YMCA of Greater Toronto | Policy FAQ

COVID-19 Safety Measures

Find the latest updates and changes to our COVID-19 health and safety measures here. As we have done throughout the pandemic, we will continue to monitor the situation and are prepared to reinstate protocols as required.

Health & FitnessChild CareCamps & Outdoor EducationEmployment & Community

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy Background

  • September 1, 2021: The Y put in place a COVID-19 vaccine requirement policy for all YMCA staff, volunteers, participants and visitors 12 and older. The policy coincided with the September 1, 2021 announcement by the Ontario government about its vaccine certificate policy.
  • September 22, 2021: All YMCA Health & Fitness members and visitors 12 and older were required to be fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine series. On October 30, 2021 this requirement came into effect for all other program participants and visitors 12 and older, YMCA staff and volunteers. Our Y complies with human rights laws and accommodates individuals who are legally entitled to an exemption. Accommodation could include virtual offerings, outdoor offerings or other program alternatives.
  • January 4, 2022: Program participants used the Ontario government’s enhanced vaccine certificate with an official QR code as the means for demonstrating proof of vaccination.
  • March 21, 2022: The YMCA will no longer verify vaccination status for those participating in our programs or accessing our facilities.

General Information

Do I need to wear a mask?

No. As of March 21, 2022, we will follow the guidance of public health and make the wearing of masks voluntary in all of our centres and offices, with the exception of YMCA Sprott House and The Wagner Green YMCA, where all current COVID-19 requirements remain unchanged.

It is important to remember that lifting the mask mandate does not mean the pandemic is over or the risk is gone. We will ensure that anyone who chooses to continue to wear a mask will feel welcome and supported in doing do.

Do I need to show proof of vaccination?

As of March 21, 2022, the YMCA will no longer verify vaccination status for those participating in our programs or accessing our facilities.

Do I need to physically distance from others?

As of March 21, 2022, individuals are no longer required to maintain a distance of two metres from every other person in indoor areas.

Can I visit the YMCA after I've travelled to an international destination?

Under current federal travel requirements, upon return from international travel, individuals must wear a mask at all times when in public spaces (including at the YMCA) for 14 days, maintain a list of all close contacts and locations visited during the first 14 days in Canada and monitor for symptoms. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the Government of Canada’s Travel Restrictions and measures for each province and territory.

Are you doing active screening?

Active COVID-related screening and record-keeping is no longer required for participants and members. However, all individuals should continue to self-screen and refrain from entering our centres if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

Effective March 21, 2022, as per Ministry of Health guidelines, our child care families are required to self-screen at home using the COVID-19 school and child care screening tool. If a child does not pass screening, they must be kept home for the required isolation period.

What if I have COVID-19 symptoms?

Anyone who is sick or has any new or worsening symptoms of illness should stay home until their symptoms are improving for 24 hours (or 48 hours for nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea). If COVID-19 is suspected or confirmed by a Rapid Antigen Test (RT) or PCR test, the individual must follow all isolation requirements.

Will enhanced cleaning and disinfecting measures continue?

Yes. The enhanced cleaning protocols that have been in place throughout the pandemic will continue.

For example, at our child care locations, we've implemented enhanced cleaning and disinfecting measures recommended by public health authorities that are designed to support regular hand hygiene and to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious illnesses.

  • Frequently touched surfaces including washrooms (for example, toilet fixtures and faucets), eating areas (for example, tables, sinks, countertops), doorknobs, light switches, handles, push buttons, handrails, office (for example, desks, phones, computers, keyboards, touch screens, photocopiers), and sports equipment are cleaned and disinfected twice each day.
  • The risk associated with the transmission of illness by sharing objects is low. The focus is on regular hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette to reduce the spread of illness. Toys are cleaned and disinfected as per local public health guidelines, before being shared with another classroom, when dirty, or when a child puts a toy in their mouth.

At YMCA Health & Fitness centres:

  • Our staff will be consistently disinfecting high-touch surface areas, and continuously cleaning throughout the day.
  • We've increased signage to remind everyone to regularly wash and sanitize their hands.
  • Disinfectant wipes are readily available throughout the building.
  • All members should wipe down equipment and workout spaces before and after use.

Will you be reinstating more COVID-19 safety measures and restrictions?

As we have done throughout the pandemic, we will continue to monitor the situation and are prepared to reinstate protocols as required.

Why are you waiving requirements for masks and proof of vaccination?

The Government of Ontario’s recent decision to lift most pandemic-related restrictions and requirements indicates that based on high vaccination rates in the province, we are now learning to live with and manage COVID-19 for the long term. While the YMCA has taken a more cautious approach to easing restrictions throughout the pandemic than many organizations, we feel it is time to align more closely with this latest guidance from public health.

