Overhaul of Online Registration for Toronto Camps and Recreation Programs

Mayor Tory announces overhaul of online registration process for City of Toronto camps and recreation programs

News Release 

With registration for the City’s spring and summer recreation programs underway, Mayor John Tory today announced plans to improve the City’s online registration process.

The City of Toronto is Canada’s largest provider of recreation programming, processing 600,000 registrations each year for 80,000 programs and classes at the city’s 135 community centres, 40 indoor arenas and 122 pools.

“Our recreational programs are vital to our city’s health, but the technology used to register for these programs has not kept up with the times," said Mayor Tory. "I know how frustrating this can be and our goal is to modernize this process so that this important programming can be offered smoothly and efficiently, and our staff resources and time are used effectively."

Joined by Councillor James Pasternak (Ward 10 York Centre), Chair of the Community Development and Recreation Committee, Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell (Ward 28 Toronto Centre-Rosedale) and Janie Romoff, General Manager of Parks, Forestry and Recreation, Mayor Tory announced that a project director has been hired to lead the replacement of the City’s recreation management system.

The announcement at the Regent Park Aquatic Centre also introduced a three-member Recreation Technology Advisory Group that will help guide short- and long-term improvements to the system’s user experience.

The Recreation Technology Advisory Group includes:
• Paula Kwan, Head of Global Expansion at Pivotal Labs
• Alex Norman, General Manager of TechTo
• Jeremy Bell, Chief of Design at Precision Nutrition

The public is also invited to share their feedback about recreation registration by visiting http://www.toronto.ca/haveyoursay or by joining the conversation on social media using the hashtag #TOrec.

"As the Chair of the Community Development and Recreation Committee, it's very important to me that the programs and activities that we offer are accessible, equitable and of the highest possible quality," said Councillor Pasternak. "The technology used to process registrations for these programs must also support those goals, which will be a priority in the replacement of the system."

The City has worked to improve the registration process through increases in server capacity and efficiency, the addition of web-based payments and e-receipts and the introduction of online purchase of ferry tickets and last-minute booking of available ice times to the system. About 55 per cent more users can access the system at one time, compared to 2013.

The number of registrations completed online continues to increase each year, and additional capacity has been added to the online registration system. In 2009, it took three hours to complete 20,000 registrations; today, the same number of registrations can be completed in just over 15 minutes. On average, 70 per cent of the daily total of registrations can now be processed in the first hour of each registration day.

"We're serious about improving this system and have invited the advice and feedback of experts and users to help us transform the way we manage program registration in Toronto," said Romoff. "We have made improvements each year to address the concerns we've heard from parents and registrants, but we know that more must be done."

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