Ontario government investing over $600,000 to enhance active lifestyle options for seniors

The Ontario government recently committed $624,788 to improve Seniors Active Living Centres and their programming throughout Niagara. Pictured: Minister of Seniors and Accessibility Raymond Cho. Photo Credit: Raymond Cho/X. 

As the benefits of an active lifestyle to overall health and vibrance continue coming into focus, there is a growing need to provide opportunities for senior citizens to stay involved in their communities. With this goal in mind, the Ontario government recently committed $624,788 to improve Seniors Active Living Centres and their programming throughout Niagara. 

Raymond Cho currently serves as the Ontario Minister for Seniors and Accessibility and commented on the announcement.  

“Seniors are the most important people,” Cho stated in a comment to The Niagara Independent. “They are the ones who built the best province in the world – Ontario, in the best country in the world – Canada. Seniors Active Living Centres are becoming so popular across the entire Niagara Region and all over Ontario that is why we are increasing the base funding for this year so that they can become even better places for seniors and older adults to enjoy the kinds of activities, services and programs that work for them.” 

The funding will be distributed across thirteen Senior Active Living Centre locations throughout more than half of the Region’s twelve municipalities. Most of the centres will receive a sum that is slightly more or less than $50,000, with a few exceptions (see below). 

“This increased funding of $624,788 for thirteen Seniors Active Living Centres in Niagara is a part of a province-wide increase in funding of almost ten percent, benefitting over 300 programs,” Associate Energy Minister and Niagara West MPP Oosterhoff shared with The Niagara Independent. “In my role as local MPP, I have been able to visit the three Active Living Centres at the Livingston Activity Centre in Grimsby, Lincoln Community Centre in Beamsville and Meridian Community Centre in Fonthill, and have seen personally the value of these local programs.” 

“Seniors Active Living Centre programs offer social, cultural, learning and recreational programs for older adults that promote health, well-being and social connections,” added Oosterhoff. “These local programs are important because they help seniors age in place and provide a safe place for seniors to engage in their local community.” 

The Ontario government has dedicated $15 million to provide direct assistance to community leaders in providing programs such as health and wellness services, book clubs, fitness classes, social groups and the planning of other community events for seniors. 

Now that the funding has been received, the next steps will involve community organisations, such as various branches of the Royal Canadian Legion and the Lion’s Club, constructing proposals for the delivery of high-quality programming. The entities that provide program delivery will cover twenty percent of the cost of the program, with the province guaranteeing eighty percent. 

Grimsby Major Jeff Jordan expressed great excitement for what the funding will do for the community he is leading. 

“The Town of Grimsby has worked hard to implement programming that keeps local seniors fit, active and engaged,” Jordan said. “This increase in operating funding will support seniors programming at the Livingston Activity Centre and help advance the goals of the Town of Grimsby to be an inclusive and age-friendly community.” 

A list of the community centres and their respective funding: Beachcombers Seniors Centre, Ridgeway, $50,691; Fort Erie Lions Seniors Centre, Fort Erie, $51,137; MacBain Community Centre, Niagara Falls, $50,110; Dunlop Drive Older Adult Centre, St. Catharines, $51,137; Port Dalhousie Older Adult Centre, St. Catharines, $51,137; West St. Catharines Older Adult Centre, St. Catharines; $51,137; Thorold Senior Citizens Centre, Thorold, $50,983; Welland Community Centre, Welland, $43,429; Port Colborne Seniors Centre, Port Colborne, $47,753; Le Centre Polyvalent des Aînés Francophone, Port Colborne, $25,000; Livingston Activity Centre, Grimsby, $50,000; Lincoln Community Centre, Beamsville, $51,137; Meridian Community Centre, Fonthill, $51,137.

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