Oakville Healthy Community Initiative (OHCI)

We know how important projects that support the health, safety and well-being of our community are to you. That is why we are excited to share the Oakville Healthy Community Initiative (OHCI) – local infrastructure projects that present new ways to keep residents safe and healthy, by creating a safer, more vibrant and inclusive Oakville. These projects are designed to help respond to immediate needs caused by COVID-19, as well as to create long-term solutions for our community’s recovery and resiliency.

8 projects are available for Fundholder support through the online portal listed in the Oakville Healthy Community Initiative Grant Catalogue. Each initiative is a place-based, long-term solution focused on natural and physical infrastructure bringing social connectivity to Oakville. Over $400,000 in projects to fund community gardens, physical fitness, playground infrastructure and healthy living programs. 

You can log on to the Fundholder portal here. 

You can help us create permanent and equitable solutions in Oakville, while remaining fun, safe and connected.

The Foundation will be guided by your grants. Fundholder support will determine how to allocate $50,000 in Foundation match funding. These matching funds will be allocated proportionally post campaign. The proportional allocation will be based on how much remains to be funded on a project. The maximum grant request is $75,000.

The Oakville Healthy Community Initiative launches next Wednesday, May 26th. Please take part in this Fundholder exclusive granting opportunity to benefit our whole community up until it closes on June 15th.

“Improved Mobility Options”

St Luke’s Sporting Program promotes active neighbourhoods with the goal of improving community health through physical activity. A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to see health impacts as people engage in less physical activity. As we re-open our facility, we know the possibility of another wave is still present. We need to plan ahead by strengthening community sports and physical recreation.

Many neighbours have faced economic challenges and growing social inequality, which in turn has made it even more difficult to participate in sports, even at the most informal level. The Halton community has many basketball courts, soccer fields, bicycle trails, and tennis courts, however many people do not have access to the equipment to make full use of them. As the only community centre currently in Palermo, St. Luke’s strives to make physical activity a priority by providing sports and recreation options to North Oakville.

Funding will support St. Luke’s free, inclusive rental program that will provide proper sporting equipment for various sports including bicycles, tennis, basketball, soccer, and pickleball. St. Luke’s will be collaborating with Food for Life (advertisements for rental program) as well as with Conservation Halton for membership passes.

“Community Garden and Eco Centre”

Funding will be used to develop a new, public community garden at Forestview Church located at Dundas Street West and Bronte Road – an area where public demand outweighs existing supply – in consultation with the Halton Environmental Network (HEN).The community gardens will be set on a piece of property that is being developed for community use which will include a small sports field, natural playground, walking trails, meadows and native gardens.

Funding will support the building of thirty two 6’x12’ garden plots as well as three accessible raised gardens for those with limited mobility. The plots are individually managed by members of the community with administrative support provided by ForestView Church.

The gardens will enable individuals and households without access to green space, and those who are living in low income to grow their own healthy food. Once developed, we will work with Oak Park Neighbourhood Centre who will promote the opportunity to their clients.

“Memorial Park Adult and Senior Fitness Equipment”

With increasing urbanization, new ways are needed to provide outdoor spaces and activities to residents and outdoor exercise equipment is one solution. Our project is to build new Adult and Senior fitness equipment with adjacent seating in a track of land, Memorial Park, that is currently underutilized and underdeveloped.

The urban area surrounding Memorial park is densely populated, with small to non-existent backyards and very little public greenspace. It has multiple high-rise, senior and low income housing. Demographically, the population is representative of diverse populations. All have been disproportionally affected by Covid-19. This park is centrally located within the neighbourhood and within walking distance for a majority of residents.

The new space would feature 4 to 7 pieces of fitness equipment, some geared specifically for seniors, and accessible to those in wheel-chairs. Each would have permanent posted instruction with varying levels of difficulty ensuring varied workouts, allowing the user to choose the level they are most comfortable with and the ability to improve intensity levels overtime. An important feature would be adjacent seating that not only would be conductive to providing a rest area between turns on pieces of equipment, but in the socialization aspect of the space.

This has been noted to be high priority by the seniors we spoke to. Pathways of either concrete or mulch (senior safest materials) would connect the equipment and seating. Plans include a sanitation station (wipes, wash). Water/washroom facilities are already onsite. Project partners include Town of Oakville; Community Development Halton; and, Oak Park Neighbourhood Centre.

Rotary LifeTrail Catalogue

“CCAH Harmony and Community Garden”

The project is to establish a community garden composed of ten plots developed and realized by community members. It will involve seniors, families impacted by COVID-19, and community members who experience vulnerability, marginalization and food insecurity.

The garden will be primarily vegetables, with herbs, some flowers, and a ‘healing’ garden, planted and maintained by participants, choosing plants that reflect their backgrounds and culinary traditions. We have secured space at the Queen Elizabeth Community and Cultural Centre site and have received Town of Oakville approval.

