The City of Toronto is committed to increasing access to recreation by offering Free drop-in Programs, Community Centres Where Programs are Free, Yearly Credits and Older Adult Discounts.
Free Drop-in Programs
Yearly Credit (Welcome Policy)
A yearly credit is available to residents with low-incomes that can be used to register for any City recreation program.
Anyone receiving social assistance (Ontario Works) and living in Toronto is pre-approved to receive this credit - talk to your caseworker.
To learn more about eligibility for this credit (called the Welcome Policy), talk to Parks, Forestry and Recreation staff at a community centre, visit toronto.ca/wp or call 311.
Older Adult Discounts
Adults 60+ years who register for adult programs receive a 50% discount. For more information, please contact a customer service representative at 416 338-4386.
Centres Where Programs Are Free (formerly known as Priority Centres)
On September 1, 2014, 16 additional community centres across the city will offer free registered and drop-in programs so that more people can use recreation programs.
Programs at these centres will fill up quickly so be sure to register at 7am on the registration day designated for your district:
- Etobicoke York District – September 6
- Scarborough District – September 7
- North York District – September 9
- Toronto and East York District – September 10
If programs are full, there will be waitlists created. If you can't attend the program you are registered for, call 416-338-4386 to tell us so we can offer your spot to someone on the waitlist.
Locations of Community Centres Where Programs are Free
Etobicoke York District
- Chalkfarm Community Centre (180 Chalkfarm Drive)
- Elmbank Community Centre (10 Rampart Road)
- Emery Collegiate Secondary School (3395 Weston Road) *New starting September 1, 2014
- Falstaff Community Recreation Centre (50 Falstaff Avenue)
- John English Community School (95 Mimico Avenue Rm 100B) *New starting September 1, 2014
- Islington Community School (44 Cordova Avenue) *New starting September 1, 2014
- Kingsview Village Community School (1 York Road)
- North Kipling Community Centre (2 Rowntree Road)
- Rockcliffe Middle School (400 Rockcliffe Boulevard)
- The Elms Community School (45 Golfdown Drive) *New starting September 1, 2014
- York Community Centre (115 Black Creek Drive) *Opening in 2016
North York District
- Antibes Community Centre (140 Antibes Drive)
- Dennis R. Timbrell Recreation Centre (29 St. Dennis Drive)
- Driftwood Community Recreation Centre (4401 Jane Street)
- Grandravine Community Centre (23 Grandravine Drive) *New starting September 1, 2014
- Lawrence Heights Community Recreation Centre (5 Replin Road)
- Oakdale Community Centre (350 Grandravine Drive)
- O'Connor Community Recreation Centre (1386 Victoria Park Avenue)
- Oriole Community Centre (2975 Don Mills Road) *New starting September 1, 2014
- Cedarbrook Community Centre (91 Eastpark Boulevard) *New starting September 1, 2014
- Centennial Recreation Centre (1967 Ellesmere Road) *New starting September 1, 2014
- Don Montgomery Community Recreation Centre (2467 Eglinton Avenue East) *New starting September 1, 2014
- Heron Park Recreation Centre (292 Manse Road) *New starting September 1, 2014
- L'Amoreaux Community Recreation Centre (2000 McNicholl Avenue) *New starting September 1, 2014
- Malvern Recreation Centre (30 Sewells Road) *New starting September 1, 2014
- Oakridge Community Centre (63 Pharmacy Avenue)
- Scarborough Village Recreation Centre (3600 Kingston Road) *New starting September 1, 2014
- Stephen Leacock Community Recreation Centre/Community Centre (2500 Birchmount Road) *New starting September 1, 2014
Toronto & East York District
- Harrison Baths (15 Stephanie Street)
- Jimmie Simpson Recreation Centre (870 Queen Street East)
- John Innes Community Recreation Centre (150 Sherbourne Street)
- Masaryk-Cowan Community Recreation Centre (220 Cowan Avenue)
- Regent Park Aquatic Centre (640 Dundas Street East)
- Regent Park North Recreation Centre (415 Gerrard Street East)
- Regent Park South Community Recreation Centre (203 Sackville Green)
- Scadding Court Community Recreation Centre (Scadding Court Community Recreation Centre, 707 Dundas Street West)
- Secord Community Centre (91 Barrington Avenue)
- Wellesley Community Centre (495 Sherbourne Street)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of Community Centres Where Programs are Free?
The Centres were originally established in 1999 as a way to increase access to programs in neighbourhoods with high levels of low income by eliminating program fees. Currently there are 23 Community Centres Where Programs are Free, this is being expanded to 39 on September 1, 2014.
What programs/servicesare free at these Community Centres?
- All City-delivered, registered and drop-in programs for all age groups
- Passes and memberships for all age groups to fitness centres and weight rooms
- Permits for local non-profit groups in rooms, gyms, and kitchens for all age groups
- Registered programs for residents of other municipalities
- Memberships to tennis clubs and other sport clubs
- Permits and rentals to private and commercial groups
- Permits and rentals in pools, arenas, ice rinks, dry-pads, sport courts, and other unique facilities
- Permits to Boards of Education
Why is the City increasing the number of these Community Centres?
The Recreation Service Plan identified that the existing Centres Where Programs Are Free were not equally distributed across the city. Using 2011 census information, 16 new locations were identified ensuring more low income areas, to be served and equitable distribution of locations across the City.
How were the new Community Centres Where Programs Are Free selected?
The centres were selected based their proximity to low income census tracts where over 28% of the population fall below Statistics Canada's Low Income Measure. Council adopted the new criteria for selecting Community Centres Where Programs Are Free when it approved the 2013-2017 Recreation Service Plan in November 2012.