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City of Toronto to open 2 pools for persons with a disability

City of Toronto to open 2 pools for persons with a disability

Beginning 31 May 2021, the Douglas Snow Aquatic Centre will be open on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, for three hours from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM for this purpose. The Douglas Snow Aquatic Centre is located at 5100 Yonge Street (entrance via the back on Beecroft, beside the North York Central Library). It is fully accessible, with accessible change-rooms and bathrooms and ramped entry into the shallow end of the pool. There are opportunities for swimming in lanes in the deep end or for walking/doing other activities in the shallow end; it’s deliberately flexible to meet the needs of the participants. Covid precautions are taken.

Individuals or groups may book by calling (416) 395-7585. A further contact person is Community Recreation Supervisor Ms. Mary Elmassarany, whose cell phone is (647) 217-2165 or maryelmassarany@toronto.ca.

The York Recreation Centre will also be open on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, for three hours from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM for this purpose and is located at 115 Black Creek Dr. Appointments can be booked in advance by calling the centre at (416) 392-9675 or emailing at aiscw@toronto.ca

Participants must bring a note from a “qualified regulated health professional” noting that this activity would be beneficial. The province defines qualified regulated health professional as “physicians, nurse practitioners, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, chiropodists/podiatrists, chiropractors and kinesiologists.” (I imagine that some other trained specialists might likely be acceptable). The note must be shown, but it is not kept by the facility or the City, respecting privacy concerns.

Link to the provincial website:

We’d like to ensure there is sufficient participation in this program so that it can continue for everyone who requires it!

Swimming necessary for persons with disabilities
Swimming and water activities are integral to the mobility of individuals with disabilities. It is low impact, targets the full body, and allows for mobility, exercise, and physical therapy for non-weight bearing individuals. It is used for individuals with many different disabilities and is adaptable to different motor capabilities. Swimming allows for proper body realignment and muscle lengthening, particularly for persons in wheelchairs or with spastic muscles. It also provides resistance training while avoiding the dangers of lay persons getting injured by improperly using weight equipment. It helps with relaxation and stress management and is therapeutic for both the mind and body.

Provincial Support
The province is promoting access to these fitness/recreation services as a way of meeting a human rights need:
“facilities are encouraged to consider the requests of persons with disabilities within their communities to help remove accessibility barriers in accessing critical physical therapy services. Facilities that open would be helping to address community needs and accommodating persons with disabilities based on human rights obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code.”