The idea of a community garden came from local seniors. Seniors participate in CCAH ongoing programs as well as being beneficiaries of our meals programs. Many of these seniors are trapped inside due to COVID-19, normally living an active lifestyle. Some had homes with property and gardens and have now moved into apartments or private facilities with no land. As the vaccines roll out for this sector and having CCAH summer students to assist, this is an ideal time to start this project. CCAH provides programs for youth and have youth volunteers.

A recent sponsorship by Ministry of Children, Community & Social Services gives students and families access to a Black social-worker. They will be involved in the garden project providing opportunities to learn about the environment, growing food with like-minded-adult support and connect with the community. Project partners include: Roots Community Services ( has a partnership with CCAH to increase support for Black Students); Halton Children’s Aid Society; and Town of Oakville.

CCAH Aerial View of Garden Plot

“YMCA of Oakville’s Healthier Together Project”

Since the onset of the pandemic, the YMCA has become increasingly aware of the disproportionate impacts on certain communities. Our Healthier Together project is focused on five underserved low-income priority neighbourhoods and is aimed at supporting children and families, youth, seniors, and newcomers. Residents in these neighbourhoods face compounded challenges in gaining access to vital health and social inclusion supports. Through this program, the YMCA aims to support community health and wellness via free outdoor wellness activities designed to provide opportunities, supports, knowledge and skills for these residents to live healthier, active lives.

To implement activities, the project will access and utilize a variety of public spaces including public community parks, public hiking trails, provincial park locations, and public green spaces located in these 5 neighbourhoods. Activities will include community walks, hiking and other outdoor activities that promote community connectedness using a safe, creative and culturally responsive approach. Activities will be led by YMCA staff as well as BIPOC community members with a goal to address social isolation, mental health, and wellness concerns resulting from COVID.

Project partners include: Halton Black Voices; Halton Community Housing Corporation; Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

“Oakville All-Season Park Installation”

We are seeking to build an all-season park installation. The town will cover the majority of the project expenses. This grant will cover the upgrades required for a multi-use basketball court, transferrable to a ball hockey surface and skating rink during cold months. This funding will support: the court resurfacing, relining, affixing with basketball nets, fencing, and seasonal boards to surround the play area for ball hockey. These basketball nets, fencng, and seasonal boards will allow the space to remain vibrant regardless of the season.

As made evident over the past year, COVID-19 has provided a stark reminder for the importance of community infrastructure. Densely populated areas throughout the country struggled to ensure public safety and prevent isolation amid a shortage of active and passive outdoor amenities for those residents. This trend disproportionately impacted residents living in high-density, low-income neighbourhoods with limited outdoor amenities.This project aims to install this new all-season park installation in one of Oakville’s most densely populated and diverse neighbourhoods.

George Savage Park – Proposed All-Season Court Plan

“Growing Together in Our Community- the Oakwood Community Gathering Space”

The Halton District School Board (HDSB) is working with Halton Environmental Network (HEN), who will engage the school community (Oakwood PS) to design workshops and develop programming in the underutilized front area of Oakwood Public School, now being transformed into an urban oasis by HDSB.

The primary objective of this project is to invite and inspire the community to utilize this new space, come outdoors, connect with each other, and learn how to grow their own food. Teaching gardens will serve as a community resource, providing residents and the broader community with examples for growing their own food and increasing community access to fresh food.

This space will be a respite for COVID and provide an inclusive community space. Oakwood PS also houses Oakville Parent Child Centre which operates preschool programs. Furthermore, there is a close relationship with Kerr Street Mission, which operates the after school program for Oakwood students. These community partners will benefit from this greenspace and our programming.

Proposed site with legend

Oakwood School Boundary Map

“The Healing Fountain”

The Healing Fountain will activate an existing water feature in a central public area of the Oakville Hospital, transforming it into a restful, contemplative place for the entire hospital community and general public. Xiaojing Yan, an established artist with a recognized track record in public sculpture, will provide a series of bronze, Lingzhi mushrooms to permanently adhere to the fountain wall. This will activate the previously plain black surface to become a meaningful space focused on ideas of healing and care.

The Lingzhi mushroom is an important symbol in Chinese culture, representing longevity, wellness and immortality. As a first generation Chinese Canadian immigrant, Yan’s art focuses on the realities of living between two cultures, and the obligation to care for aging family members who are far away. The Lingzhi mushroom is a symbolic gesture offering healing and comfort. Her use of bronze as a material fulfills the symbolic promise of immortality by transforming an everyday object into something permanent.

The hospital community has been deeply impacted by COVID-19. We want to provide a place of healing and regeneration for them, in a place that is accessible to anyone in need of a peaceful sanctuary. The desires expressed in The Healing Fountain to bridge distances and be able to heal those we love is especially resonant for all of us during COVID, and it conveys hopes and dreams that will always hold special meaning in a hospital environment. Yan’s artwork is intended to nurture a sense of possibility, hope, and transformation.