Older Adults Recreation


Saanich Parks and Recreation Older Adults Strategy - Update Fall 2019

Saanich Parks and Recreation Older Adults Strategy 2017-2022 was approved by Saanich Council in June of 2017.  In 2019 Council approved the full funding requests to implement the actions and proposed goals of the strategy. 

Please open the Older Adults Strategy Final Report to review the findings, priorities, and proposed goals and actions for the years 2017-2022. 

What’s been happening and what's new:

Coming up: 
Health & Safety Forum for older adults - FREE
Tuesday Oct 1 12:30-4:30pm at Cedar Hill Recreation Centre
3220 Cedar Hill Road. It is a free program but registration is required. Click here for more information

Fight Back for Seniors
Saturday Sept 21 2:30-3:45pm at Cedar Hill Recreation Centre
$5/ non members. Free for Cedar Hill Social Club Members.
Click here for more information  

Social Cooking Classes
The new schedule is out. New Recipes all the time!
Don't wait, space is limited. Click here for more information


Older Adult Assistant Card
If balance, mobility or other impairments prevent you from participating, do not stop your favourite activity, here is a new option. This new card allows an older adult who requires assistance in a drop-in program, fitness class or registered program to bring another person to help them at no extra cost.   The application for a card can be found at any Saanich Recreation centre, or click here for more information 

Voices in Motion Choir NEW THIS FALL!
Discover the huge benefits of choral singing for those with memory loss as well as for all older adults and inspired youth. Youth and older adults will both discover empathy towards the other generation, and will build friendships through singing alongside each other. Bring a friend or caregiver or join on your own and sing alongside others in the same journey. The choir will be instructed by a professional music director, and will have weekly rehearsals and multiple public concert opportunities.  Youth are free of charge.  Subsidies can be arranged for adults where finances are a barrier.  All costs for music sheets included.   Click here for more information. 

Gordon Head Recreation Centre
Sept 10 - Dec 17  Tuesday 1:30-3:00 pm    $75/adult 

Quiet Times in pools and weight rooms
 All Centres now have designated times in their weightrooms when no music will be played. Cedar Hill – every morning until 10:00am and Wed evenings, Gordon Head – M/W/F  9-10am and Saturdays 7:30-3:00pm.  Scheduled waterfit and swim lessons have been adjusted to avoid crowded changerooms. Cick here for schedules.

More staff in Weightrooms to assist older adults in skill development – new this fall will be free weightroom orientation times in all recreation centres.  Appointments are required but are free of charge.  Staff will take you around the weightroom and teach you how to use the machines and weights.  See the Active Living Guide for times.

The Respite Program at Commonwealth has received permanent funding – the pilot respite program has received permanent funding from Island Health which ensures the continuation of this important program.  The program name has changed to Seniors Social and Movement Class.  

Try Before You Buy 
We heard that adults wanted opportunities to try a class before registered for a complete session.  This fall we have a number of classes older adults can “try before buying”.  Some programs are one day, others are complete sessions.  Programs are free of charge but pre-registration is mandatory – no drop ins as space is limited.  Click here for schedules. 

Social Cooking Classes 55+
No need to cook and eat alone!  Social Cooking sessions are offered at Gordon Head Recreation Centre and GR Pearkes Recreation Centre bi-weekly. This is not a cooking instruction class but a cooperative, fun social time to cook together and enjoy a meal.  Everything provided, just bring an apron and extra container in case of leftovers! Click here for classes.

Cedar Hill Social Club
Looking to meet some new friends, play cards, or bingo?  Join the new Cedar Hill Social Club at Cedar Hill Recreation Centre.  This new club includes bridge, carpet bowling, ping pong, canasta, social tea, and bingo.  New activities will be added as membership grows so give us your input as to what you would like to see. Membership: $40/year
For activity schedule or more information call Julie Wallace 250-475-5408

Age Friendly Spaces


The Parks department was able to obtain a grant to upgrade the walkway from Feltham Road to Gordon Head Recreation Centre.  The long entry into the recreation centre now has a safe, paved walkway with clear lines directly from the bus stop all the way to the reception lobby, as well as a paved walkway to Recreation Integration office. 

Horner Park
The Saanich Parks Department is working on a renewal plan for Horner Park and is looking for input from older adults as to what amenities they would like to see.  To give your input feel free to complete the survey open until August 30, 2019

Welcome Ambassadors
A new pilot project will be starting at Commonwealth Place in the fall of 2019.  A Welcome kiosk will be situated in the lobby and staffed with volunteers at peak times.  The Welcome Ambassadors will be available to direct participants to rooms, answer questions regarding registration and programs, give facility tours and help to create a welcoming space. 


New policies and procedures have been completed through the Intermunicipal Health and Recreation Partnership Committee so health professionals can access recreation facilities throughout Victora.  The procedures allow Island Health therapists to visit weightrooms with clients for a limited time in order for them to orient their clients to the space and transition them into a self-managed program.  Saanich staff can assist clients after therapists have completed their orientation.

Outreach programs for isolated adults have been offered in partnership with BC Housing.  A health & wellness, yoga program with Saanich staff has been held at two sites with more to be offered in 2020.

NEAT Program 
The Neighbours Engaging in Activities Together (NEAT) is in the final stages of programs with the last three sites starting in fall 2019.  This intermunicipal initiative has been funded through Island Health’s Community Wellness grant and has been offered in Oak Bay, Saanich, Victoria and Sidney. Saanich held two 12 week sessions at locations in the Royal Oak and Cloverdale areas. 

The NEAT program is intended to reach potentially isolated adults in their place of residence, help them to meet their neighbours and introduce them to recreation and leisure programs.  Island Health Recreation Therapists teach leisure education and accessibility skills in the initial weeks, participants then choose activities to try.  Saanich Recreation coordinates the activities and orients them to all activities that are available to them.

October 1st is the International Day of the Older Person 
We will honour this day at Cedar Hill Recreation Centre, 1:00-4:00pm with an Older Adult Wellness Expo.  Speakers from ICBC, Saanich Police & Fire Department, BC Transit and Parks & Recreation will be scheduled in the afternoon, while yoga demos and information booths will be available for people to try or gather information.  Watch for details coming in Sept or call 250-475-5408. 

Enhance Communication

New Older Adult Guide 
We heard that our Active Living Guide is overwhelming and hard to find program information.  A new adult guide is in the making however some changes have been made in the current Active Living Guide to improve readability. 

The guide was changed to a three column vs four column format in 2018.  This allowed for more white space and slightly larger font. 

New icons are being created to help identify which program are suitable to older adults.   A “chair” icon has been added to programs that can be done while seated.  “Hearts” are added to identify the intensity level required.  Additional icons are being considered to be included in the new adult guide. 

Times Colonist Focus On Seniors
It was noted that many older adults still appreciate information in a paper as opposed to online.  As such, Saanich Recreation regularly advertises in the Focus On Seniors edition and submits regular articles about what events and programs are happening for older adults.


Older Adults

Partners in recreation

Saanich Parks & Recreation works with many local organizations to help deliver social and recreational opportunities to our older citizens.  We work to provide avenues for social participation not just in our centres but in the community at large.  For more information on our partners and older adult organizations see the "RELATED LINKS" list on this page.  Many offer opportunities for low cost or free programs, social gatherings and volunteering.