Burlington offers affordable options for recreation programs to those in need


Published February 6, 2023 at 3:46 pm

In her weekly mailbag, Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward answered a question about affordability and access to local recreation programs and activities.

“Does the City of Burlington help families afford access to recreation programs and other activities?”

Meed Ward said the City of Burlington strives to remove as many obstacles as possible to help all families and children access recreation programs and other activities and described three programs that help do that.

Recreation Fee Assistance

The City offers financial assistance to individuals or families who qualify when registering for recreation programs. Non-profit community organizations can also apply for fee assistance on behalf of their participants.

Fee assistance can be used for registered programs as well as passes and memberships.

To qualify for recreation fee assistance, you must:

  • Be a resident of Burlington and provide proof of residency, such as a driver’s license, Ontario photo ID card, utility bill, property tax bill or tenant agreement
  • Have a total net individual or combined family income below the low-income cut off (LICO) and provide current official documentation that shows combined family income, such as a Notice of Assessment T451 form for adult all family members, a Canada Child Tax Benefit Notice or proof of an Ontario Disability Support Program
  • Be a refugee within your first year of settlement and provide proof of permanent residency and Burlington residency.

Ukrainian newcomers and visitors with federal documentation also are eligible to apply for Recreation Fee Assistance funding. Call 905-335-7738, ext. 8501, to leave a voice mail, or email [email protected] to start the application process.

Non-profit community organizations focused on social services may also apply for fee assistance on behalf of their participants, for example a local women’s shelter seeking swim passes for residents.

For more information or questions about applying for fee assistance, call 905-335-7738, ext. 8501, to leave a confidential voicemail message.

Community Access Pass

The Burlington Public Library offers a Community Access Pass. With your library card, you can borrow passes to gain free general admission entry to various local and provincial tourism destinations, such as the Art Gallery of Burlington; Conservation Halton; Joseph Brant Museum; Ontario parks; and the Royal Botanical Gardens.

Passes are available at all library branches and it is recommended to always call ahead to the participating organization before your visit to find out if any restrictions are currently in place.

For more details visit here.

Active5 Pass

Burlington residents in the Grade 5 and Grade 6 can take advantage of the City of Burlington’s Active5 Pass to help them stay active throughout the year.

The pass gives free access to drop-in recreation activities including open gym time, skating and recreational swimming.

You can visit any recreation customer service location with your child to get them an Active5 Pass. You’ll be asked to complete a membership application and for proof of their grade, age and Burlington residency.

For more details and information on applications and any exemptions, visit here.

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