Ontario Building Age-Friendly Communities
Province Helping Seniors Stay Active, Healthy and Engaged
Ontario is helping 56 communities across the province create plans to better meet the needs of Ontario's aging population.
To help build more accessible and inclusive communities, this year the province is providing $1.5 million through the Age-Friendly Community Planning Grant program to local governments and organizations to develop age-friendly plans.
Age-friendly plans help communities decide what improvements they can make to enable people of all ages to fully participate in community life. Improvements may include:
- creating seniors' advisory committees
- installing automatic doors
- adding benches in parks and roadways
- increasing the accessibility of retail centres and transportation
- installing count-down timers at crosswalks.
Ontario is also investing $200,000 in the Age-Friendly Communities Outreach Initiative which provides free assistance and outreach to communities that are interested in adopting age-friendly planning principles. The province has partnered with the University of Waterloo, the Ontario Interdisciplinary Council for Aging and Health and the Seniors Health Knowledge Network to lead the outreach.
Investing in age-friendly communities is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talent and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province's history, creating a dynamic and innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.
- There are over two million adults over the age of 65 in Ontario, and that number is expected to double over the next two decades.
- Ontario celebrates the 31st anniversary of Seniors’ Month in the province highlighting the theme Vibrant Seniors, Vibrant Communities.
- The Age-Friendly Communities Planning Grant Program and Outreach Initiative both build on Ontario’s Age-Friendly Community Planning Guide.
“Our collective challenge is to ensure our communities grow to meet the evolving needs of every person regardless of their age or ability. This is why age-friendly planning is so important and it’s why we are continuing to work with municipalities, seniors’ organizations and other community partners, to help ensure that seniors can participate fully in community life.”
“Communities across the province are recognizing that effective planning is best done close to home. This program is significant because it encourages local leaders to hear from the people within their community's borders and identify specific opportunities for improvement that may be distinct to their region.”
“Markham seniors are an active and vibrant part of our diverse community. I want to thank Minister Sergio Mario for his support which will assist us in working with the Provincial Government to help our seniors remain safe, healthy and engaged.”