Our Story

The history of outdoor play advocacy, practice and research in Canada is diverse and strong. Recently, there has been a marked increase in multi-sector efforts to align our work and build a movement together. This timeline captures only some of the pivotal way points and events that are contributing to our momentum. It is important for the outdoor play story in Canada to honour the work of leaders who have paved the way, to build on each other's work and respect the cultural and historical relevance of all of our work.

2018

October 24-26, 2018

Lawson Foundation hosts the Outdoor Play & Early Learning Policy Research Invitational Symposium in Toronto.

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2018

June 1, 2018

The Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health (CCMOH) Statement supports and endorses the Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play developed by a coalition of organizations in 2015, which states: "Access to active play in nature and outdoors-with its risks-is essential for healthy child development. We recommend increasing children's opportunities for self-directed play outdoors in all settings-at home, at school, in child care, the community and nature."

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2018

May 30, 2018

A Common Vision for Increasing Physical Activity and Reducing Sedentary Living in Canada: Let’s Get Moving is released in May, 2018 by the Government of Canada.

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2018

May 8-10, 2018

Gathering Strength: Framework for Recreation in Canada Forum, Regina - May 8-10, Canadian Parks and Recreation Association.

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2018

Parks for All

Parks for All, An Action Plan for Canada’s Parks Community embeds outdoor play within some strategic action items as an essential part of strengthening children’s connection to nature. Canadian Parks Council and Canadian Parks and Recreation Association.

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2018

#Nature4All

#Nature4All in Canada was formed as a collaborative of partners working together to advance the #nature4all movement in Canada. Outdoor Play Canada is a contributor to this collective impact model.

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2017

September 13-16, 2017

Unleashing the Power of Play 20th International Play Association (IPA) Triennial World Conference, Calgary - Sept. 13-16

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2017

June 26-28, 2017

Moving Research to Action for Healthy Kids Children’s Health and the Environment Workshop and Symposium, London, ON - June 26-28

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2017

April 18-21, 2017

​Children Need Nature, Nature Needs Kids, Child and Nature Network International Conference, Vancouver, B.C.

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2017

March 8-11, 2017

Parks, Protected Areas, Open Spaces and Public Places, Canadian Parks Conference - Banff, AB. Keynotes and workshops focused on health, nature and play.

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2017

February 2017

Formation of Outdoor Play Canada, a growing network of multi-sector leaders working collaboratively to grow the outdoor play movement in Canada.

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2016

December 2016

​Ontario Trillium Foundation invests in the development of Outdoor Play Canada through the collective impact stream of funding.

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2016

Fall 2016

​Initial development of the Outdoor Play Strategic Impact Plan.

2016

June 2016

​Canadian Outdoor Play Working Group transitions to design a collective impact model and process with national scope and provincial application in Ontario.

2016

April 2016

Ontario Trillium Foundation funds an initial stage of an Outdoor Play Collective Impact project.

2016

April 2016

Canadian Parks Summit - Canmore, AB - Parks for All document drafted. Canadian Outdoor Play Working Group provides input to include the role of outdoor play as integral for building a child’s connection with nature.

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2016

March 31, 2016

Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology released the report, Obesity in Canada - A Whole of Society Approach for a Healthier Canada, including a few recommendations to encourage and enable outdoor play.

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2016

January 2016

Lawson Foundation Outdoor Play Strategy launched, investing 2.7 million between 2013-2018 in outdoor play initiatives across Canada.

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2015

September 2015

Supreme Court of British Columbia accepted the Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play and 2015 ParticipACTION Report Card as ‘social fact’ and ‘authority’ evidence and ruled in favour of the District of Saanich that it was not negligent in a case involving a child and outdoor play (a game of grounders).

2015

June 2015

Position Statement Strategic Planning Meeting - Ottawa, ON. Position Statement on Outdoor Active Play partners and community experts identified stakeholder gaps & a dissemination strategy.

2015

June 9, 2015

Release of the Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play.

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2015

June 9, 2015

​Release of the ParticipACTION 2015 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth.

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2015

February 12-13, 2015

Provincial and Territorial Ministers endorsed and the Government of Canada supported the Framework for Recreation in Canada 2015. The announcement took place at the 2015 Conference of Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers responsible for Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation.

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2015

January 2015

​Position Statement Working Group initiated the Position Statement draft process at Evergreen Brickworks in Toronto, lead by Dr. Mark Tremblay and the CHEO-HALO research group.

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2014

December 2014

Child care legislation in all provinces and territories require the provision of designated outdoor play space for licensed early learning and care programs.

2014

November 2014

Recreation Framework Summit - Toronto. Endorsement of A Framework for Recreation in Canada 2015 – Pathways to Wellbeing.

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2014

February 2014

​Canadian Parks Council releases the report, Connecting Canadians with Nature.

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2013

November 5-7, 2013

Canadian Injury Prevention & Safety Promotion Conference – Montreal - pre conference workshop Risky Play Symposium, As safe as possible or as safe as necessary - can injury prevention include healthy risk promotion? The resulting paper was published, Can child injury prevention include healthy risk promotion?

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2013

May 2013

Active Canada 20/20 N​ational Roundtable - New Brunswick. Active Play Action Group formed.

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2013

April 17, 2013

​Committee on the Rights of the Child provides General comment No. 17 (2013) on the right of the child to rest, leisure, play, recreational activities, cultural life and the arts (art. 31).

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2012

2012

Right in Principle, Right in Practice, Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Canada, Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children.

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2012

2012

Active Canada 20/20, the national physical activity sector strategic plan, was launched and includes references to the need for ‘spontaneous’ play within the context of physical activity.

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2012

May 29, 2012

Is Active Play Extinct?, ​Active Healthy Kids Canada 2012 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth includes the outdoor and nature indicator and highlights play as an essential part of child and youth physical activity levels.

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2011

September 2011

Healthy by Nature Conference - multi-sector dialogue to support the connection between human health and nature. Vancouver, BC.

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2010

November 2010

Healthy Children Healthy Spaces Conference - Ottawa, ON. Hosted an indicator workshop for the development of an outdoor and nature indicator to be included in the 2011 Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card.

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1991

December 13, 1991

Canada ratifies United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

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