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City's 'Bench Dedication Program' gets expansion money

'They are a great way for our local projects to go from idea to reality here in North Bay'
20210407 bench at beach turl
Provincial money will be used toward a "Bench Dedication Program" in the city. Jeff Turl/BayToday.

There will be more places in the city to rest your 'barking dogs' after a $17,500 grant announced today through the Inclusive Community Grant Program.

The project will enable North Bay to install and implement a “Bench Dedication Program” that will provide 9,000 older people and people with disabilities an opportunity to have access to rest areas in the City according to a news release. 

“They are a great way for our local projects to go from idea to reality, here in North Bay," said MPP Vic Fedeli.

“The City of North Bay recognizes the importance of ensuring that seniors and people with disabilities in our community are able to remain active,” said Mayor Al McDonald in a news release. 

The Ontario Government will spend $2.9 million through the program to support 55 community projects that will keep people of all ages and abilities healthy and engaged across the province. 

Municipalities and local organizations can use the funding toward projects such as:

  • undertaking local needs assessments to determine gaps in existing supports for seniors and people with disabilities;
  • developing action plans and implementing virtual programs;
  • retrofitting buildings with ramps and accessible washrooms; and
  • installing self-serve kiosks with software that people with vision or hearing loss can use.  

The program is part of the government’s plan to help older adults and people with disabilities become more active in their local communities.

Fifteen per cent of Ontarians have a disability and this number will increase as the population ages.

By 2023, there will be three million Ontarians over the age of 65 – older adults are the province’s fastest-growing demographic.