Long lineups, software problems mark the opening of program registration season in Oshawa

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Published August 24, 2023 at 9:13 am

The City of Oshawa is implementing a queuing system for people trying to register for fall programs to address the “high demand,” a day after long lineups marked the beginning of swimming registration Wednesday.

Problems with online registration for the swimming programs led to residents showing up in person at city recreation centres, leading to long lineups and frustrated parents trying to get their children signed up.

Oshawa Councillor Rosemary McConkey said City staff “are working hard to get the situation resolved” after people were unable to complete their transactions online, prompting them to try to get it done in person.

McConkey who said she spoke to senior staff about the problem, said a recent software upgrade impacted the registration software, tripping the Moneris payment software and causing connections to fail.

McConkey, who was at the Delpark Homes Centre in north Oshawa Wednesday, said she understood the frustration of parents.

“Honestly, with the commitment and investment registering my kids for many Oshawa swimming lessons in the past and believing the importance of everyone learning to swim, I would have found the situation just as unacceptable and expected better,” she said in a Facebook post. “Good city governance involves the best service possible.”

Staff posted alerts on the City’s social media sites mid-morning Wednesday, warning residents about the problem and to expect delays, but McConkey called the amount of time “wasted” by people in the lineups “unacceptable.”

“The City’s senior staff indicated to me personally that they are committed to a comprehensive investigation for improvements to be made that will ensure this will not be repeated,” she said.

Registration for general fall programs, including arts and crafts, dance, music, fitness and holiday camps opens Thursday morning at 9 a.m. Residents will be placed in a queue when visiting Register.oshawa.ca. and are encouraged to register in advance.

Community members are also being asked to prepare for delays and are being asked to “familiarize” themselves with the program selection and account setup processes by viewing the activeOshawa Fall Winter Recreation Guide at Oshawa.ca/activeOshawa.

The guide was released Wednesday.

The City recently updated its registration system to give users a more “intuitive interface” for users to utilize. A help page has also been created featuring a number of videos to support people when registering for programs.

Online registration is the most convenient way to register; however, it is important to be ready in advance to ensure an easy transaction, the City noted in a statement.

  • If you do not have an activeOshawa account, create a new account
  • If you have forgotten your password, request a password reset
  • If you have an existing activeOshawa account but have not activated it online, activate your account for online use
  • If you plan to register your child for a program, log into your account and update or add your family group under my groups
  • If you are unsure of your child’s swim level, visit a recreation facility during public swim hoursfor a free swim assessment or contact Service Oshawa at (905) 436-3311 to connect with an Aquatic Coordinator
  • If you need to update your email address, email [email protected]

On registration days, online registration and payment confirmation receipts may take several hours to be received. This will not affect a registrant’s spot in the program. Phone registration is not available but Service Oshawa is available to assist with questions about the registration process.

In-person registration is still available at Delpark, Donevan the Civic and South Oshawa recreation centres and residents will receive an immediate confirmation of enrollment once the transaction is complete.

Long lineups at the Delpark Homes Centre marked the opening of swim program registration in Oshawa. Photo Rosemary McConkey

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