water the lifeguard must see the participant maintain a vertical body position, with their head above water, while staying in one place.
  • Lifeguards reserve the right to have any swimmer complete the test to determine the competency of the swimmer to use the deep end of the pool.

Recommended Supervision Ratio



Children age 6 and under

Two children to one guardian (2:1)

Children aged 7 to 10 who are non-swimmers

Four children without lifejackets to one guardian (4:1)


Five children with lifejackets to one guardian (5:1)

Children aged 11+

May swim without a parent/guardian

Are encouraged to swim with a buddy

General Pool Rules and Guidelines

  • Parents are encouraged to swim with their children for leisure and safety.
  • Persons with serious medical conditions should be accompanied by an individual knowledgeable about their condition and responsible for their direct supervision.
  • Food and beverages are not permitted on the pool deck or in the change rooms.
  • Valuables and personal belongings should not be left unattended in the change rooms. The City of Greater Sudbury is not responsible for lost or stolen personal items. Patrons are encouraged to lock up their belongings in the change room lockers and leave any valuables at home.
  • Appropriate bathing attire is required for entrance to the pool deck and the pool. No street clothes will be permitted in these areas.
  • All swimmers must shower with soap and water before entering the pool.
  • In order to avoid pool closures due to fouling of the pool, please encourage children to use the washroom before entering the pool.
  • Diapers are not permitted in the water. Children who are not toilet trained must wear tight-legged plastic pants over or under their swimsuits, or a pool pant diaper.
  • Personal Flotation Devices/lifejackets and water wings are permitted in the pool. All other personal inflatable objects are not permitted. Children wearing water wings or a PFD/lifejacket must be under the direct supervision of a parent/guardian in the water at arm’s length, and must remain in the shallow end of the pool.
  • Pool staff will educate patrons and enforce pool policies, rules and guidelines in order to maintain a safe swimming environment.


Programs have minimum and maximum enrolment. Classes may be combined or cancelled in the event of low enrolment.

For policies regarding program refunds, please see Refunds in the Registration section of this website.

Swimming lessons and leadership programs offered through Greater Sudbury Pools follow protocols recommended by the Lifesaving Society, a charitable organization working to prevent drowning and water-related injury.

Instructor to Candidate Ratios

Program Ratio
Parents and Tots 1:12 (based on child)
Preschool 1 1:4
Preschool 2-5 1:5
Preschool Fitness 1:5
Swimmer 1 1:6
Swimmer 2-7 1:7
Rookie, Ranger, Star 1:8
Fitness 1:7
Adult Lessons 1:10
Bronze Star, JLC 1:10
Bronze Medallion, Bronze Cross 1:12
Aquatic Leadership Courses 1:20
Aquacise / Aquatherapy 1:25


There’s a new way to register for leisure programs or book a facility. It’s easy to create an account! If you need help getting started, click here for our Frequently Asked Questions.



The French interface of our new registration system is still under development, however it is important that the City goes live with the new system as the existing registration and facility booking system is no longer supported by the vendor. Residents can still receive this service in French by calling 311 to have a French-speaking operator process bookings or registrations. The French interface will be launched in time for the fall/winter registration period.