Toronto Mayor John Tory announced an overhaul of the city's online registration process for recreational programs, saying the current system is unable to "keep up with the times."

Tory made the announcement at Regent Park Aquatic Centre on Tuesday, just hours after the city's current registration website crashed due to high traffic.

The mayor told reporters that the current registration site is "ridiculous" and out of date.

The City of Toronto allows residents to apply for spring and summer programs in person, over the phone and online, but many parents said that they believed applying in person generally improves chances of their application being processed in time. The majority of the programs are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Earlier on Tuesday, several parents told CTV Toronto that they'd waited in line for hours to register in person, since they'd had difficulties with the website in the past.

Although dozens applied in person, Tory said approximately 80 per cent of sign-ups are done online, and that the technology needs an upgrade to keep up.

"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," Tory said.

He told reporters that a project director has been hired to lead the team working on the upgrade, and the city is asking the public to share their feedback on a new webpage.

The city's site was upgraded recently to include greater server capacity and to allow for web-based payments. A statement from the city said that in 2009, it took three hours to complete 20,000 registrations. The current system can process them in approximately 15 minutes.

"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," Parks, Forestry and Recreation General Manager Janie Romoff said.