We'll continue to ensure that anyone who chooses to continue to wear a mask will feel welcome and supported in doing do. We will maintain our vaccine requirement for all YMCA staff and volunteers, and we ask everyone visiting our centres to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms before entering any of our centres. We continue to operate well-ventilated spaces and maintain the enhanced cleaning protocols that have been in place throughout the pandemic.

We will continue to monitor the situation and are prepared to reinstate protocols as needed.

Health & Fitness Questions

Do Health & Fitness members need to wear a mask?

As of March 21, 2022, participants, staff and volunteers are no longer required to wear masks in our Health and Fitness centres. We understand that each individual lives with different circumstances and vulnerabilities and may make decisions that are different from others. If you feel more comfortable wearing a mask, we encourage and support your choice to do so.

Do I need to provide proof of vaccination?

No. As of Monday, March 21, 2022 we are no longer requiring proof of vaccination to participate in programs or to access our facilities.

Will there be hand sanitizer available?

Hand sanitizer will be available in multiple, high-touch areas throughout the building and outdoors. You are also encouraged to wash your hands with soap and water frequently, when possible.

Should I wipe down gym equipment?

Yes. Disposable sanitizing wipes will be available so you can wipe down the equipment before and after using it. Staff will focus on ensuring high-touch areas are routinely disinfected.

Do you have virtual exercise programs I can do from home?

If you are a member, the Virtual Y is included in your membership. You can access the Virtual Y through the Sweat For Good app. If you haven't already done so you can register for the Sweat For Good app. If you are a non-member you can sign up directly for the Virtual Y.

Child Care Questions

What measures is the YMCA taking to protect the children in their programs against COVID-19?

Great care has been — and will continue to be — taken to protect the health and safety of our children.

Staff at our child care centres will continue to:

  • Require families to screen their children with the province’s COVID-19 school and child care screening tool before attending care
  • Ask families to keep children home if they are sick or showing symptoms of illness
  • Frequently clean and disinfect rooms, toys, and equipment
  • Teach children personal hygiene routines

Do children and families of children registered in YMCA child care programs have to be vaccinated?

No. Children and families of children currently registered in YMCA child care programs are not required to be vaccinated at this time.

Are visitors and families allowed to enter child care centres?

We will be welcoming families back into YMCA Child Care centres and aim to do so by April 4, 2022. Supervisors will directly notify their families about a transition plan to welcome families back into our locations.

Can child care families enter a YMCA centre to pay a balance on their account?

As of April 4, 2022 visitors & families will be welcomed back into the centres. To reduce exposure, you can make a payment online using My Y.

Camping & Outdoor Centre Questions

What is your vaccination policy for camp participants?

As of March 21, 2022 we don't require any camp participants to be vaccinated to attend an overnight program, outdoor centre program, or day camp program.

Employment & Community Questions

Do visitors to Employment & Community sites need to wear a mask?

As of March 21, 2022, participants, staff, and volunteers are no longer required to wear masks in our Employment and Community centres. We understand that each individual lives with different circumstances and vulnerabilities, and may make decisions that are different from others. If you feel more comfortable wearing a mask, we encourage and support your choice to do so.

Do visitors need to provide proof of vaccination?

No. As of Monday, March 21, 2022, we are no longer requiring proof of vaccination to participate in programs or to access our facilities.

Will there be hand sanitizer?

Hand sanitizer will be available in multiple, high-touch areas throughout the building and in the offices. You are also encouraged to wash your hands with soap and water frequently, when possible.

Should I wipe down the resource area computer I use?

Yes. Disposable sanitizing wipes will be available so you can wipe down the equipment before and after using it. Staff will focus on ensuring high-touch areas are routinely disinfected.

Can I book a virtual appointment?

Yes. We offer both in-person and virtual appointments. If you would like to book an appointment for our employment services you can sign up on this form: https://gotothey.ymcagta.org

You can also reach out to an employment specialist near you:
Etobicoke: 416-741-8714 
North York: 416-635-9622 
Peel: 905-276-9322
Pickering: 905-427-7670
Richmond Hill: 905-780-9622
Scarborough – Tapscott: 416-335-5490
Scarborough – Milner: 416-609-9622
Whitby: 905-668-0044 


If you are a newcomer to Canada, please visit https://ymcagta.org/immigrant-services-new for information and services including English and French language assessment; referrals to services in the community; and newcomer youth programming.

What safety measures are present at your youth housing and shelters?

All staff are required to wear masks at all times, and must also wear eye protection when working directly with residents. Residents are strongly encouraged to wear masks as well and have their temperatures checked daily. Visitors and staff are screened daily. Sites are deep-cleaned every day, and high-touch surfaces are sanitized at least once every shift. In addition to strict Infection Prevention & Control measures, our shelter sites are assessed and audited regularly by the City of Toronto Shelter Support & Housing Administration.