Building Etiquette & Policies - YMCA of Three Rivers Waterloo Region

Building Etiquette & Policies

Building Etiquette 

The YMCA is a shared experience for everyone to enjoy.  YMCA members, volunteers and staff are expected to treat one another with respect, fairness and dignity.


Building Policy - Access

Each patron 13+ accessing our facility will be prompted to provide photo ID. This ensures security in our building and the safety of our members in regards to member wellness and support of our YMCA Canada Child Protection policy.

Guest Passes 

Guests may visit the facility accompanied by a member who has an active membership, up to 3 times at no charge. After that, the guest may join as a member or pay a Day Pass Fee. Guests are required to check in at Membership Services and to provide photo identification on each visit.


Lockers are available for day-use only. You may supply your own lock, or purchase one at Member Services. Personal belongings must be locked up for your safety and security. Small coin-operated wallet-lockers are also available. The YMCA is not responsible for loss or damage to personal belongings.

Dress Code

The YMCA is a private, member based, recreational organization and as such reserves the right to set expectations for proper attire in our facilities.  In order to respect the comfort and safety of everyone in our facility, proper workout wear is required. Athletic/closed toe shoes are required, along with comfortable tops and bottoms suitable for your fitness regime, and our family environment.  Clothing that expresses any profane or discriminating messages are prohibited.

Bathing attire in the pool includes attire used for the purpose of swimming only. When using the pool, all swimmers must change from street clothes to swimming attire. Swimming attire must permit individuals to participate safely in programs. T-shirts over swimsuits are permitted, however undergarments, cut offs, and thong bathing suits are not.  Religious requirements will be accommodated as long as safety of self and others is not compromised. Outdoor shoes are not permitted in the shower areas or pool deck.

All non-toilet trained children must wear swim diapers in the pool.

The YMCA reserves the right to make final decisions on what is appropriate and safe.  We strive to create an environment that is safe and welcoming to all.

Children in the Building

Children 9 years and under, accessing the facility, must be in a program or directly supervised by a parent or caregiver 16 years of age or older.

Wireless Device and Cell Phone Policy

Wireless device and cell phone usage is prohibited in change rooms and washrooms. Usage in other areas of the building will be considerate to all members and guests, to respect their privacy, comfort and enjoyment.


Photography is prohibited in change rooms and washrooms. Photography in other areas of the building will be discreet and considerate to all members and guests, to respect their privacy, comfort and enjoyment.

Change Room Use

Our Family change room is for Moms with sons and Dads with daughters 4-9 years of age. Also available for our special needs members requiring assistance from a caregiver.

Moms with daughters and dads with sons should use the General Change rooms to avoid congestion in the Family change room.

Children 10 yrs and over must use same gender General change rooms (Boys use the male change room / Girls use the female change room).  Children 4 - 9 yrs are to use the Family change room and not opposite gender General change rooms.

Aquatic admissions standards

Children 5 years and Under - RED Wrist Band

All children who are 5 years old and under will receive a RED wrist band upon entering the pool deck.

  • Must be accompanied in the water by a parent or guardian who is at least 16 years or older who remains within arms' reach..
  • Ratio of children to parent/ guardian is 2:1
  • Parent/guardians must remain in shallow areas of the pool where they can comfortably stand without water going over their head.

*Children who are 5 years and under who are able to complete the swim test may access deep water, accompanied by a parent/guardian.  These children will be issued both a RED and GREEN bracelet.

Children 6-9years old - YELLOW Wrist Band:

All children who are 6-9 years old are required to swim with a parent/guardian who is at least 16 years or older who remains within arms' reach and complete a swim test.

  • Children who do not successfully complete the swim test will receive a YELLOW wrist band and must swim with a parent/ guardian who is at least 16 years or older who remains within arms' reach.
  • Ratio of children to parent/ guardian is 4:1 (this ratio is currently under review and may change with new Pool Health Regulations due out early in 2017)
  • Parent/guardians must remain in shallow areas of the pool where they can comfortably stand without water going over their head.

Children 6-9 years old  GREEN Wrist Band:

Children who complete the swim test will receive a GREEN wrist band and may access the pool unaccompanied;

  • Parent/guardian 16 years or older must remain within the pool enclosure and directly* supervise their children (sitting on side or in gallery).
  • Ratio of children to parent/guardian 8:1

*Direct supervision is defined as having visual and verbal contact and able to render immediate assistance at all times.

Participants 10 years and older may access the pool unaccompanied.

  • Swimmers of any age may be asked to complete the swim test at the discretion of the Lifeguard.
  • Based on swim ability, restriction to shallow water may be made.

Swim Admission Guard:

There will be a designated Lifeguard (or designate) who will act as the Swim Admission Guard during any public, open or family swims.  This lifeguard (or designate) must be visible on deck (wearing vest) welcoming members and providing wristbands to those members who require them.  The Swim Admission Guard (or designate) is also responsible for issuing swim tests for those children who require them. 

Facility Admission Swim Test:

The facility swim test must be completed by children (6-9 years old) who wish to swim on their own.  Children must complete the swim test every time they come to the facility, if they would like to swim on their own.  This is to ensure the safety of our children as other factors throughout a day may affect their ability to swim.

The facility admission swim test will consist of 2 parts:

#1 - Swim a distance appropriate to the pool size i..e. 1 length; 2 widths (approx. 25m)

#2 - Jump into deep water and tread water for 30 seconds (only req'd upon successful completion of the swim test)

Part 1:  25m Front Swim Test

When administering swim tests in the pool it is important to consider the following standards that must be maintained throughout the duration of the 25m front swim test:

  • Face in the water (with the ability to breathe out of the water i.e. face in - blow bubbles; face out - take a breath; repeat)
  • Overarm recovery (arms consistently out of the water)
  • Horizontal body position (feet near the surface not the bottom)
  • Propulsive forward motion
  • Comfortable in the water

NOTE:  Consider this is approximately YMCA Swimmer level standard

The following standards, although may prove helpful in the completion of the test, are NOT required to pass the test:

  • Bent elbow front crawl
  • Side breathing
  • Full arm extension above/ahead of head
  • Flutter kick

Part 2:  Tread Water Test (delivered only to those who successfully complete the 25m swim test)

  • Jump away from the side of pool with comfort
  • Easily surface and begin to tread water
  • Head/ears maintained above water throughout
  • Completion of required time - 30 seconds

Swim/Tread Water tests are required at each visit to the pool.  No data base will be kept.


Aquatic Centre

In compliance with Health & Safety Standards, to keep our pool deck and shower areas clean and well maintained, outdoor footwear is prohibited in these areas. Blue bootie covers can be purchased at the Membership Services Desk for $0.85/pair. Please no strollers in the shower or on the pool deck.

Workout Areas/Gymnasium

Appropriate, clean closed toe shoes are required in these areas.   


Please no food or drink in the gymnasium.  Water bottles only. 

Track Use

Members 10 years+ have access to the track at all times.  We offer the opportunity for families to participate together between 11-12 pm and 3:30-4:30 pm Monday-Friday.  The track may also be used by some of our programs.  These times will be posted. 

Perfume, Cologne & Hairspray

Please be respectful of others when using perfumes, colognes and hairspray at the YMCA, we are of the minimalist attitude within our spaces . Some members have severe allergies to these products.