NORTH REGION – The Ontario government is providing $32,500 to the Town of Blind River to support upgrades to local public-use areas that will improve access for older people and/or people with disabilities. The funding is being made available through the Inclusive Community Grants Program which provides funding to municipalities, Indigenous groups, and community organizations for programs and infrastructure projects that help people with disabilities and seniors stay safe and engaged in their neighbourhoods.
“Ontario’s older residents and people with disabilities deserve to have more inclusive opportunities to stay fit, active, healthy, and socially connected to their community,” said Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. “That is why our government is investing in projects across the province that will build community programming and accessible infrastructure that will help increase the wellbeing and quality of life for older adults and people with disabilities.”
The Blind River project called Assigned Seats Are Not Our Style: Sit Anywhere That Makes You Smile will enable the town to purchase an accessible kayak launch, beach access mats, and inclusive picnic tables. The barrier-free, accessible kayak launch will be installed in proximity to handicap parking spaces and a turnaround area where kayaks and people can be dropped off at the launch dock. Beach access mats will be installed at Peace Park and Lakeside Beach. Approximately 100 meters of mat at Peace Park will accommodate mobility device users, older adults, and families with strollers from the parking lot to the beach.
“Council wishes to thank Minister Cho and The Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility for choosing Blind River’s project. This generous funding is allowing Blind River to further promote accessibility in public-use areas of the community,” said Mayor Sally Hagman. “This submission is particularly important to Council as it aligns with Blind River’s Corporate Strategic Plan and Economic Development Strategy and Service Delivery Review. Every single investment counts: Blind River will continue to work to be barrier-free.”
“Investments like this Inclusive Community Grant in Blind River help to make towns all over Ontario more accessible, said Sault Ste. Marie MPP Ross Romano. I congratulate the Town of Blind River for its ongoing commitment to creating a barrier free community.”
“Our government is focused on supporting seniors across the North,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development. “Seniors and people with disabilities in Blind River will now have greater access to inclusive programs, as our government continues to build key infrastructure that supports unique needs while creating stronger communities for Northerners.”
The Ontario government is investing more than $740,000 in 17 Inclusive Community Grants Program projects across the province in 2022-23 that promote innovative technologies that support older adults and persons with disabilities, support infrastructure upgrades to improve accessibility and respond to the unique needs of Indigenous communities, and much more.
- One in five Ontarians ages 15 to 65 have a disability and 43 percent of Ontarians over age 65 also have a disability. These numbers are expected to increase as the population ages.
- By 2025, there will be 3 million older adults in Ontario – the fastest growing demographic group in the province.
- Inclusive and Age-Friendly Communities work to promote accessibility, safety and active living for older adults and people with disabilities.
- This year’s projects will reach and serve over 150 small communities; create over 32,000 social connections for older people and/or people with disabilities; and engage over 36,000 people provincewide.
SOURCE Province of Ontario