Ottawa's new online registration system for swim lessons faces first test tonight
The city of Ottawa's new online registration platform will face its first test this evening, as registration opens for swimming lessons and other aquatic activities this winter.
Parents and elected officials have complained for several years about problems with the old system while trying to register for swimming classes. In August, the portal crashed shortly after registration opened for fall aquatics classes.
A new system has been in the works at Ottawa City Hall for months, and launched recently ahead of the registration for the Winter 2023 recreation and cultural programming and activities.
The city says its new registration platform, Register Ottawa, "is a modern client experience" that allows you to search and filter by activity, time and day, age group, and location.
"You can search and browse all the program and activity offerings and enroll on registration night on the same site," the city says.
Registration for all aquatic activities offered by the city of Ottawa opens at 9 p.m. on Monday, while you will be able to sign up for all other programs and activities starting Wednesday at 9 p.m.
The city warns spaces in swimming lessons will be "snapped up quickly."
The Winter 2023 program has a wide variety of programs, including:
- Learn to swim, power swim and aquatic certifications
- Learn to skate
- Sports and fitness, such as soccer, cross-country skiing and martial arts
- Playgrounds, dog obedience, dinosaur discovery
- Instructional creative and performing arts, such as painting, music and dance
- Virtual programming for real-time online activities
Here is what you need to know about the new registration system
What is it?
Register Ottawa is the city of Ottawa's new registration platform. It allows you to search and filter by activity, time and day, age group, and location.
The city says the new platform is compatible with mobile devices and tablets.
Create an account
The city of Ottawa says you will need to create a new account unless you have an active membership (fitness, swimming, sport) or are an Ottawa Hand in Hand recipient.
Parents and guardians are urged to create an account in advance of registration night.
"Fill in the form with your information and add any other family members on the account," the city said in a media release.
"Saving your credit card information in advance will save you valuable time in checking out your preferred program offering."
Bookmark multiple offerings
The city of Ottawa recommends creating a wish list for easy retrieval during registration.
"When preparing for registration day, it’s a good idea to browse and bookmark one or more of your activities," the city said.
"In fact, for high-demand programs, like swimming, bookmark a few offerings of the same program. That way, if your first choice is fully registered, you can quickly get to your second or third choices. You might find the same activity available at a different time or location, or chose a different type of activity to try."
CHANGES TO SWIM CITY PROGRAM
The city of Ottawa is also launching a new swimming lessons program in January.
With the Canadian Red Cross phasing out swimming lessons as part of their water safety services, the city designed its own program.
The Swim City program includes four streams.
Swim Tots (under 3 years) contains three levels
- Little Dippers 1, Little Splashers 2, Little Jumpers 3
Swim Creatures (3-5 years) contains five levels
- Mikinàk/Turtle 1, Omagakì/Frog 2, Màng/Loon 3, Nigig/Otter 4, Amik/Beaver 5
Swim Colours (6-14 years) contains 10 levels
- Yellow 1, Coral 2, Red 3, Magenta 4, Purple 5, Navy 6, Aqua 7, Seafoam 8, Green 9, Lime 10
Adult/youth swim courses contain three levels
Sw'imtroduction 1, Sw'immersion 2, Sw'improvement 3
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