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Health & Fitness Programs

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Welcome Back: What to expect when you return to the Y

COVID-19 FAQ’s

This pandemic has brought many changes, and we know that you could be hesitant or anxious about the “new normal”. We want you to know that our commitment to you has not changed, and we want you to have the utmost confidence in your YMCA!  We are opening our doors, and saying “welcome back” with some carefully modified programs, amenities, and protocols, but the same friendly support and quality activities you have come to know.

See below for a list of FAQ’s we’ve put together to help answer your questions:

Safety and Physical Distancing

The YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka is actively monitoring and complying with all directives from Ontario Health Services, the Government of Ontario Chief Medical Officer, and other relevant health authorities.

The health, safety and protection of our members, participants, staff and volunteers is our top priority.  For everyone’s protection, we’ve modified some spaces and amenities. Here are just a few of the safety measures you’ll see when you visit the Y:

  • Increased sanitization and disinfection.
  • Additional hand-sanitizing stations.
  • Removal of non-essential or difficult-to-clean equipment.
  • Reduced capacity, by utilizing an appointment-based system for all facility access.
  • Plexi-glass barriers at Welcome, Membership and Weight Floor desks.
  • Health screenings prior to entry through a digital health screening tool.
  • Directional signage to control the flow of participants in certain areas of the building.
  • Contactless scan-in stations.
  • Physical distancing measures (including signage, floor markings and some unavailable or rotating equipment) to maintain distance between users.
  • Equipment usage time limits.
  • Removal of lobby furniture.
  • Staff available to assist you.

We have instituted additional and more frequent cleaning procedures following the guidance of health authorities.  These include:

  • Increased cleaning frequency of high-touch points (eg. door handles, elevator buttons, hand railings, light switches, toilet seats, taps, etc.).
  • Regular and documented sanitization of common area touch-points.
  • Employing hospital-grade disinfectant.
  • Fogger technology, an additional step if an area needs specific attention.
  • Disinfection Kits – to support internal cleaning practices, disinfection kits have been developed and made available to staff at all our facilities.

Here are some things you can do to help:

  • Stay home if you’re not feeling well.
  • Visit Health Canada for evolving information about risk factors (including travel to certain locations) and symptoms.
  • Call your local public health department or family health team for direction if you have symptoms or current risk factors apply to you, or if you have questions.
  • Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face.
  • Practice cough and sneeze etiquette.
  • Always wipe down equipment before and after use.
  • Avoid eating in situations where hand hygiene is more difficult (eg. while working out).
  • Use cashless forms of payment whenever possible. Cash will still be accepted at the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka.
  • Be kind to each other!

The YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka facilities use centralized 100% capable outside air HVAC units with filters that are MERV 8 or higher (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) filtration. A MERV rating ranges from 3 to 14, with 14 being hospital-standard.

Chlorinated pool water is an effective disinfectant and the risk of transmission from contact with properly treated pool water is considered minimal. The YMCA maintains and tests its pool water regularly.

Accessing the YMCA

The YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka is taking a phased approach to re-opening our Health and Fitness centres for the health and safety of our members, staff, volunteers and the community.

The countdown to re-opening continues and we are excited to share our updated re-opening schedule:

  • The Innisfil YMCA will re-open on October 30th.
  • The Collingwood YMCA will re-open on November 13th.
  • Wasaga Beach YMCA, Fall 2020
  • Midland and Gravenhurst YMCAs, Winter 2021

All users will be asked to complete a digital COVID-19 health check through a digital Health Screening Tool prior to entering the facility, which will include a short symptom-related questionnaire.  This tool is anonymous and data is not collected or stored.  It will help you determine if it is safe for you and those in your party to be in the facility. The screening data is secure and won’t be collected or shared in any way – it’s simply a way for you to know if the timing is right to keep you and others safe as you visit the Y. Our Health Screening Tool can be found at ymcasm.ca/ScreeningTool. You must complete the Online Health Screening Tool prior to each visit.

