Reopening: Edmonton Region
July 31, 2020
These past few months have been tough for everyone. We've missed seeing you at our centres, and we're excited to announce the opening dates for our Edmonton health, fitness and aquatics centres, along with some details about what you can expect when you return. The William Lutsky Family YMCA is now open. Opening dates for all other YMCA health, fitness and aquatic centres will be announced as soon as possible. Just a reminder: your YMCA membership allows you to visit any YMCA location.
William Lutsky Family YMCA
Hours of Operation
Opening To Be Determined:
Castle Downs Family YMCA
Don Wheaton Family YMCA
Jamie Platz Family YMCA
We want to be fully transparent as to the reason for this delay. We have heard from many of you, our valued members, and are learning from other YMCAs opening across the country. The number of members ready to return to physical spaces for their health and fitness needs continues to be low — so low that it will be difficult to support the operational cost of running facilities.
The YMCA of Northern Alberta is a charity dedicated to helping communities connect, belong and thrive. The closure of our physical spaces and many programs and services as a result of COVID-19 has placed us in a financial position where we have to be extremely prudent to ensure we can continue to serve members and communities for years to come.
YMCA Child Care
We have started to reopen YMCA Child Care centres as well! Not all child cares are open as of today, however, we're working hard to ensure your child can come back to our care safely and will open more child care centres according to community need. As new information becomes available, we're updating northernalberta.ymca.ca/ChildCare to keep you informed. You can also visit that page for information on how we're working to keep your family and our staff safe while at YMCA Child Care. Click the link below for more information on when you can expect more child care centres to open and to register for a waitlist.
Keeping our members safe
While we are excited to provide a place for you to reach your goals and connect with your community again, the health and safety of our members, employees and volunteers is our most important consideration. We will be meeting or exceeding all of the recommendations in the Government of Alberta's guidelines for recreation facilities and swimming pools.
As guidelines change, we expect that our protocols in our centres will change over time. We promise to communicate changes your Y experience as they occur!
Here's how your YMCA experience will be different as we take precautions to keep you safe:
Temporary mandatory use of face coverings:
The City of Edmonton has passed a bylaw making face coverings mandatory in all public indoor spaces, effective Saturday, August 1, 2020. YMCA of Northern Alberta is happy to comply and follow the leadership of the City of Edmonton.
As a result, also effective Saturday, August 1, face coverings will be mandatory inside all YMCA spaces in Red Deer, Edmonton, Grande Prairie and Wood Buffalo. Please note that anyone participating in water or physical activities are exempt. However, common areas in YMCA health, fitness and aquatics centres and community centres such as lobbies, hallways and change rooms do require face coverings to be worn.
Also, if relevant to you, Melcor YMCA Village residents and YMCA Child Care facilities are exempt from this policy as these facilities and programs have separate guidelines and extensive health and safety protocols in place that are specific to those spaces.
A face covering includes a mask, balaclava, bandana, scarf, cloth or other similar items that cover the nose, mouth and chin without gapping. Exceptions include children under two years of age, persons with an underlying medical condition or disability which inhibits their ability to wear a face covering, or while participating in physical activity.
Thank you in advance for helping keep YMCA spaces healthy and safe for everyone to enjoy.
Health screening, limited capacity and pre-booking your time at the Y:
- All participants will complete a health screening questionnaire before attending.
- Because we can only allow a certain number of people in the facility at once, we won't be allowing access for guests, day passes or punch passes, to give our members more chances to use their Y.
- At this time, the YMCA will only be open to those 14 years of age or older.
- To be sure there's space available, you must pre-book your time at the Y. You will be able to book time up to seven days in advance for:
- The fitness centre (one hour)
- Group fitness classes (45-minute classes)
- Lane swim or aqua jogging (50 minutes)
- Open gym for individual basketball, no game play (45 minutes)
- If you do not pre-book time, you can drop in to see if space is available. If there's space in the area you'd like to use, you will be welcome to come in. If there is no space available, you will have to wait or book another time.
- Members should arrive no more than 10 minutes early for their booking time. If you're late for your time slot, you can still enter, but you'll need to finish at the end of your booking period regardless of when you started.
- If you are already a YMCA member, please check your email for a message containing a link to request access your new online account. If you have not received an email, please click here to request access to your account.
Physical distancing, frequent disinfecting and equipment changes:
- We will increase our cleaning and disinfecting practices in all areas of our facility. Our staff will clean and disinfect each area after a member's booking time.
- As always, we will provide disinfectant for members to use on their equipment before and after use, and we will be diligent in encouraging members to do this practice.
- After using shared equipment such as dumbbells, bars, flutter boards and mats, members will place the equipment in a "used" equipment location so our staff can sanitize it before it's used again.
- To ensure safe physical distancing, class sizes in group fitness classes will be smaller, and some of the equipment in our fitness centre will be closed or rearranged.
- We will be enforcing physical distancing of 2 metres for all activities and 3 metres for high-intensity activities at all times.
- We have removed equipment that is difficult to sanitize, such as yoga mats, battle ropes, bands and tubing.
Program and service changes:
- Our pool will only be open for lane swimming and aqua jogging, and hot tubs and steam rooms will not be available. We will provide information on how you can book your lane in advance.
- We will not be running any registered programs, such as swim lessons, summer day camps, sports and recreation programs or childminding.
- Racquet courts and the jogging/walking track will be closed, as physical distancing is difficult to maintain in those areas.
- Family Fun Zones, Teen Lounge spaces and Toddler Zones will be closed.
Locker rooms and amenities:
- We're asking our members to come changed and ready to work out, as locker rooms and showers will only be available to those using the pool. If you are coming to use the fitness centre, please note that there is no space to store any belongings, including outdoor shoes. Shared amenities in our locker rooms have been removed. Washrooms will be available to all members.
- Vending machines have been closed, and food services will only be available if the vendor chooses to reopen at this time.
- Lobby furniture has been reduced to promote physical distancing.
- Shared magazines and facility brochures have been removed. Please visit our website for program information, as it will no longer be available in hard copy.
- Water fountains will not be available, so members are encouraged to bring a water bottle from home. Fountains with bottle fill stations will still be available.
- Plus Membership locker rooms and amenities will not be available yet. If you are a Plus member and wish to return, you will be able to choose from these two options:
- Maintain your Plus membership fee and donate the difference in cost between the general membership you'll be receiving and your Plus membership fee to the YMCA to help us support those who cannot afford a Y membership. You will receive a tax receipt for this donation.
- Opt back into membership at the general membership level, and only pay the general membership fee until Plus services are restored.
Restarting your YMCA membership:
- Please note that just because our centres are opening, your membership billing will not begin automatically. We'll only start charging you when you're ready to come back.
- To make your return easy, we also won't be billing anyone for your first two weeks back, beginning from whichever day you opt to restart your membership.
- We're making some changes to our membership and registration process, and we will have information for how you can restart your membership in early July. No action is required of you right now!
While we know there will be changes to YMCA spaces, one thing that has not changed is the fact that our YMCA community is made up of kind and caring individuals who know how important it is for kids, families and individuals to have a safe place to connect, belong and thrive. We know that the need for these opportunities has increased through this period of isolation, while at the same time, the financial situation of many in our community has worsened. As we look to reopening our facilities to members, we know that the need for financial assistance is eminent and the generosity of our members are needed and appreciated more than ever.
We can't wait to connect with you in person again. If you're subscribed to our emails, keep an eye out for future emails letting you know how to restart your membership and pre-book your time at the Y online! If you're not subscribed to our emails, this page will be updated as well.