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Ontario Boosting Opportunities for Students to Stay Active

News Release

Ontario Boosting Opportunities for Students to Stay Active

Promoting Student Well-being and Success for Children and Youth Across the Province

Ministry of Education

Ontario is investing in programs that keep children and youth physically active, to ensure that young people can reach their full potential and thrive inside and outside the classroom.

Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister of Education was joined by more than 35 students, teachers and families at St. Cecilia Catholic School in Toronto to participate in a walking school bus -- a walk-to-school initiative to get students moving ahead of Winter Walk Day.

Research shows that physical activity is key to the healthy growth and development of children and youth. It has a positive impact on their physical and mental health, and helps lay the foundation for healthy, productive lives.

Ontario is providing children and youth with more opportunities to be physically active each day, including:

  • Renewing grants to secondary schools to encourage more physical activity for students in Grades 9-12 during non-instructional time.
  • Investing in active transportation initiatives, such as walking school buses, which encourage walking, cycling or other forms of active travel to and from school.

These programs are part of Ontario's commitment to providing access to 60 minutes of physical activity, connected to the school day, for all children and youth.

Promoting student well-being through physical activity is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.

Quick Facts

  • In Ontario, only 1 in 5 students (Gr. 7-12) report meeting the 60-minute daily activity recommendation.
  • Ontario is providing $3.5 million over three years to Green Communities Canada for the Ontario Active School Travel project. The Ontario Active School Travel Fund is accepting applications beginning today.
  • Physical Activity in Secondary School (PASS) grants of up to $15,000 per project are available to publicly funded secondary schools in the 2017-18 school year.
  • Examples of Physical Activity in Secondary School projects include: Northern Lights Secondary School in Moosonee developed an indoor soccer field, Glebe Collegiate Institute in Ottawa purchased new equipment for their fitness studio while Thames Valley District School Board showcased the benefits of physical activity on mental health.

Additional Resources


Indira Naidoo-Harris

“This is a great way to ensure our children and students are on a strong path to success. Research shows that they are better able to learn and reach their full potential when they are physically active. I’m pleased that we are working with our partners to help our students be physically active every day.”

Indira Naidoo-Harris

Minister of Education and Minister Responsible for Early Years and Child Care

“Our children and students need to stay active. Our Active School Travel programs help by providing the necessary support and information.”

Kate Berry

Senior Program Manager, Green Communities Canada

“Children need to reduce sedentary time and they need to be moving. They should be playing energetically for at least 60 minutes spread throughout the day.”

Dr. Mark Tremblay

Director of Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research (HALO), Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute

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