The year 1967 was not only Canada’s Centennial year, but also the year that York Aquatics Club came into being. By 1983 York Aquatics incorporated. The name was changed to the York Swim Club in 1985 to show the competitive nature of the Club.
The former City of York (now City of Toronto), the former City of Toronto Board of Education (now Toronto District Board of Education) and York Swim Club have always worked together for the children of the area who were interested in swimming. The City of York and the City of Toronto Board of Education allowed York Swim Club to use Centennial Pool. Smythe Pool was used in the summer for summer practice. In the beginning the City of York paid the Club’s first Coach Ted Kennedy’s salary. This continued until 1972 after which the parents and membership fees paid the Coach’s salary. The first colours of York Swim Club were green and yellow representing the Borough (now City) of York colours.
In the fall of 1973 York Aquatic Club, University Settlement Aquatic Club and Leaside Aquatic Club merged to form SWIMTEC, a swimming academy. It ran three programs throughout the City of Toronto and ranked 4th at the National Swim Meet. SWIMTEC was disbanded in 1974.
In 1975 Bill Durante, a former swimmer, took over the Head Coaching position from Ted Kennedy. Bill Durante continued on as Head Coach until 1981. The Head Coach’s position was then held by Bernie Bredschnieder (1982 – 1984), Colin Campbell (1985 – 1987) and Ken Royds (1988 – 1994). Fisiha Kebede and Victor Verblac were promoted from within the York Swim Club to share the Head Coach position in 1995. In was September 1997 when Victor Verblac went on to become Head Coach for the York University Swim Team (York University has been affiliated with the York Swim Club in 1996), and Fisiha Kebede took over the Club’s Head Coach Position. The results of our coaches’ efforts and the great coaching staff have made the York Swim Club one of the best teams in Ontario as well as the country.
The number of swimmers had grown over the years such that other pools within the former City of York (City of Toronto) were needed. York Memorial Collegiate (a.k.a Centennial) pool has always been the home base for York Swim Club. In 1975, Weston Pool was used as an entry level pool. Vaughan Road Pool was incorporated into the program by 1984, followed by Runnymede Pool the following year. As the age group program improved and grew, George Harvey Pool was included in 1985. Forest Hill Pool was used by 1987.
Over the years the club has hosted a number of Swim Meets. The York Swim Club Santa meet will be enjoying its 31st year. Last year (2010) we saw over 300 swimmers competing for Santa medals. In July 1997 the club reinstituted its Summer Solstice Meet, held at Smythe Park Pool, a fun meet attended by 150 swimmers. The highlight of this particular meet has always been the Parent-Coaches Relay.
The former City of York lacks a metric distance pool (25.0 metre) where the York Swim Club can host higher level meets. Centennial Pool is a 25 yard pool except Swansea Pool which is a 25 metre pool and Smythe Park Pool which is 50.0 metres. Smythe Park Pool is only available to York Swim Club in the summer for long course training. To remedy this situation, York Swim Club formed an affiliation with York University and its Varsity Swim Team. As a result York Swim Club has an arrangement for the use of its 25.0 metre pool facility (Tait Mackenzie Pool) where York Swim Club currently hosts swim meets every year.
In 2004 the Swansea Stingrays Swim Club (Parks and Recreation level competitive program) and it membership joined York Swim Club contributing some 39 developmental swimmers to the York Swim Club – a feeder program for the clubs various competitive programs.