Active Living in Canada

A number of organizations with a focus on active living operate in Canada, offering programs and initiatives that encourage independence and physical activity.


Active Aging Canada

A non-profitable organization, Active Aging Canada is committed to supporting equity, diversity, inclusion, and respect. The charity emphasizes that a number of factors help senior residents stay healthy, among which social support networks, social status and income, personal health practices, physical environment, and access to health services. To help seniors stay active and healthy, it is important to create supportive environments, implement healthy public policies, and develop personal skills. Active Aging Canada works on different projects with a focus on arthritis, ageism, and promoting the health of seniors aged 80 and older.

Older Adults Centres’ Association of Ontario

The association is committed to offering support, resources, and services to adult centres in Ontario. Webinars, workshops, and regional events are organized throughout the year. Active living fairs are also organized all over Ontario in places such as Orleans, Cornwall, Goderich, Weston, and St. Jacobs. The goal is to encourage learning, independence, social engagement, and healthy lifestyle and active living. Participants have access to health clinics, including hearing, flu shot, and blood pressure testing clinics. Seminars are also organized and focus on topics such as falls prevention, elder abuse, fraud prevention, driving, tax benefits and credits, etc. The falls prevention seminar offers useful advice on how to prevent injuries resulting from falls and stay independent. The seminar on investment fraud examines common types of fraud, warning signs, and other issues. The tax tips seminar offers information and tips regarding harmonized sales, retail sales, tobacco, estate administration, and personal income tax. There are also seminars on topics such as age-friendly communities, healthy eating, advanced care planning, and wandering prevention. Longer and short mini presentations are also offered on topics such as elder abuse prevention, arthritis and chronic joint pain, emergency preparedness, dementia, and hearing loss.

Chartwell

Chartwell Retirement Residencies offer diverse support and wellness services to help residents maintain independence and stay active. Residents benefit from recreational activities and exercise programming such as gardening, line dancing, yoga, walking clubs, and more. There are plenty of social activities to help seniors stay socially connected, including community outings, movies, book clubs, bistro socials, and game nights. Recreational activities are also available, and residents are welcome to join celebrations, dance classes, excursions, and interest clubs. Personal support services include blood pressure checks and weight tracking, escort to meals and activities, help with daily activities, and administration of medications. Additional services include physiotherapist, manicurist, podiatrist, and reflexologist services.

Creative Retirement in Manitoba

A non-profit education centre, Creative Retirement in Manitoba features diverse activities and events such as special interest groups, clubs, lectures, and more. Lectures explore a variety of topics, from modern medicine and DNA technology to the story of film, Manitoba fur trade, and Franco-Prussian War. Seniors are welcome to join different clubs such as basic Photoshop, computer, photography, genealogy, science, and financial management clubs.

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Ontario Seniors Active Living Centres

Ontario is the home to a number of active living centres to help senior residents stay healthy, active, and independent. Many centres also offer social, educational, and fitness programs, among which the South Fletcher Sportplex and Chris Gibson Recreation Centre.


In 2019, Ontario’s government provided over $176,800 in support for seniors active living centre programs. The goal is to help residents stay connected and healthy and improve their quality of life. The four centres that received funding are the Stratford Kiwanis Community Centre, Spruce Lodge Home for the Aged, North Perth Seniors Centre, and Friendship Centre for St. Marys & Area Seniors.

The Ministry of Seniors and Accessibility also runs the Seniors Community Grant Program and offers funding for projects with a focus on active lifestyle, mental health, elder abuse prevention, inclusion, financial literacy, learning, and volunteerism. The program aims to cover seniors in French-speaking, remote, and rural areas. In 2019 – 2020, the Ministry offers funding of $3 million in support of projects implemented by non-governmental organizations. Funding is offered for projects with a focus on active lifestyle and events and activities that enable senior residents to connect and stay active. Only non-for-profit organizations benefit from project financing and not post-secondary institutions, for-profits, private and charitable foundations, private and public schools, boards and agencies, etc.

Active living centres offer exercise programs, recreational activities, social programs, and day and community programs. Wellness and health promotion programs are also available along with cultural events, community engagement activities, exercise classes, and congregate dining. Many centres also offer educational workshops, fall prevention classes, seminars, and outings. Senior residents can choose from a variety of workshops such as Chinese calligraphy, floral design, canvas painting, drumming, and more. In addition to scheduled programs, seniors are welcome to join in for games, cards, and guest speaker presentations. Transportation services are also available. Residents of all abilities are encouraged to participate in activities, and service animals and assisted devices are available.

YWCA Hamilton runs the MacNab St. Active Living Centre and offers a number of programs focused on active living and social inclusion. The list of programs includes dress making, crochet knitting, creative needlework, and sewing basics. Painting and drawing programs are also available, including art introduction, drawing and pastels, oil painting, stained glass, and watercolor and mixed media. There are also dance and music programs such as country line dancing, belly dancing, ballroom dance, and couples social dancing. Woodgreen also maintains seniors’ active living centres and offers a variety of activities and events with a focus on community engagement and active living. The winter calendar includes a host of activities such as restaurant outings, senior rights presentations, community cooking classes, and diabetes workshops. Seniors have the chance to attend diverse events and recreational activities, from Chinese movie nights, Chinese folk dancing, and Thai chi classes to dumpling festivals, Valentine’s Day dance parties, smoothie making classes, etc.

Some centres also offer additional programs with a focus on crisis outreach, social work and counseling, and personal support services. Crisis intervention services are available to persons with mental illness, addictions, and dementia.