The Regional Municipality of Durham

News Release

Recreation program subsidy is available to Durham residents

WHITBY, ON February 16, 2016 - Durham Region Health Department, in partnership with the Advancing Access to Affordable Recreation in Durham (AAARD) Committee, is now providing recreation program subsidy information to Durham residents through a newly launched webpage. Subsidy programs provided by each municipality and participating not-for-profit organization can be accessed online at

“Recreation is vital for both physical and mental health and the Durham community provides a wide variety of recreation programs for people of all ages and abilities,” said Elizabeth Cullen-Keidann, a public health nurse with the Health Department.

Research indicates that approximately three percent of Durham residents who qualify for subsidies access registered recreation services; this number is much lower than the 20 per cent average of other area residents who participate in registered recreation services and programs.

“Recreation programs provide an opportunity for residents to keep physically active and engaged with others in the community,” explained Ms. Cullen-Keidann. “Regular physical activity can help lower the risk of depression, heart disease, osteoporosis and many other chronic diseases. Being physically active can also help improve self-confidence, provide more energy to tackle the day, relieve stress, and improve learning and sleep.”

AAARD is a partnership of municipal and not-for-profit organizations across Durham Region working to increase the number of residents who are able to enjoy the benefits of recreation. The group supports the right of every resident to have access to affordable, quality, safe recreation and culture programs regardless of their background or income status. AAARD does this by subsidizing free or low cost recreation programs for individuals who qualify.

For a list of free recreation activities offered throughout Durham, please call Durham Health Connection Line at 905-666-6241 or 1-800-841-2729, or visit For more information about AAARD, please contact Sarah Klein, Town of Whitby, at 905-430-4338 or

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Media inquiries:

The Regional Municipality of Durham:
Alicia Cowan – Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2952 or

If this information is required in an accessible format, please contact the Accessibility Co-ordinator at 1-800-372-1102 extension 2009.

For more information, please contact Health Department.