To keep you and others safe, and so you have a clear understanding of the various risks associated with participating in programs and services, the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka requires you to sign a one-time participation waiver.  This is a requirement of entry.  You can download and sign the waiver securely by clicking here.  It is strongly recommended you complete this waiver process ahead of your visit to save time upon your first re-entry in person.

To ensure we adhere to capacity standards at all times, all users, including YMCA members, must pre-book an appointment to access YMCA facilities and to use amenities including the weight floors, the swimming pools and other areas that are available for use.  This is a temporary measure to ensure we can maintain the required physical distancing and also provide an engaging experience for the many people we serve.  Appointments can be booked up to 7 days in advance.

For example, if you want to visit on Monday, you can book your appointment on Tuesday through Sunday the week before.  Users must pre-book an appointment for themselves or individuals in their party using our new online booking system.

For more information on using our new online booking system, visit YMCAHowTo.ca for step-by-step guides and instructions.

Appointment times vary by activity for bookings on the weight floor, lane swim and gymnasium (basketball, badminton or pickleball). Open swim appointments can be booked back-to-back to a maximum of two appointments.  Drop-in fitness classes are 45 minutes. We ask you to be considerate and book only one session at this time so that everyone may have an opportunity to experience physical activities at the YMCA.

Users must pre-book an appointment for themselves or individuals in their party using our new online booking system.

For more information on using our new online booking system, visit YMCAHowTo.ca for step-by-step guides and instructions.

Currently, we ask that you book one appointment per day, with the exception of Open Swim which families can choose to book back-to-back times, up to a maximum of two. We ask you to be considerate and book only one session at this time so that everyone may have an opportunity to experience physical activities at the YMCA.

Users must pre-book an appointment for themselves or individuals in their party using our new online booking system.

For more information on using our new online booking system, visit YMCAHowTo.ca for step-by-step guides and instructions.

For the safety and protection of our community, all persons must wear a face-covering until you arrive at your exercise equipment. If you are comfortable doing your cardio activity in your mask, you are welcome to do so. We will be following guidelines as outlined by health authorities and the Chief Medical Officer. Visit the Government of Ontario’s website for more information on masks and face coverings.

Face coverings are not required:

  • When eating or drinking at a public premises, like a restaurant.
  • When you are doing physical activity, like in a gym or fitness centre.
  • For children under two years of age.
  • For people with disabilities or underlying medical conditions that affect their ability to wear a face-covering.
  • If you are unable to place, use or remove a face-covering safely without assistance.
  • If you are care-giving for, or accompanying a person with a disability where wearing a face covering would hinder the accommodation of the person’s disability (for example, ability to lip-read). Accessibility for Ontarian’s Disability Act 2005.

Yes, we will have a supply of masks available for purchase.

Please see any YMCA staff member if you are concerned about the welfare of someone in the facility. Individuals who become symptomatic at the YMCA will be isolated and provided emergency care and transportation.

Child development is core to the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka’s mission and so children remain welcome in our facilities.  However, usable amenities for children accessing the facility independently may be limited depending on guidance from health authorities.

Due to health guidance, children’s activity options are more limited during this time and vary by branch.  But we are pleased to be able to provide recreational swimming, badminton, basketball or even open gymnasium space for you to create your own fun.  Please remember to bring any equipment with you and follow all hygiene guidelines.  Open swim appointments are available with limited capacity. Families can choose to book back-to-back recreational swim appointments.  Gymnasium options for each branch can be viewed when booking your appointment.

Users must pre-book an appointment for themselves or individuals in their party using our new online booking system.

For more information on using our new online booking system, visit YMCAHowTo.ca for step-by-step guides and instructions.

At this time we will not be offering Child Minding services.  Child Minding will resume at a later date once health guidelines allow.  Ontario Regulation 263/20.

Due to health guidelines, lost and found items will be collected and will be disposed of each night.  Please only bring what you need for your visit.

In compliance with health guidelines, most indoor lounge and seating spaces at YMCA facilities will be temporarily unavailable.

