Jul 06, 2011
Based on the success of the Citys ActiveAssist Fee Assistance Program,
Mississauga City Council approved expanding access to enable 4,000 more low-income households
to register and participate in structured, quality recreation activities.
The Citys goal is to provide equal access to our recreation and active living
programs to those in financial need regardless of age, said Director of Recreation and
Parks John Lohuis. The program ensures more children, youth, families, adults and older
adults have the benefit of recreation and the opportunity to experience a better quality of
life. In fact, 60 per cent of residents enrolled in the program are participating in City of
Mississauga programs for the first time.
Lohuis explained that ActiveAssist provides eligible low-income households a fee
credit of $275 per person, per year, deposited into their Recreation and Parks program account.
The credit can be applied to activities such as swimming, skating, fitness and summer
Eligibility for the ActiveAssist program is based on economic need --
individuals and families whose financial circumstances make them unable to pay for recreation
programs and services offered by the City according to Low-Income Cut Offs (LICO)
established by Statistics Canada, said Lohuis. At this time, there are
approximately 84,000 people living at, or below the LICO standard in the City.
When the program was launched in May 2009, the 2,500 spaces were quickly allocated with 1,716
clients placed on a wait list. In 2010, another 1,500 spaces increased ActiveAssist
capacity to 4,000 and, although the additional spaces enabled the City to accommodate more
residents in the program, 2,200 residents were placed on a wait list. The 8,000 total spaces
that will be available in 2011/12 are expected to accommodate the anticipated demand for this
Lohuis said that facilities are successfully absorbing ActiveAssist participants
into existing programs without requiring additional resources or incurring costs, and the
ongoing program is expected to have no impact on the Citys budget.
ActiveAssist has proven to be a cost-effective and innovative approach to
engaging residents of all ages in positive, high quality leisure activities.
First year program statistics are complete and indicate that of the total number of people who
participated in ActiveAssist:
* 55 per cent were children;
* 42 per cent were adults;
* three per cent of were older adults (55 years and older);
* residents registered in a total of 2,900 programs;
* most popular programs for youth clients were swim lessons, camps and sports;
* majority of adults and older adults registered in fitness, swim or skating memberships;
* year-to-date numbers for the 2010/2011 program indicate similar statistics.
Participants have one year from the date of activation to use their credit. Individuals, if put
on a wait list, will receive swim/skate passes. Applications for ActiveAssist may
be made in person at any City of Mississauga Recreation and Parks Community Centre or the
Customer Service Centre located at Mississauga Central Library, Ground Floor. A specific
appointment time is not necessary, however, may be arranged in advance by phoning the
applicable location. For more information and a complete listing of all recreation programs,
For more information about ActiveAssist, call 905-615-4100.
As Canada's sixth largest city, Mississauga is home to 734,000 residents and 55,000 businesses,
including 63 Fortune 500 companies with Canadian head offices or major divisional head offices.
A diverse, progressive and award-winning municipality located on the shores of Lake Ontario in
the heart of the Greater Toronto Area, Mississauga is "Leading Today for Tomorrow" by
focussing on delivering services, implementing its Strategic Plan, delivering value for money,
maintaining infrastructure and continuing to be an employer of choice.
Senior Communications Advisor, Community Services
Phone: 905-615-3200 x5051