Captain Robert A. Bartlett Aquatics Centre in St. John’s

This space holds the Re/MAX Main Pool, Play Pool and the Manulife Financial Whirlpool. There is direct access to the Aquatics Centre from each change room and a viewing area outside for parents.

Check out the swim schedule in the Ches Penney Family YMCA Program Schedule.

Main Pool Information

  • Dimensions: 8m x 20m; 4 lanes

  • Depth: 0.9-2.5m
  • Temperature: ~ 82 degrees
  • Sloped (or beach front) entry
  • Water Wheelchair Available

Play Pool Information

  • Depth: 0.625m-0.9m

  • Temperature: ~ 92 degrees

  • Sloped (or beach front) entry
  • Spray Feature

  • Water Wheelchair Available

Whirlpool Information

  • Temperature: ~ 102 degrees

Swimming Lessons

The YMCA has a long history in aquatics and was the first organization to offer formalized swim instruction in Canada. We are proud of this history and look forward to building upon it as we continue to support our communities.

Swimming Instruction for all ages of participants and members is important at the YMCA and our swimming lessons are for people from infant to adult. We welcome everyone to access our programs and services, including swimming. It is our goal to help people develop skills and habits that will keep them healthy throughout their lives. We are also interested in developing skills which may be used as building blocks for employment.

Learn to swim with the YMCA swimming instructional program. We recognize that everyone is unique in the how they learn and apply new skills. The YMCA provides swim instruction based on abilities and pace of progression. Our swim lessons for members are offered through a continuous evaluation program.

If you need help determining which class will best meet the needs of your child, in-person swim assessments may be arranged. Please inform the Welcome Desk that your child needs a swim assessment when you arrive at lesson time so that the deck lead can be notified. On your child’s first day of lessons, the deck lead will do a swim assessment to determine which swimming level your child should be in.


Parent n' Tot

Ages 6 months-3 years

Splashers* 6-18 months
Bubblers* 18 months – 3 years
*might be taught in the same class

Caregiver participation required

Ratio is 1:10-15


Ages 3-5; children who are turning three within three months, or have turned six years of age within the last three months. Preschool swim lesson program includes levels in beginner and advanced.

Preschool Beginner (Bobbers, Floaters and Gliders) – Ratio is 1:6
Preschool Advanced (Divers, Surfers, Jumpers) – Ratio is 1:6

Learn to Swim

Ages 6-11; children who are turning six within three months, or have turned 12 years of age within the last three months.

Learn to Swim (Otter, Seal) – Ratio is 1:6
Learn to Swim (Dolphin, Swimmer) – Ratio is 1:8

Star Levels

Ages 6+; children who are turning six within three months. Star swim lesson program includes levels 1-6.

Stars (1- 4) – Ratio is1:8
Stars (5-6) – Ratio is 1:12


Levels include:

Learn to Swim
Swim for Health

Ratio is 1:10-15

Private Swim Lessons

Private lessons are available to members at a cost of $125 (+HST) for five 30-minute lessons. A maximum of three people from the same household may be booked into a five lesson-block at no additional charge. Participants must have an active YMCA membership and similar swimming abilities. The five lessons are at the same time each week for five consecutive weeks.

If the YMCA cancels a scheduled private swim lesson that you have paid for, the fee paid for that cancelled lesson will be credited back to your YMCA account. This credited fee can be used for future YMCA purchases, but only upon the payer’s request to do so.


Spaces are subject to availability. Registration for swim lessons require an active membership. Memberships and swim lesson registration are available online or over the phone if your membership account is being set up via credit card. Other payment types may register in person at the Welcome Desk. Call or visit the Membership Sales and Service Desk in your region at 709-726-9622 (St. John’s), 709-279-9622 (Marystown), or 709-896-9622 (Happy Valley-Goose Bay).

Advanced Aquatic Program: Become A Lifeguard

For more information contact on the next available course contact:

Ches Penney Family YMCA, St. John’s:

Marystown YMCA:

Central Labrador YMCA (Happy Valley-Goose Bay):

Water Wheelchairs

The Ches Penney Family YMCA has two water wheelchairs available in the Aquatics Centre. The main pool and play pool have a sloped entry. Each water wheelchair have front and rear stabilizer wheels, swing-away armrests, and a rigid rotomolded plastic seat. Capacity is 300 lbs.

Portable Hoyer Accessible Lifts

The Ches Penney Family YMCA has added a portable Hoyer Accessible Lift. This lift is compact and will support transfers of people that require assistance from the floor, onto a healthcare bed or the washroom. The Hoyer Accessible Lift will get you closer to the widest of obstacles. This is especially useful when encountering large chairs, bulky commodes and wheelchairs. The tapered design also ensures that the resident feels safe and secure during the transfer.

This portable lift is interchangeable in all change rooms. Instructions are posted and YMCA Duty Manager Support is available.

Please ask at the Welcome Desk staff for access and assistance with equipment.