Facility Hours and Access

In response to the evolving situation with COVID-19 infection rates, access to YMCA’s in Simcoe Muskoka will be limited to members and residents of Simcoe Muskoka. This was not an easy decision to make for our organization, yet in conversation with our health care partners, we feel this is the fitting approach for the moment. This practice will be reviewed and updated as needed.

Hours of operation will be revised in our facilities for the time being and updated as health guidance allows.  The hours of operation are as follows and we will notify you of any changes:

LOCATION Monday – Friday Saturday
Innisfil

Re-opening Oct. 30th

6:30am – 9:00pm 9:00-3:00 pm

(closed Sundays & Stats)

Collingwood

Re-opening Nov. 13th

6:00am – 9:00pm 7:00am – 3:00pm

(closed Sundays & Stats)

Wasaga Beach Closed until further notice Closed until further notice
Gravenhurst Closed until further notice Closed until further notice
 Midland Closed until further notice Closed until further notice

(Please note: workout areas and pool close 30 minutes prior to facility closure)

YMCA considered the pre-closure usage patterns based on data and used them, along with available resources, to set the hours. We will expand hours as soon as possible.

In a recent member survey, we heard from seniors that they value accessing the YMCA when there is a variety of people in the facility as it helps create a stronger sense of community. Many also expressed that they like to have flexibility in the hours they can access the Y. In response, the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka will not be creating designated seniors-only hours, but ensuring the highest levels of cleanliness throughout the facility during all operational hours.

We will be opening our centres according to the directives of local public health authorities. Some facility areas and amenities will have a staggered opening. Currently, the following amenities will be closed or unavailable until further notice, or until health guidance changes:

Steam Rooms                                     Youth Rooms                                         Family Centres

Newspapers                                        Limited use of locker rooms               Personal Care Products

Hot Tub                                               Multi-purpose Rooms                         Lobby and lounge spaces

Facility Bookings/Rentals                   Water fountains

(such as birthday parties)                   (bottle fillers permitted where possible)

Winter Registered Programs will be available for registration in December, for those centres that are open.  Programs will start in January 2021.

Personal training will be available in the initial stage of re-opening. We will be offering 1-hour sessions with pre-booking.

  • YMCA facilities will be providing a modified schedule of fitness classes. That schedule will be released 3 weeks prior to reopening a centre.  Bookings can be made up to 7 days in advance.  All changes to the group fitness schedule have been made in compliance with provincial health guidelines.
  • Yoga mats will not be provided, please bring your own.
  • Please come ready for your class and bring a small bag for your outdoor shoes. Check with your local YMCA’s Member Service Desk for centre specific protocols with personal belongings.
  • Only bring what you need.

We will not be offering swimming lessons or registered aquatics programs in this phase of our re-opening. However, there will be access to lane and open swimming. Swim lessons will resume in January 2021 while adhering to all health and safety protocols as outlined by Ontario Health, Health unit, LSS and Red Cross.

We will be offering both Lane Swims and Open Swims. Lessons will commence in early 2021.

Lane Swim:

  • Single-use of one swim lane for ages 10+.
  • Individuals will be assigned a lane upon arrival.
  • Swimmers in a lane will be asked to take breaks at opposite ends of the pool.
  • Swimmers will swim in straight lines back and forth and not in loops. This is to minimize passing and manage swimmer speeds.
  • No access to Training Pool, other aquatic areas or weight floor with a swim booking. Bookings end at scheduled times and are not dependent on arrival time.  Maximum of one lane swim appointment per day.
  • No snorkels allowed.
  • Swimmers must arrive ready to swim with your swimsuit already on. Please bring a bag for your outdoor shoes.

Recreational Swim:

  • Shared use of pool, specified times dependent on centre with designated areas allotted in pool area for each booking.
  • Each person attending requires an appointment (including children).
  • No access to other aquatic areas, weight floor or classes. Bookings end at the scheduled time and are not dependent on arrival time.
  • Open swim appointments vary by location, back-to-back appointments can be booked for a total of 2 appointments.
  • No snorkels allowed.
  • Swimmers must arrive ready to swim with your swimsuit already on.

