Community centres are a great resource for newcomers and Canadians alike. These centres provide a variety of facilities suitable for recreation and fitness, sports, childcare, arts, and culture. They are hubs of activity and an asset to community due to the sheer number of services they provide. So, be sure you investigate some of your local community centres – they may be great for your health and wellbeing, as well as a place to meet new people!
Community centres provide a variety of fitness facilities and classes to the public. Usually, the centres contain a gym, pool, aerobics studio and even certain sports courts for volleyball or tennis for example. While at the community centre, you have the option of engaging in fitness in a class – many centres offer cycling, yoga, or pilates classes for example. These classes are even more fun with friends – so try out something brand new with your new friend. Or, instead, you can choose to engage in fitness on your own in the gym or pool, for example. A last option could be to organize with your school friends and play a sport together during their drop-in hours! So many great ways to bond with your new friends AND stay healthy while in Canada.
Certain community centres might also offer a variety of childcare options. So for newcomers with children, consider taking advantage of this. For instance, some centres may run preschools. Preschools are for children ages 4-5 and are meant to prepare the kids for the transition into elementary school. Usually, the preschools combine learning with play, keeping the children entertained while also teaching them valuable skills. Additionally, the community centre may offer summer camp options for children while they’re out of school between June and August. These summer camps generally include a combination of in-house activities as well as field trips. For example, the summer camps could include swim days in the pool, indoor games, and picnics. Finally, the last option is standard daycare centres which offer fun activities and ensure kids are fed and behaving safely while parents are out at work.
- For more information: Early Learning and Childcare
Community centres often host a variety of local sports teams and tournaments. Many different sports require indoor facilities including hockey, lacrosse, and squash. Using the courts and facilities, they can have practices as well as games. Additionally, other sports that are normally played outdoors, such as soccer or softball may choose to use indoor facilities at community centres when the weather is poor outside. If you join a sports team while in Canada, you’ll likely be spending a lot of time at various community centres!
Community centres are highly multi-purpose, and outside of recreation and childcare, they are also locations of art and cultural events and exhibits. Many Canadian community centres host events such as plays, readings, or religious celebrations. Additionally, community centres may run weekly classes for the public including pottery, painting, drawing and more. These classes are a great, inexpensive thing to do for you and your friends! Finally, some community centres may have permanent art installations from local artists on display as well, they are free to view most of the time. Why not go check them out and gain an understanding of local Canadian art?
There are many community centres scattered throughout all urban areas in Canada. Below is a list of information concerning community centres in major Canadian cities. This list is not exhaustive, and most municipalities will have a database on their website fo community centres.
As a new student in Canada, your local community centre is an ideal first place to visit. These places are your go-to for organized sports, recreation activities, fitness classes, pools and so much more. Plus, every city will have many community centers, so you may even have one in walking distance from you! How convenient all around, right?