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  • News
  • July 27, 2015

Ontario Building Age-Friendly Communities

Province Helping Northumberland-Quinte West 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.

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, to help build more accessible and inclusive communities across the province, as follows:

Organization Name

Project Name


Project Description

Habitat for Humanity Northumberland

Northumberland County's (NC) Plan for Positive Aging



Habitat for Humanity will work collaboratively with the County of Northumberland, the Community Training and Development Centre and other community groups interested and involved in the development of planning towards building age friendly communities within Northumberland County. The planning will include the concept of social participation within the developed framework. As identified in The Housing and Homelessness plan of Northumberland County seniors and the issues around affordable housing were identified as priorities. This project will allow Habitat (a provider of low income housing) to further identify the needs and values of Northumberland County residents as they relate to housing for seniors. Habitat for Humanity Northumberland and partners will conduct assessments using the World Health Organization criteria having a focus on developing an action plan to provide housing plans over the short and long term.

Port Hope, Municipality of

Port Hope Age-Friendly Community Planning



This project will define local principles, form a steering committee and establish terms of reference, timelines and work plan to combine 3 separate local plans into one document with an age-friendly focus. The Port Hope strategic, age-friendly review will be led by community stakeholders and will enhance Port Hope's civic approach. By identifying gaps, policies, assets and services to enhance, the age-friendly planning will enable seniors to continue to live in a secure environment. An Age-Friendly Plan will combine various separate plans into one document with an age-friendly focus. The creation of an Age-Friendly Community Plan will help expand services for seniors, assist in being a responsible, responsive community to enhance access and inclusion and engage more community partners that may not be currently involved.

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.


“Habitat for Humanity Northumberland is working collaboratively with Northumberland County and the Community Training and Development Centre to investigate the needs of a growing senior community within the County. We will be using the World Health Organization directives to assess the needs, desires and interests of seniors in our community. We will be holding forums to gather public input and use a variety of assessment scales to provide an evaluation process. Habitat is excited to be leading this project, as we have noticed a growing need for long-term affordable housing among the senior population in the community. We are hoping the results of this project will help us to better address that need.”

— Meaghan Macdonald, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity Northumberland

“Port Hope is delighted to have important grants such as these to support our seniors. The residents of Port Hope take pride in being actively engaged in their community.  The age-friendly planning process will highlight Port Hope’s wide range of infrastructure, services and programs, and involve the community in planning for a more inclusive and accessible future for our senior population.”

— Bob Sanderson, Mayor, Municipality of Port Hope

"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."

— Lou Rinaldi, M.P.P., Northumberland-Quinte West

 “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


  • 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.



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Lou Rinaldi, M.P.P.

Northumberland-Quinte West


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