Parents seek refunds after Toronto swim school closes due to pandemic

For the last 42 years, children across the Greater Toronto Area have learned how to swim at the Zodiac Swim School in North York.

But citing the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, the business has announced it has been forced to close its doors for good.

Now when you call the swim school there is a telephone recording that says, “The business operations of Zodiac Swim School are closed." Their website also appears to be down. 

Families who paid for swim programs through the school said they received a letter that states, "We regret to advise you, after 42 years, that Zodiac Swim School is insolvent and has been forced to close its operations." 

Michelle Martel of Toronto had three children enrolled in the swim school and paid $1,300 in advance for swimming programs, money she now fears is gone for good.

“I'm really not happy about it,” she said speaking to CTV News Toronto. “It just seems a little rushed to get a letter that says we are closing up and tough luck.”

In the letter to families, the swim school said it made efforts to restructure to reimburse its creditors, including families who paid for lessons, but said it wasn't possible to do so.

The letter stated that the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic fallout that followed have proven to be “insurmountable." 

Many parents have commented about the closure on Facebook and voiced concerns about not receiving refunds before the business closed down. 

Some also wondered why at least some of the money for the unused lessons was not returned.

“I just don't understand where all the money went. I mean can’t they give people even a small portion of the money back?” Martel asked

Over the course of the pandemic, many local businesses have placed activities on hold and have given clients credits for future use. however those credits could be worthless if a company shuts down its operations for good.