L.I.F.E. Toronto Program Cheers on Canadian Paralympic Team

Today marks the start of the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi with the opening ceremony and we cannot wait to see Canadian athlete Sonja Gaudet carry out the Canadian flag.  We will be cheering on Gaudet and the rest of the wheelchair curling team as they fight for their third consecutive gold medal at the Games.

We are looking forward to all the Paralympic events, and we are especially excited to see the ice sledge hockey and alpine skiing!  Perhaps one of the most exciting events will be para-snowboarding since it is making its debut at the Games this year!  The format will combine both race and freestyle elements which will make it very exciting to watch. Go John Leslie!

A special shout out goes to our Toronto athletes, Erin Latimer and Chris Williamson, both alpine skiers.  Cheer on all of our Canadian athletes at the 2014 Paralympic Games!  Go Canada Go!


Take a moment to watch what we found to be an empowering, motivating and inspirational video that reminds us it is not about what’s missing, it’s about what’s there!

LIFE Toronto program continues with the support of United Way TorontoTD Canada TrustToronto Community Foundationand Royal Bank.

Build New Skills & Meet New Friends! New Session of L.I.F.E. Toronto Program Starts February 2014!

In the LIFE Toronto program, participants are given many opportunities to build upon their skills, learn new ones and challenge themselves all while having fun! LIFE Toronto has so much to offer, but the greatest reward has to be making new friends. Program participants, instructors and volunteers enjoy meaningful time together and form strong bonds. In the last LIFE session we took the time to write a song about our experiences to the tune ‘It’s a Wonderful World.’ Take a look at our music video that commemorates our times together!

It is safe to say we are all excited for the next session to start and thrilled to be reunited soon. Our next ten week LIFE session will begin February 10, 2014 and the good news is there are still some spots available. We are looking for youths aged 18-30 with a physical disability who are making the transition into adulthood. You are invited to apply for the full five day/week program or sign up for the components that interest you. Components include: Life Skills Workshops, TTC Training, social outings, recreational activities and Conductive Education.

Social Outing - Windreach Farm Outward Bound

If you or someone you know has any questions or is interested in joining the LIFE Toronto program please contact the program instructor, Kelsey Bell by e-mail (kbell@marchofdimes.ca) or call 647-529-1151. Here you can download the LIFE application and fill it out. March of Dimes Canada strives to serve all segments of the community, including those with limited financial means. If financial circumstances limit an applicant’s ability to participate, assistance may be provided.

LIFE Toronto program continues with the support of United Way TorontoTD Canada TrustToronto Community Foundationand Royal Bank.

L.I.F.E. Toronto: Graduation

Here at March of Dimes Canada we just celebrated our 3rd LIFE graduation on Friday December 13. We invited our friends and family and instructors to celebrate another successful ten week session. We shared pictures and stories about all the things we have done like biking, T-ball, climbing the challenge tower, workshops, transit training, conductive education, visiting Windreach Farm, the Royal Winter Fair, Ripley’s Aquarium and so much more!

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Jenny shared a poem about friendship and then the LIFE participants received their certificates and Outward Bound stickers and badges. We were all thrilled as we watched Usman and Jess get out of their chairs and walk to the front of the room to receive their certificates. It was clear to see how close our group has become when everyone cheered Jess and Usman on as they walked. Many laughs were shared as Indira reminded us of stories about each participant and then Bernardo performed a song we worked on about the LIFE program.

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During the program we talked a lot about SMART Goals and one of Princess’ goals was to dance more. It is safe to say she has accomplished this goal and was the first to get the dance floor started. We spent the rest of graduation singing, dancing, telling stories and taking pictures. It was a wonderful day and we cannot wait to start the next LIFE session in the new year!


To see more photos from our graduation please click here.

And thank you to  United Way TorontoTD Canada Trust, and Royal Bank for their continuous support.

