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Ontario Building Age-Friendly Communities

Province Helping Guelph 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 across the province, this year the province is providing $1.5 million through the Age-Friendly Community Planning Grantprogram to local governments and organizations to develop age-friendly plans.  Guelph is receiving a grant of up to $50,000 to support the Age Friendly Guelph - Agenda for Action. 

The project will mentor and support the newly formed Community Older Adult Leadership team so that they can sustain their stewardship over the Older Adult Strategy which lists 65 recommendations to make Guelph age friendly.  This will be complex work that will seek to embed the voice of the older adults and the community every step of the way. 

Age-friendly plans help communities decide what local 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 across the province 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.

QUOTES

"Communities across the province are recognizing that effective planning can only be done at home where it counts. This program is significant because it encourages local leaders to hear from the people within their own community and identify specific opportunities for improvement that may be distinct to their region."

- Liz Sandals, MPP, Guelph

“We recognize Guelph seniors have much to offer. We are proud to continue to work with the Ontario Government to help our seniors remain safe, healthy and engaged.”

—Cam Guthrie, Mayor, City of Guelph

 “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.”

— Mario Sergio, Minister Responsible for Seniors Affairs

QUICK FACTS

  • 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 recently celebrated 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.

LEARN MORE

For more information contact:

Frank Tersigni

Office of Liz Sandals, MPP

(519) 836-4190              

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