To help communities address staffing shortages and ensure that recreational camp waterfronts and pools across the province can be enjoyed in safety, the government of Ontario is lowering the minimum age to be a lifeguard, assistant lifeguard, and aquatic instructor from 16 to 15. This change adjusts the base age necessities to refreshed age prerequisites laid out by the Lifesaving Society’s affirmation course.
According to Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, “as school resumes for the summer and the weather warms up, we spend more time enjoying pools and camp waterfronts.” By lowering the age at which youth can become lifeguards, more opportunities for youth to work in rewarding positions that can aid in the safety of recreational camp waterfronts and community pools are created.
On June 2, 2023, these modifications take effect immediately. As a result, communities will now have access to more lifeguards, allowing municipalities and businesses to hire more staff in time for summer. Operators will also be able to maintain and expand their hours of operation for public swimming and aquatic lessons if they have access to more lifeguards.