L.I.F.E. Toronto: Ripley’s Aquarium

This L.I.F.E. Toronto session we were given the opportunity to plan our own social outing, so we obviously planned a trip to the new Ripley’s Aquarium. We selected the date, picked the meeting times and researched the aquarium.

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 Finally November 26th rolled around and we were on our merry way. It was not smooth sailing for all of us, Jessie’s Wheel Trans broke down on the way but that did not stop her from getting there. Once we had the whole group together we were ready to get the tickets and check out the underwater creatures. One thing we were surprised to see was Rick Mercer hanging out at the aquarium. Usman was brave enough to say ‘hey,’ and Jenny even got an autograph.



Some of the highlights of the day were getting a close look at sharks, stingrays, and jellyfish, oh my. Some of us even climbed through a tunnel that went right through one of the tanks. We figured out what our weight was worth if we were tuna and we pet some horseshoe crabs! We stopped for a quick lunch at the cafe and caught the 1:15 p.m. show at the Rainbow Reef. The rest of the day was spent moseying along and taking in all the sights.


It was a fantastic day and we cannot wait to go back!! To see the rest of our photos please click here.

LIFE Toronto program continues with the support of United Way TorontoTD Canada Trust, and Royal Bank.

Jess on L.I.F.E. Toronto Program

L.I.F.E. Toronto serves young people who have a physical disability and are making the transition into adulthood. The program provides participants with a learning environment to expand their social and professional skills while practicing the daily responsibilities of adulthood. L.I.F.E. Toronto’s goal is to bridge the gap between child and adult services by providing participants with new skills and resources. L.I.F.E. Toronto is a combination of Life Skills Workshops, Outward Bound Canada programming, weekly Social Outings, and Conductive Education.

Along with fun and adventure, participants experience some challenges. Indeed, the very purpose of the program is to help them find untapped resources within themselves and within the group, to help them discover that they are more capable than they know.

L.I.F.E. Toronto is a new program that continues with the support of United Way Toronto, TD Canada Trust, and Royal Bank.

L.I.F.E. Toronto: Ferry to Toronto Island

Luckily we were able to fit in a trip to Toronto Island before it got too cold. On October 8th we all met at the Toronto Ferry Docks and caught a morning ferry over to Centre Island. The ferry is described as one of the best parts of the day. It is a time to relax, enjoy the fresh air and take in the view of the city. When we got to the island we checked out the map and headed for Far Enough Away Farm. Check out some of the pictures we got.

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We pretty much had the farm to ourselves and some of us even got to pet a pig! We explored the island and found a picnic table near the beach to have lunch. We checked out the pier and spent the afternoon wandering along the trails. There is so much to see on the island and it is wonderful to spend the day outside. We can’t wait to go back next summer when it warms up.

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LIFE Toronto program continues with the support of United Way TorontoTD Canada Trust, and Royal Bank.

L.I.F.E. Toronto: Restorative Yoga with Jennifer

Here at L.I.F.E. we like to spend our Friday afternoons relaxing and rejuvenating our bodies with some restorative yoga. After lunch we push our desks aside, dim the lights and put on some relaxing music.

Our first yoga Friday we concentrated on our breathing because Jennifer told us it is the most important part of yoga. We make sure we are sitting with our legs hip distance apart and our backs straight. We close our eyes and think about our breathing and gain more control of our breath by counting. We follow the breath in and out and it helps us become more aware of our bodies.

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Our second yoga Friday involved more breathing but we also got to use therapy balls. By this time we all felt more comfortable and were willing to try new things. The therapy balls are about the size of a tennis ball but firmer. We put the balls on the floor and rolled our feet over them, applying the pressure that we desired. It felt like a foot massage and brought sensation to our feet that we do not normally get to experience with shoes on. Then we placed the balls behind our backs against our chairs and moved around. It felt like a back massage and tension was released.

We always look forward to Fridays and can’t wait to get on those yoga mats!!!

L.I.F.E.Toronto is a new program that continues with the support of United Way TorontoTD Canada Trust, and Royal Bank.