For over 8 years, our certified & insured swim instructors have traveled to thousands of homes to teach children to be stronger and safer swimmers.  Our lifeguards have also ensured that party guests at backyard pool parties have fun safely.

We hope you choose to book with us this summer!  Booking for Summer 2020 (May – August) opens late-January.

Red Cross Swimming Lessons

ages 4 months to 15 years old

Our backyard swimming lessons can be purchased and booked for a flat hourly rate.  Simply select the length of time you wish for one of our certified & insured swim instructors to be teaching at your backyard pool and you are good to go!  It is the client’s responsibility to divide the total length of time between the swimmers who attend the lessons.  Your instructor will be happy to run Red Cross swim assessments at the first lesson and make suggestions for how to divide the lesson time between the registered swimmers.  Invite your friends over and make it a summer swimming get-together!
Backyard Swim Instruction Rate:  $75 + HST / hour
  • Minimum of 1 hour – Maximum of 3 hours
  • Booking lengths available in half hour increments
  • 4 hour rescheduling for all lessons

Private Swimming Lessons

Private lessons allow our instructors to customize their teaching style to perfectly match the student and ensure they are actively learning the entire lesson.  If you are looking for maximized learning, we highly suggest enrolling your children in private lessons.  We guarantee that there will be a noticeable difference after each private lesson.

Semi-Private Swimming Lessons

If you have up to three swimmers who are very close in age and are at the same swimming ability, then a semi-private lesson may be the way to go for lessons.  Our instructors are excellent at designing lesson plans that will benefit all swimmers during semi-private lessons and will do their best to keep all swimmers progressing.

Our instructors travel to all communities in Ottawa.  Please make note of your area when booking online!

  • Area 1:  Orleans, Gloucester, Navan*, Cumberland*
  • Area 2:  Alta Vista, South Keys, Greenboro, Rockcliffe, Vanier
  • Area 3:  Blossom Park, Findlay Creek, Greely, East Manotick
  • Area 4:  West Manotick, Barrhaven, Riverside South
  • Area 5:  Nepean, Centrepointe, Carlington, Arlington Woods, Qualicum, Crystal Beach
  • Area 6:  Westboro, Whitehaven, Carlingwood, Downtown
  • Area 7:  Bells Corners, Bridlewood, Glen Cairn, Katimavik, Hazeldean
  • Area 8:  Kanata Lakes, Morgan’s Grant, Beaverbrook, Carp, Dunrobin*, Kinburn*
  • Area 9:  Stittsville, Richmond, Munster*, Carleton Place*, Almonte*

*Travel charges apply to the starred communities.  Travel charges will be between $10 – $20 depending on your exact address.

What is the cancellation and rescheduling policy for lessons?
You have up to 4 hours prior to your swimming lesson to cancel the service through our booking system, Acuity.  If 4 hours notice is given, you will be allowed to reschedule the service at no cost.

After the 4 hour cut-off time, please call our office to cancel the service if needed (as Acuity will no longer let you change that service). The service will not be allowed to be rescheduled.

Non-swimming weather (instructor's decision)
If the weather is looking dangerous for swimming (i.e., thunder, lightning, or extremely heavy rain) and it is less than 4 hours before the service, then it is up to the instructor’s discretion to decide if the service should proceed or be rescheduled. Your instructor has been instructed to only make this decision no earlier than 1 hour prior to the service. This is because weather can change depending on what area of the city you are in.

If the weather is looking unsafe for swimming and it is getting close to the service time, your instructor will call you and give you the option to cancel the service and reschedule (at no charge to you).

If you agree to postpone the lesson, the service can be rescheduled at no cost. When re-booking the service, please ensure you mention in the notes section that it is a replacement service due to weather since this will notify me to not charge your account for the service.

If you do not want to reschedule and would like the instructor to still come – that is fine, but if while the instructor is teaching or lifeguarding the weather becomes dangerous, they will end the service. You will not receive a free reschedule for the remaining service time.

Good weather turns bad during lesson

If the weather was ok when your service started but turns bad during the service, the instructor will end the lesson and the leftover service time will be added to future lessons. For example if 15 minutes of a swimming lesson has been taught and then a thunderstorm hits, the instructor would make up the remaining 15 minutes over the next lesson or two (whatever their schedule permits).

