Get Your Move On - A Community Collaboration: Access to Recreation for Low-Income Families

Organization Sponsor: YMCA Greater Toronto

Organization Partner: Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation (formerly Toronto Parks and Recreation)


Program Description

Get Your Move On (GYMO) seeks to increase physical activity in Torontonians primarily by addressing access issues by means of advocacy or systemic change. This is achieved through signature events that are free to the public, advocacy events, such as Get Active Toronto Access to Activity Summit, and raising public awareness. GYMO seeks to encourage the growth and development of inter-sectoral partnerships (public, private and voluntary) as a means of sharing resources and accountability for promoting healthy changes in our population.

Get Your Move On (GYMO) is an initiative formed between public, voluntary and private sector organizations to address the current epidemic of physical inactivity by achieving increased physical activity levels in Toronto by raising public awareness, creating more opportunities and reducing barriers to enable all residents to be physically active where they live, work, learn and play.

GYMO focuses on 13 neighbourhoods in order to connect with diverse populations, people of all ages and abilities, and to continue to address accessibility and income barriers to activity.

Program Approximate Cost: 

Events are free to everyone.

Funding Sources: 

Funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation

Strategies For Sustainability: 

Collaboration between member organizations: YMCA of Greater Toronto, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Toronto Public Health, Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, Ministry of Health Promotion, Toronto Community Foundation, Toronto District School Board, Toronto Catholic District School Board, Justin Poy Agency, Environics Analytics, Toronto Sports Council, and their affiliates.

Impact Of Program: 

Recent events have attracted more than 2,000 members of the public. GYMO can access more than 500,000 people per year through organizations like the YMCA of Greater Toronto, Toronto Public Health, Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation, as well as Maple Leaf Sports. In the last year, the GYMO board has grown from a leadership group of six to twelve organizations representing all three sectors: private, public and voluntary.

Evaluation Tools: 

The Access to Activity Report Card – GYMO (now Get Active Toronto) will produce an annual Access to Activity Report Card giving Toronto a grade on access to activity. This will serve as a benchmark for other organizations and serve to identify gaps in service to those experiencing barriers.

Key Elements Towards Success: 

Building commitments with key stakeholders in Toronto is a key output for this coalition. Coverage on CBC Television and in other media has brought widespread attention to these events. New users are continually attracted to GYMO activities. GYMO is also very committed to partnership growth and has been very successful in increasing the commitment of Toronto leaders to assist in the goal of raising physical activity levels among Torontonians.

Challenges To Meet Them: 

This program is promoted through: • YMCA facilities; • Maple Leaf Sports; • Libraries; •Toronto Public Health; • Parks and Recreation community centres; and • poster campaigns, television, PSAs, website information, and letters.

Length and Stage of Project: 

2003 to present

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