Photo by czekma13/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by czekma13/iStock / Getty Images


Almost 500 Canadians die every year in water-related incidents.  Most of these are preventable and occur in unsupervised settings, which is why more Canadians need the lifesaving skills to save themselves or others in an aquatic emergency.

The Lifesaving Society has a long and proud history of teaching lifesaving to Canadians.

We trace our roots to the late 19th century in London, England where we began as The Swimmers’ Lifesaving Society.  In 1984, Arthur Lewis Cochrane brought the lifesaving skills he learned in his homeland to Canada and he passed them along to students at Upper Canada College in Toronto, Ontario.  In June 1896, 18 of his students were the first recipients of our distinguished Bronze Medallion award, the first award to be created by the Society.  Under the patronage of King Edward VII in 1904, we became The Royal Lifesaving Society.  In the 1950′s, we were the first Canadian organization to adopt mouth-to-mouth as the method of choice over manual methods of artificial respiration.  We started our first CPR training program in the 1960′s. In the 1980′s, we initiated a project to design an economical CPR training manikin, now known as the ACTAR 911™.

Today, we are known to Canadians simply as the Lifesaving Society, a national volunteer organization and registered charity.  And while we’ve expanded our strengths over the past century to include research and public education, we haven’t forgotten the ideals that formed the foundation of our organization.

The Lifesaving Society has always been, and will continue to be, Canada’s lifeguarding experts.