COVID-19 Response Update – March 30, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to some frequently asked questions about our response to the COVID-19 situation and our temporary closures. If you have any additional questions, please email customerservice@niagara.ymca.ca

Today, the provincial government and health officials announced ongoing measures for the next several weeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and stressed the importance of continued social and physical distancing.

In alignment with these “extremely serious” directives, our YMCA will not be reopening program sites, as initially planned, on April 6.

This situation continues to evolve. It is not easy to predict how long these measures will remain in effect; however, our YMCA will continue to align our operational decisions with the directives of the government and health authorities.

We will reopen as soon as it is safe and possible to do so.

All of our programs and facilities remain temporarily closed with the exception of our Employment & Immigrant Services department who are servicing our community in a new virtual model.

Please bookmark this page and check back here for updates.

Health, Fitness and Aquatics

  • We are not taking any payments for fees during this closure and we will not resume taking payments until we reopen
  • Current HFA Memberships are effectively on hold
  • While you remain on hold, we will retain your spot in all registered program spots (such as swim lessons, martial arts, etc.) so that you will not have to re-register when we reopen
  • When we reopen we will review your account and adjust your next payment to reflect a credit for the period of closure as soon as possible

Licensed Child Care

  • For the month of March all licensed child care families were charged fees up to March 13
  • A communication was sent to individual families with detailed information

We are being optimistic and continuing to accept summer camp registrations in the hopes that summer camp will happen. However we also recognize this is an ever evolving situation. If we are not able to operate summer camp, then we would issue full refunds for all pre-registered summer camps.

All YMCA Employment & Immigrant Services locations in St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, and Thorold are closed at this time to walk-in traffic. We’ve moved to a modified service model and continue to work with clients and the broader community virtually by e-mail, phone or text during this difficult time.

Your patience and support are greatly appreciated as we work through this evolving situation.

We are so grateful for the many expressions of support and encouragement, including members who have reached out specifically to ask how they can further support the YMCA by making a financial donation. To those members, we humbly thank you for asking and confirm that we continue to receive donations, and we will issue a tax receipt. Please use the link below.

Donate Now!

We would still like to be present in your fitness lives and encourage you to stay healthy and active. Watch our social media channels for YThrive fitness videos and homegrown videos from our own fitness staff designed to help you stay connected and healthy while we all do our part to maintain social distancing.

As our staff are working remotely now, we may not be able to answer your phone call in a timely manner. If you need to reach us or have any questions about your account, please email customerservice@niagara.ymca.ca

Dear YMCA Member,

On March 12, 2020, the Chief Medical Officer of Public Health for Ontario, Dr. David Williams, recommended the immediate suspension of all significant events and public gatherings of over 250 people to eliminate the spread of COVID-19. Our top priority is the health and safety of our members, families, volunteers and staff. Moreover, as a socially responsible community organization we have determined that it is important that we help with public efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. Yesterday, following the announcement that Ontario schools would close we had to make several decisions about many of our YMCA programs. Today, we have decided to close our Health, Fitness and Aquatics centres until April 5 inclusively. At this time, all of our YMCA programs are also suspended until April 5.  This decision will also allow our employees to take care of their families while schools and childcare are closed.

These are extraordinary circumstances and we thank you for your patience and understanding.

The municipal facilities and recreation centres in Niagara Falls, Grimsby, St Catharines, Port Colborne, and Welland have all closed for the same period of time. When we re-open we will review your account and adjust your next payment to reflect a credit for the period of closure.

Our YMCA is overwhelmed by the outpouring of support to our organization during these stressful times. Thank you to the many people in our community who have validated our decision to temporarily close. Some members have even offered to donate this month’s membership to the YMCA as a gesture of support. Given that the YMCA is a charity, we can provide you with a tax receipt for your generous donation.

Donate Now!

Please note: We will also continue to monitor social media and update our website as this COVID-19 situation unfolds.

Kyle Barber

President & CEO
YMCAs of Niagara & Oakville