Embrace the Outdoors: YMCA of Greater Toronto announces new outdoor education program

14 August 2023

Embrace the Outdoors: YMCA of Greater Toronto announces new outdoor education program

The charity launches new outdoor skills program this fall, Open Outdoors

Toronto – August 14, 2023 – The YMCA of Greater Toronto is excited to announce the launch of its new outdoor education program dedicated to the advancement of outdoor skill-building this fall, Open Outdoors. Starting this month, the program will offer communities a chance to experience the outdoors – some for the first time – and learn outdoor skills free of cost from educator-led programming.

Open Outdoors aims to serve equity deserving communities who have experienced barriers to accessing outdoor education including Black, racialized, 2SLGBTQIA+, and disabled communities. The program also aims to engage Indigenous youth and families recognizing historical inequities tied to land access, and underrepresentation in outdoor education.

“Open Outdoors is one of the ways we hope to kindle or rekindle that passion for the outdoors, whether you’re an expert or learning to kayak and build a fire for the first time,” says Lesley Davidson, President & CEO, YMCA of Greater Toronto. “Our camp locations offer informative and welcoming outdoor education, and with the help Open Outdoors, we aim to engage communities and individuals who have experienced barriers at the Y or other programs in the past.”

Starting this August, Open Outdoors will offer communities experiential and hands-on learning experiences in the outdoors, all in an encouraging and inclusive environment. Upcoming sessions include:

  • YMCA Cedar Glen Outdoor Centre (August 27) – Farming and Farm to Table
  • Toronto Island (September 9) – Paddling (Canoeing, kayaking)
  • YMCA Camp Pine Crest (September 30) – Hiking and orienteering
  • YMCA Cedar Glen Outdoor Centre (October 15) – Climbing and high ropes

The program will alternate locations at various Y centres throughout the season, including YMCA Cedar Glen Outdoor Centre, YMCA Camp Pine Crest or the Y’s satellite outdoor centre on Toronto Island. Complimentary bus or ferry service to and from the sites will be provided.

The YMCA of Greater Toronto also offers over 1,000 summer camp programs across the Greater Toronto Area including overnight, leadership and summer day camp for children ages 4-15.

Registration is now open. If you are interested in participating in an upcoming Open Outdoors session, visit ymcagta.org/openoutdoors.

About the YMCA of Greater Toronto

The YMCA of Greater Toronto is a charity that ignites the potential in people, helping them grow, lead and give back to their communities. For 170 years, the YMCA of Greater Toronto has provided opportunities for people to shine through a variety of programs and services including health and fitness, licensed child care, camps, employment and immigrant services, education and training, and services for youth, families and seniors. Promoting equity and boosting well-being across more than 440 locations in the Greater Toronto Area, the Y is a leading charity that helps everyone shine. For more information visit https://ymcagta.org.