How do the Red Cross swim levels work?
Preschool swim levels are for children ages 4 months – 6 years old.  There are eight Preschool levels and children will progress through these levels based on their age and swimming ability.

  • Starfish:  4 – 12 months (parent participation required).  Babies and their caregivers work on getting wet, buoyancy and movement, front, back and vertical position in the water, and shallow water entries and exits
  • Duck:  12 – 24 months (parent participation required).  Babies and their caregivers work on rhythmic breathing, moving forward and backward, front and back float with recovery, and shallow water entries and exits.
  • Sea Turtle:  24 – 36 months (parent participation optional).  Toddlers (and their caregivers) work on submersion, front and back floats and glides, jumping into chest-deep water with assistance, kicking on front and front swim.
  • Sea Otter:  3 – 5 yrs.  Swimmers work on front and back floats and glides, kicking on front with a buoyant object, and will be able to swim 1 metre upon completion of this level.
  • Salamander:  3 – 5 yrs.  Swimmers work on improving their front and back float and jumping into chest-deep water unassisted. Kicking is added to the front and back glide and swimmers will be able to swim 2 metres upon completion
  • Sunfish:  3 – 6 yrs.  Swimmers work on kicking and can perform glides (front and back), enter deep water safely, float in deep water, swim with a PFD, and swim 5 metres continuously.
  • Crocodile:  3 – 6 yrs.  Swimmers further develop the front and back glide with kick, front and back swim, jump into deep water, swim with a PFD in deep water, and swim 10 metres continuously.
  • Whale:  3 – 6 yrs.  Swimmers increase their distance on front and back glide with kick, increase distance on front and back swim, learn the sitting dive, and will be able to swim 15 metres continuously upon completion of the level.
Swim Kids swim levels are for children ages 5 – 12.  There are ten Swim Kids levels and children progress through the levels upon completion of the previous level.
  • Swim Kids 1:  Swimmers receive an orientation to water and pool area and work on floats, glides and kicking. Swimmers build their endurance by working on the 5 meters front swim.
  • Swim Kids 2:  Swimmers work on propulsion skills to move through the water and to remain at surface while doing front, back and side glides. Swimmers work on front swim, and learn about deep-water activities and the proper use of Personal Floating Device (PFD) Perform a 10 meters swim.
  • Swim Kids 3:  Swimmers increase their distance on front, back and Swimmers receive an orientation to water and pool area and work on floats, glides and kicking. Swimmers build their endurance by working on the 5 meters front swim. side glide with kick, increase distance on front and back swim, learn the sitting dive and will be able to swim 15 meters continuously upon completion of level.
  • Swim Kids 4:  Swimmers learns back swim and front crawl (10m), work on flutter kick on back, perform kneeling dive, introduction to sculling and can swim 25 meters continuously.
  • Swim Kids 5:  Swimmers develop front crawl (15m), learn back crawl (15m) and whip kick on back, learn stride dive and treading water, perform head-first sculling on back, and swim 50 meters continuously
  • Swim Kids 6:  Swimmers increase their distance on front and back crawl (25m) , learn elementary back stroke and the dolphin kick. They also swim 75 meters continuously
  • Swim Kids 7:  Swimmers increase their distance on front and back crawl (50m) and elementary back stroke (25m). They learn front scull and stride entry. Perform whip kick on front and the dolphin kick. They also swim 150 meters continuously
  • Swim Kids 8:  Front crawl, back crawl and elementary backstroke to be refined They learn breast stroke, eggbeater/tread water, feet-first surface dive and standing shallow dive. Swim 300 meters continuously
  • Swim Kids 9:  Front crawl, back crawl, elementary backstroke and breaststroke continue to be refined. Learn side stroke kick and head-first surface dive. Swim 400 meters continuously
  • Swim Kids 10:  Further refinement of strokes. They learn side stroke, dolphin kick (vertical), and feet- and head-first surface dives with underwater swim. Swim 500 meters continuously
How can my child receive a Red Cross report card?
Hippo in the Bathtub is a training partner with the Red Cross which enables us to provide our swimmers with a Red Cross swim report card.  Swimmers will also receive a level sticker or badge if they successfully complete all the requirements for their swim level.