Aquatic Equipment:

  • YMCA will provide access to frequently sanitized lifejackets, flutter boards and aquafit belts. No other pool equipment will be available.

Locker rooms are available for swimmers. We strongly encourage you to come dressed in your workout clothing or swimwear. Please change and shower at home.

We will be limiting the number of accessible lockers, washrooms, showers, and change room stalls in order to maintain physical distancing of users in the locker room. We encourage all patrons to leave non-essential items at home.

Appointments for Basketball, Badminton and Pickleball, (centre specific) are available. Bookings will have limits to group sizes dependent on the centre. One booking per person.

Equipment, (other than the net), is not provided, you must bring any balls or racquets required.  The basketball courts may also be booked as space for children to play/family fun.  You are not required to play basketball.

Towels will not be available for members. Users are free to bring their own towels onto the weight floor for use during workouts. Towel rentals will not be available for the time being.  To align with infection prevention measures, the YMCA will not provide equipment such as basketballs, soccer balls, racquets, yoga mats and other small personal equipment.  Members and participants may bring their own towel and equipment for personal use only.

Water fountains are not available, however, bottle fillers (where possible) are available for personal use. Given the limited quantity of bottle fillers at some of our locations, we encourage all facility users to bring filled water bottles with them.

Membership and Fees

Joining fees will be waived for any member who had an active membership in 2020 for the remainder of the calendar year and extending to March 2021.

Every membership was automatically placed on hold in mid-March.  However, even if you requested a hold prior to the March 15 closure, we still need you to restate your intention to remain on hold for 1- 6 months by completing this form.  If we don’t hear from you, we will restart your membership on the date your centre is opening.

Passes that expired during the shutdown will be honoured until December 31, 2020.

We are pleased to offer you a YMCA credit which can be used for any products or services in the future.

The YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka will be offering a 6-month hold option on any membership.  If you’re ready to come back before that, please contact your YMCA location and we will welcome you back at your convenience.

Please complete this form if you would like to place your membership on hold.

We understand that, for many, circumstances have changed because of the pandemic. We will be providing a number of options to allow members to continue with their YMCA membership. We will provide time ahead of our re-opening for you to consider these options, which include:

  • Membership Hold: You can place your membership on hold for up to 6 months by filling out this form.
  • Membership Cancellation: You can request to cancel your membership by completing this form.
  • Membership Change: If you would like to change your membership (change locations, contact information, category, etc.), please complete this form.

Please refer to the next FAQ for more information about our Financial Assistance Program.

Any individual and/or families that were receiving Financial Assistance prior to the closure of the YMCA will continue to have that honoured for the remainder of their membership term.

Individuals and families whose financial circumstances have changed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to apply for Financial Assistance by either providing proof of income, or if they received/qualified for EI benefits as of April 1, 2020. To apply for Financial Assistance, click here.

Extra membership services will be affected due to directives from health authorities.

In Membership Plus locker rooms throughout Simcoe/Muskoka:

  • Shared personal care amenities will not be available.
  • Hot tubs, steam rooms and saunas will not be available as per guidelines from Ontario Health Authorities.
  • Towel service will not be available.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

As YMCA’s costs to operate have significantly shifted, most fees will remain the same. We plan to add back services as soon as health guidance allows. YMCA membership fees also help support those who are unable to pay the full membership amount, and we anticipate an increase in subsidy requests in the months to follow our re-opening.

We’ll take care of everything for you! Since March, your membership has been on hold. We’ll let you know our re-opening date in advance, along with all the details you need to know before your first visit. Your membership will automatically reactivate once your home YMCA location re-opens. Specific re-opening dates will vary depending on location.

YMCA membership payments will resume at your centre as per the communications sent to you via email or post.  Membership payments will maintain your existing billing cycle of biweekly payments.  There will be a notice period given in case members need to revise their membership status, including extending a hold or accessing financial assistance.

  • Innisfil YMCA – payment will resume October 30, 2020
  • Collingwood YMCA – payments will resume November 13, 2020

Wasaga Beach, Gravenhurst and Midland YMCAs reopening dates are yet to be confirmed.

