Recreation Programs & Registration

Free & Low Cost Options for Recreation Programs

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

Many community centres offer free recreation drop-in programs including leisure swimming and skating and drop-in programs for children, youth and older adults.

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 or call 311.

Older Adult Discounts

Adults 60 plus 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)

Etobicoke York District

North York District

Scarborough District

Toronto & East York District

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.

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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. There are now 38 Community Centres Where Programs are Free.

What programs/services are 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

Not Free

  • 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.

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