Every day LIN staff monitor hundreds of newspapers and broadcasters, dozens of listservs, web sites, government news sources, press releases and information supplied by our site users to bring you the latest and hottest in leisure, recreation, parks and healthy living. If you have relevant news or events you would like us to publicize, tell us about it.
Community centres and fitness facilities are increasingly incorporating universal design in classes and equipment. It is partly spurred by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, which mandates full accessibility by 2025, but also by increased demand and greater awareness that’s creating opportunities for everyone to reap health benefits. Examples include a yoga class designed for universal access, a waterproof ramp for wheelchairs to enter a pool, chair-based exercises, and more.
Barbara Turnbull, Toronto Star
Backyard rinks are a fashionable part of our sporting culture, but the kids in the Outdoor Hockey Program in Carp go one better than the pros, pick-ups and backyarders. In the co-ed, non-contact and non-competitive program, they play their entire season outdoors — one Saturday morning game and one week-night practice for nine weeks. The program costs $70 a player plus $35 for an annual membership to the Huntley Community Association as well as a refundable $50 cheque deposit for a team jersey and socks. Besides ice time, the fee also includes a banquet and season-ending gift.
Martin Cleary, Ottawa Citizen
Toronto's parks committee have approved a request from Councillor Paula Fletcher to direct parks staff to include “cold weather contingency” funds in the 2016 budget so more of the city’s outdoor ice rinks could be kept open, past their scheduled February closing date, if the weather stays frigid next February and March. This year, city funds allowed only 17 rinks to remain open and a last minute corporate donation of $200,000 allowed the city to keep an additional 12 rinks open for four more weeks.
Don Peat, Toronto Sun
Filling a vacuum left by federal budget cuts, from Prince Edward Island to British Columbia, small business owners, non-profit ski clubs and community associations have entered into agreements with Parks Canada to keep their beloved cross-country trails open and groomed. Each agreement is different with some but not all allowing use of Parks Canada equipment.
Jennifer Ditchburn, CP, The Star Phoenix
The government is proposing to build two regulation-sized soccer pitches with artificial turf and an eight-lane rubberized running track in the Whistle Bend subdivision but city councillors are questioning the need for such a large facility.
CBC News North
Call for Submissions: 2015 Nature Inspiration Awards from the Canadian Museum of Nature, deadline Apr 30
Nominations are now being accepted for the second annual Nature Inspiration Awards, a national awards program created by the Canadian Museum of Nature to celebrate innovative programs that engage Canadians with nature and the natural world. Five categories of eligible applicants are: youth (aged 17 and younger-group or individual), individuals (aged 18 and up), not-for-profit organizations (small to medium-sized, and large) and corporations.
Examples of some past awards relate to marine conservation, a not-for profit that introduces inner-city kids to nature, a group that educates schoolchildren about wildlife conservation, and more.
The submission deadline is April 30, 2015.
Marketwired News Release
With 35 outdoor ice rinks across Toronto scheduled to close Sunday for the season despite an ongoing deep freeze, Mayor John Tory is reaching out to the private sector for help to keep them open. Last year two corporations provided $270,000 to keep 11 rinks open through most of last March.
David Rider, Toronto Star
Security cameras are being installed at three city parks as a preventative measure to deter vandals from damaging public property. About $40,000 worth of damage has been done to city and contractor property since construction began on implementing improvements such as trail restoration, changes to off-leash area boundaries and fencing.
Across Canada, small business owners, non-profit ski clubs and community associations have entered into agreements with Parks Canada to keep their beloved cross-country trails open and groomed following budget cuts by the federal government. Cuts began in 2012 and have left Parks Canada with a budget $27 million lighter than the $652-million envelope forecast in 2012-13.
Jennifer Ditchburn, CTV News
The challenge of sustaining a park located next to 20 per cent of Canadians is something that Parks Canada says they’re looking forward to. Pam Veinotte said that it’s an exciting opportunity but also that the surrounding urban areas will also be a big challenge for Parks Canada around issues such as vandalism, illegal dumping, neglect, pollution and a lack of enforcement.
The park is slated to receive $143.7 million in funding throughout its initial 10 years and $7.6 million annually afterwards.
Jesse Noseworthy, CTV News