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Action 7: Planning for Special Age Groups

Why is planning for special age groups important?

  • Rural communities have larger proportions of aging populations when compared to larger urban centres.

  • Transportation access is consistently identified as a major barrier in studies on the impacts of an aging demographics (OPPI, 2009).

  • Two of the issues which currently face many rural communities are out-migration of youth an aging population.  


Township of Prince: Case Study

  • The township of Prince has created a 2013-2018 Accessibility Plan. The plan includes extending bus services from Sault St. Marie into the township, and Prince Township has an arrangement with the city for a bus to come to the corner of two highways.

  • A co-op program funded by the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Association is a key item that has provided the municipality with funding for their Strategic Plan and Accessibility Plan.


Recommendations for rural municipalities:

  • Ensure your planning initiatives bring a focus to the needs of an aging population. The requirements and needs in aging populations will be unique in terms of accessibility, services and transportation issues. The County of Brant & City of Brantford have developed a Master Aging Plan for the comprehensive needs of an aging community.

  • Ensure that your planning documents have consideration for youth, such as the inclusion of skateboard parks, arenas and sports fields, among other activities.

  • Develop a youth retention strategy. Provide opportunities for education and employment. Take a community economic development approach and seek out opportunities that could exist for youth in your community.

  • Tips from practitioners:

    • Use other communities as inspiration; the Town of Hanover is taking on a youth initiative based on the existing one in Ingersoll. 


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