As a charity, you can still continue to give monthly which helps ensure that everyone in our community can be healthy and active.  Should you be continuing to place your membership on hold and would like to keep your donation active we would be grateful for your ongoing generosity.

Please discuss your donation options with member services staff or email givingback@sm.ymca.ca.

Donations during the closure and while your membership is on hold will be tax receipted to you in a consolidated receipt, which you will receive no later than January 31, 2021.

This has been a difficult year for many in our community, including our YMCA. Facility closures as the result of COVID-19 have impacted our organization and our ability to serve communities across Simcoe, Muskoka, and Parry Sound. We need your support so that even in uncertain times, we can build a healthy community for everyone. If you would like to support our reopening efforts, please consider making a donation at www.GiveToTheY.ca.

We are not able to provide facility tours at this time. We hope to be able to offer tours in the near future.

** All terms are subject to change due to evolving health and safety guidelines from relevant health authorities.

Have a question not answered here? Email us at: hello@sm.ymca.ca

YMCA Membership

Why did the YMCA switch to bi-weekly payments?

With the launch of the YMCA Online Portal, we are required to switch from monthly membership payments to bi-weekly payments. Most financial institutions and other businesses use bi-weekly as opposed to monthly payments to keep payments smaller and to better align with clients’ pay schedules.

Bi-weekly payments allow for:

  • Easier to manage payments. Although payments are more frequent, they are in smaller amounts, broken up throughout the month.
  • Flexibility to make changes to your membership
  • Customization for each family’s needs and wants

Yes, all of our centres offer a day pass option.  Please choose your centre of community to learn more about their current fee structure.

YMCA memberships are designed to help you live well throughout your life. The option of putting your membership on hold allows you to stay connected when you need to pause for a medical reason, travel, or enjoy a much needed break.

To place your membership on hold you must notify the YMCA by filling out this form, in writing or in person at least 7 days before your payment date. The start date of your hold is required to be your payment date. Minimum hold 1 month, maximum hold 6 months. If you have questions regarding your membership please contact your centre directly.

A joining fee (or Building Enhancement Fee) is a non-refundable contribution which promotes the maintenance and investment in future capital development of the facility.  Anyone purchasing a new, or lapsed, Adult, Senior, Couple, or Family Membership must pay the $75 Joining Fee with their first month’s payment.

Yes, as a registered Canadian charity, we collect donations to help support those who need a little financial help to access YMCA programs and services.  Click here to apply.  Proof of family income will be assessed and a Member Services staff will contact you within 48 hours.

Yes, depending on the type of membership you purchase, your YMCA card will be recognized at most other YMCA’s nation-wide as a visiting member.  In some cases, you may need to pay an additional fee to access adult-only change rooms, or specialty or registered programming.

To cancel a membership, written notice must be received by the YMCA at least seven (7) days prior to, but not including, the next debit date. Verbal notice of cancellation or cancellation via phone are not accepted. Refunds will not be provided for cancellations received after the 7 day cut-off date or for unused membership time.

Yes, you can bring as many guests as you wish!  The first time anyone visits the YMCA they will be issued a complimentary “Member for a Day” pass.  After this visit, day pass or membership charges may apply.  Please note, all members and guests over the age of 16, must supply a valid photo ID to access the YMCA.  Visit YMCA Access & Policies for more information.

YMCA Programs

Schedules are available at the YMCA or can be found by clicking here.

Yes, the YMCA offers swim lessons for all ages throughout the year, at all centres except Parry Sound. Most of our centres run on a 10-month cycle, from September – June. During the summer, a different schedule with different opportunities will be offered. After the summer, your child will return to the same lesson time. Please contact your centre directly for more information on the timing of swim lessons in your area. Learn more here.

Please speak with your YMCA Deck Supervisor.  They will upload a current Swim Lesson progress report which you can download by visiting SwimGen.  Please note that your participant number is printed on your YMCA Card.

Some of our YMCAs offer this service. Please speak to your Membership Service team for schedules and pricing (if applicable).

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