Small Town Feel: Reports and Links

Access to Recreation

User fees for recreational facilities and sports are a real barrier to almost 40% of Canadian families.#  This is concerning given the prevalence of overweight and obese youth and adults. Obesity is linked to serious health diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers#.

In addition to user fees, non-residents face surcharges on recreational programs.  Up to 35%# of program and facility users of Orangeville recreation programs are non-residents that live in smaller nearby communities in Caledon and Dufferin.  This is an area where cooperation between municipalities to find better ways to cost-share services would support improved access to recreation and therefore public health.

Non-resident surcharges for recreation programs:

  • $16.00 per program for Caledon; an additional 20% of the program fee per person for Orangeville
  • 10 Red Cross Swim lessons in Caledon cost a resident $75.00 and a non-resident $91.00
  • 10 Red Cross Swim Lessons in Orangeville cost a resident $58.35 and a non-resident $70.00

Rates of Overweight & Obesity

  • 24% of Dufferin youth were overweight or obese in contrast to 10% of youth on average across Ontario in 2007-2008. *
  • 31% boys & 26% girls were measured as overweight or obese among 7000 Peel students in 2005#
  • 54% of adults (age 18 years +) in Wellington, Dufferin & Guelph in 2006 were overweight or obese **
  • 61.2% of adults (age 18 years +) in Caledon were overweight or obese in 2007 – 2008***

Source:  *Canadian Community Health Survey, 2007-2008
** WDG in motion Survey, 2006
***Estimate not adjusted for age or gender



  • Planning By Design: A Healthy Communities Handbook  – This handbook, produced by the Ontario Professional Planners Institute, acknowledges the link between health and land-use planning and demonstrates how urban design, active transportation and green infrastructure contribute to creating healthier communities.  This Handbook, and the case studies it profiles, is intended to share and generate ideas on how places can be designed more sustainably for health, active living.
  • A Kids Guide to Planning Great Communities – This manual, developed by the Canadian Institute of Planners, is designed to assist planners and educators in reaching out to young people and talking to them about their communities, their role as citizens, and how they can become involved in making informed decisions that affect their future.
  • Dufferin Growth Management Study – Dufferin County is the recent endorsement of a Growth Management Study, which responses to the provincial Places to Grow legislation.  The study indicates that Dufferin will need to create over 6,000 jobs and develop over 300 hectares of employment lands by 2031.
  • Caledon Community-Based Strategic Plan – This plan provides the foundation for Caledon’s sustainable and vibrant future and identifies a community vision, and goals and objectives to guide the Town 10 years into the future. It was developed through a collaborative, community engagement process.
  • Dufferin Active Transportation and Trails Plan – This plan, which was initiated at the request of the HCIA Trails Working Groups and other area trails enthusiasts, outlines a long range plan for the development of trails and cycling lanes on County-owned lands and roadways with consideration for the trails plans of area municipalities and neighbouring regions.  It was unanimously endorsed by County Council in October 2010.
  • Town of Caledon Trails Master Plan Draft Update – The Trails Master Plan Update provides a long-term planning document to guide the planning, design, development and maintenance of Town-owned trails as well, encourages ongoing partnerships with the many other private and public trail providers in Caledon to ensure an overall network that is safe, diverse, protects the natural environment and is well connected.
  • Dufferin In Motion Study – This 2010 Study consulted with community members across Dufferin County to gather more information on physical activity access and healthy eating behaviours and to recommend strategies to address challenges and improve overall community health.
  • Play Matters: A Study of Best Practices to Inform Local Policy and Process in Support of Children’s Play – Children playing outside – in spaces dedicated for play or not – signifies a vibrant, healthy community. The barriers to play include increased screen time, reductions in school-based playtime, more traffic, less open space, run-down play areas, and caregivers’ fears about safety.  As children become more sedentary, the loss of play has serious consequences for health, education, and community development.    This U.S. study, describes twelve different local initiatives to improve opportunities for children to play.


  • Dufferin County – This site provides an overview of Dufferin County and the activities of County Council.
  • Dufferin Municipalities – Learn more about the uniqueness of each of Dufferin County’s eight municipalities via the site.
  • Town of Caledon – Spread over 700 sq km, the Town of Caledon is a community of communities that sits in the southern reaches of Headwaters.  Find more information about the Town of Caledon here.
  • Soul of the Community Study (SOTC) – What makes a community a desirable place to live? What draws people to stake their future in it? Are communities with more attached residents better off?  After interviewing close to 43,000 people in 26 communities, this site profiles the findings of a three-year study that found that the three main qualities attach people to place are: social offerings, such as entertainment venues and places to meet; openness (how welcoming a place is); and, the area’s aesthetics (its physical beauty and green spaces).
  • Ontario Planners Association – (OPPI) is the recognized voice of the province’s planning profession. OPPI provides leadership on policy related to planning, development, the environment, and related issues.
  • Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition – is a broad-based group of community and provincial associations, spanning the social, environmental, economic, and political spectrums who share a common goal of creating innovative solutions to meet community challenges and build strong, equitable and sustainable communities through education, engagement and collaboration.
  • 8-80 Cities – is a Canadian based non-profit organization whose goal is to contribute to the creation of vibrant cities and healthy communities, where residents live happier and enjoy great public places.  They promote walking and bicycling as activities and urban parks, trails and other public spaces because these activities and public spaces improve our environment, advance economic development, boost and complement our transportation systems, make better recreation for all, and enhance our personal and public health.

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