Water Safety

Ice Safety

outdoor ice with sign 'warning, thin ice'
Early winter is a great time to take a walk outside, but it is essential to be aware of the dangers presented by frozen – or partially frozen – bodies of water.


Town of BWG by-laws prohibit skating and other recreation on stormwater management ponds as the ice thickness differs from one area to the next and there can be pockets of air and water in unexpected spots.
Many factors affect ice thickness including type of water, location, the time of year and other environmental factors such as: water depth, size of body of water, currents, tides and other moving water, chemicals including salt, fluctuations in water levels, logs, rocks and docks absorbing heat from the sun, and changing air temperature.
Ice colour is an important factor in ice safety awareness. You should know that:
  • The colour of ice may be an indication of its strength.
  • Clear blue ice is strongest.
  • White, opaque or snow ice is half as strong as blue ice.
  • Grey ice is unsafe. The greyness indicates the presence of water.
 If you get into trouble on ice and you’re by yourself:
 Shout for help.
 Resist the urge to climb back out where you fell in. The ice is weak in this area.
 Try to relax and catch your breath. Turn yourself toward shore so you are looking at where you entered onto the ice. The ice is more stable close to shore.
 Reach forward onto the broken ice without pushing down. Kick your legs to try to get your body into a horizontal position.
 Continue kicking your legs and crawl onto the ice.
 When you are back on the ice, crawl on your stomach or roll away from the open area with your arms and legs spread out as far as possible to evenly distribute your body weight.
 When You Are With Others on Ice
 Rescuing another person from ice can be dangerous. The safest way to perform a rescue is from shore.
 Shout for help. Consider whether you can quickly get help from trained professionals or bystanders.
 Determine if you can reach them using a long pole or branch from shore – if so, lie down and extend the pole to the person.
 If you go onto ice, wear a PFD and carry a long pole or branch to test the ice in front of you. Bring something to reach or throw to the person.
 When near the break, lie down to distribute your weight and slowly crawl toward the hole.
 Remaining low, extend or throw your emergency rescue device to the person.
 Have the person kick while you pull.
 Move the person to a safe position on shore. Signal for help.

School Water Safety Presentations:
If you are interested arranging a Water Safety Presentation for your school, please email the Aquatic Programmer. 

Lifejacket Lending Program

In partnership with the BWG Public Library and with our Drowning Prevention Program in mind, we are thrilled to offer our patrons the opportunity to borrow lifejackets. No matter your age or size, the BWG Public Library have a wide range of lifejackets to accommodate everyone, from little ones to adults. With a generous loan period of one week and a renewal, you will have ample time to enjoy the water with peace of mind.
To ensure fairness and accessibility, the lifejacket lending program operates on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no need to make reservations; simply drop by the library and secure your lifejacket for a thrilling aquatic experience. The Library rental service allows for unlimited rentals, so you can embark on multiple aquatic escapades throughout the summer season.
Please note that an adult must check out the lifejackets and sign a waiver of responsibility. Both the Library and Leisure Center strive to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for all our patrons, and these measures help us achieve that goal.

The Lifejacket Lending Program runs from May 1-September 30.

Aquatic Donations: Water Smart Campaign 2024

In Canada, drowning is the No. 1 cause of unintentional injury deaths among children 1-4 years of age, and the second leading cause of preventable death for children under 10 years. With some 500 fatalities annually, drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional death among Canadians under 60 years of age (surpassed only by motor vehicle collisions and poisoning).

The Lifesaving Society's ongoing public education campaign aims to make Canadians "Water Smart." The campaign target groups, messages, and priorities are based on the Society's analysis of its annual drowning and other relevant research.

The Water Smart Campaign encourages individuals in high-risk target groups to exercise safe and responsible behavior in and around water to prevent water-related injuries. Our Water Smart drowning prevention campaign is funded through donations, community fundraising events and sponsorships.

In 2023 our Aquatics Team raised $2572.50 for the Water Smart Campaign. 
Money was raised through sponsoring instructors and at town special events through games and selling popcorn and ducks.

popcorn at outdoor movies
rubber ducks
Games at PumpkinFest
Our goal for 2024 is to raise $2500.00.

You can donate online when you register for swimming lessons. 
Stay tuned for more ways you can donate this spring & summer. 

Address: Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury, 100 Dissette St., Unit 7&8, Bradford, ON, L3Z 2A7

Phone: 905-775-5366,

By GHD Digital