Preschool levels (Starfish – Whale) require 3 hours of instruction to attempt a level

Swim Kids 1 – Swim Kids 4 require 3 hours of instruction  to attempt a level

Swim Kids 5 – 10 require 4.5 hours of instruction to attempt a level

Bronze Award Courses

Bronze Star Course:  $599 + HST

(cost can be divided between 2 – 4 participants)

Prerequisite: Must be between 10 -13 years of age
Length: 4 x 2.5 hour classes

This 10-hour course is excellent preparation for success in Bronze Medallion. Candidates learn CPR and develop the lifesaving skills needed to be their own lifeguard.  For more information about this course please visit: Official Ontario Life Saving Society Bronze Star Course Info

Bronze Medallion Course:  $950 + HST

(cost can be divided between 2 – 4 participants)

Prerequisite:  Must be 13 yrs old or Bronze Star certification (need not be current)
Length: 6 x 3 hour classes

This 18-hour course teaches an understanding of the lifesaving principles embodied in the 4 components of water-rescue.  For more information please visit: Official Ontario Life Saving Society Bronze Medallion Course Info

Bronze Cross Course:  $950 + HST

(cost can be divided between 2 – 4 participants)

Prerequisites:  Bronze Medallion and Emergency First Aid certifications (need not be current)
Length: 6 x 3 hour classes

This 18-hour course is designed for lifesavers who want the challenge of more advanced training and is a prerequisite for the Lifeguard and Swim Instructor certification.  For more information about this course please visit:  Official Ontario Life Saving Society Bronze Cross Course Info

Backyard Lifeguarding

Are you hosting a pool party at your home this summer?  Hire one of our certified & insured lifeguards to help ensure that all swimmers have fun safely. 

Please note that when you book our regular lifeguarding services, your lifeguard(s) will only be responsible for guarding the pool.  They will not be able to run any games.  If you wish for us to both lifeguard and run games, you can book one of our Hippo Party packages!

Backyard Lifeguard Rate:  $65 + HST / hour per lifeguard
  • One lifeguard required per 15 swimmers
  • Minimum of 1 hour – Maximum of 3 hours
  • Booking lengths available in half hour increments
  • 8 hour rescheduling for lifeguarding services
What rules will your lifeguard(s) enforce when lifeguarding?
In addition to the typical lifeguarding rules enforced at all pools (no running around the pool deck, no pushing, etc.), please note our lifeguards will have sole discretion to decide what entries are allowed into the pool as it will depend on the size and depth of your pool. At no time will flips of any type be allowed. Dives and other jumps into the deep end will be up to your lifeguards’ discretion. Your lifeguards will chat with you when they arrive at your backyard and can discuss if any additional rules should be enforced.  
What is your rescheduling policy for booked lifeguarding services?
In the case that it is raining on your party date, as long as you provide us with a minimum of 8 hours notice that you would like to reschedule your party, you can do so at no cost.

If it is past the 8 hour notice and our lifeguards deem the weather dangerous for swimming (i.e., thunder, lightning, or extremely heavy rain), then it is up to their discretion to decide if the service should proceed or be rescheduled.  If you wish to cancel the party and not reschedule, we will refund the cost of the lifeguard minus our $40 administration fee.  

Backyard Hippo Parties

Are you hosting a birthday party in your backyard this summer?  Make it a Hippo Party!  

When you book one of our Hippo Party lifeguarding packages, we will send two of our lifeguards to your party.  One lifeguard will ensure that all swimmers remain safe while in the pool.  The other lifeguard will ensure that all the children at the party have a “Hippo” of a time!  Our lifeguards focus on ensuring that all the children are enjoying themselves so that parents can relax.

Basic Hippo Party (1.5 hrs):  $225 + HST (up to 15 swimmers)

  • Your lifeguards will pick pool games that the children seem excited for (i.e. swimming/relay races, jumping games, underwater swimming, Octopus, Marco Polo, etc.).  The games vary by party as children always have different ideas of what they consider fun.  Games will also vary based on the ages of the swimmers present and their swimming abilities.

Mermaid Hippo Party (1.5 hrs):  $259 + HST (up to 10 swimmers)

  • If you would like our lifeguards to bring mermaid tails, fins, and treasures, then choose our Mermaid Hippo Party!  Our mermaid instructor will introduce the swimmers to the magical world of swimming like a mermaid.