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Abilities Centre

  • How was Abilities Centre started?

    Inspired by the vision of the Late Honourable Jim Flaherty and former Deputy Premier Christine Elliott, the dream of Abilities Centre began in the early 2000s, when a group of accessibility and inclusion champions saw the urgent need for increased programming and services for people with disabilities in the Durham Region, and across Canada. Their vision was to create a place where people of all ages and abilities could come together and realize their full potential and, in the process, change the social fabric of our communities and country. 

    In partnership with federal and provincial levels of government, the Region of Durham, and the Town of Whitby, and supported by the generosity of many people, corporations, and community organizations, Abilities Centre opened its doors in June 2012.  

  • How is Abilities Centre funded?

    Abilities Centre operates under a diversified revenue generation model that includes funding from the Province of Ontario, corporate partnerships, fundraising, grants, membership, program fees, and facility rentals.

  • How many people are impacted by Abilities Centre’s programs and services?

    Each year, our programs and services impact over 100,000 people.

  • Are there other Abilities Centres? How can I access Abilities Centre programs outside of Durham Region?
    While there is currently only one Abilities Centre, located in Whitby, ON, Abilities Centre’s programs reach across Ontario and Canada. Our sister organization, Abilities Centre Ottawa runs some of our programs in the National Capital Region. Our ASAD program operates locations in London, ON and Fort Providence, NWT. Our LEAD program has consulted with municipalities and organizations within Ontario, and across Canada. We’ve also partnered with organizations in British Columbia, Alberta, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland to reach Canadians well beyond Durham Region with our programs.

    We are always looking to expand our reach to break down barriers and unlock potential across the country. If you have a need for our programs in your community, please contact us at
  • Do you accept donations? How can I make a donation?
    As a federally registered charity, Abilities Centre accepts and appreciates all donations that help us to run our programs and keep our fees down. Donations can be made online here: Donors are also welcome to mail in cheques. We simply ask that you provide your contact information so that we may send you a charitable tax receipt for your generous gift. Our charitable registration number is: 88981 9116 RR0001.

Programs & Services

  • What types of programs and services does Abilities Centre offer?

    We operate a state-of-the-art, accessible fitness centre for people of all abilities and operate a wide variety of programs and services. Our Skills Development and Employment Services, Therapeutic Recreation Programs, Post-Rehabilitation Programs, and Sport and Recreation Programs offer evidence-based programming to individuals of all abilities who are seeking to engage in their community, improve their health and well-being, and meet their personal goals.  Abilities Centre’s Academy for Student-Athlete Development (ASAD) is an academy for student-athletes on able-bodied, Parasport, or Special Olympics high-performance pathways. Our Training and Education services promote continuous learning and create communities of practice where individuals and organizations have the tools and resources, they need to build accessible and inclusive communities. Our Mixed Ability Sport Coach Certification provides quality education to coaches, officials, sport administrators, and athletes on the creation of sport opportunities that are for people of all abilities. In the Leading Equitable and Accessible Delivery (LEAD) process, one of our consultancy programs, we work with organizations to guide them through an accessibility audit.

    More information on all our programs and services can be found here:

  • Are Abilities Centre’s programs and services exclusively for people with disabilities?

    While many of our programs are targeted towards people with disabilities, Abilities Centre has programs and services for individuals of all abilities. Our ASAD and Mixed Ability Sport programs are inclusive programs for individuals of all abilities, as is our membership model. See information about our programs and services here:

  • What age group are the programs and services at Abilities Centre designed for?

    While some of our programs are targeted at individuals of a particular age, such as some of our Sport and Recreation Program, we do offer programs and services for individuals of any age. Whether it be our camps, family programs, post-rehabilitation programs, Pickleball, or our track membership designed for older adults, there are programs for everyone to engage with at Abilities Centre.

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