Sport and Recreation

Sport and recreation are important sectors to the physical, emotional and economic well-being of Ontarians. Ontario’s total household spending on amateur sport was estimated to be $12.6 billion in 2013.1 In 2012, the average Canadian household spent $3,773 on recreation.2 Approximately 98% of Canadians believe that recreation and parks are essential services.3 At the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Ontario athletes represented 45% of the Canadian Olympic Team.

The Ministry continues to champion participation in sport and recreation activities across the province. Participation in sport contributes to better health, provides role models for the pursuit of personal excellence, exemplifies the value of teamwork and builds community pride. The Ministry works collaboratively with the sport and recreation sector to promote, support, and increase opportunities for all Ontarians to participate in sport and recreation, from playground to podium.


Among our sport activities:

  • We encourage sport participation of all Ontarians
  • We recognize and support Provincial/Multi-Sport Organizations to oversee delivery of fair and safe participation in amateur sport
  • We enable Ontario athletes to achieve podium finishes at national and international levels
  • We advocate Ontario’s sport priorities at federal-provincial/territorial forums
  • We make strategic investments in the hosting of international amateur sporting events
  • We provide support to volunteers, coaches, officials and organizations to enable athletes to train and compete at increasingly high levels of competition
  • We deliver an Ontario Games program, including the Ontario Winter/Summer Games, Ontario 55+ Winter/Summer Games and Ontario Parasport Games
  • We deliver a provincial sport recognition program


Among our recreation activities:

  • We promote an active lifestyle and increased levels of physical literacy and activity through support for provincial and local delivery partners
  • We provide support for targeted after school programming that increases opportunities for physical activity for children and youth
  • We engage Indigenous communities in sport, recreation and physical activity
  • We provide provincial coordination for trails to ensure Ontarians have access to outdoor spaces in which to engage in sport and recreation
  • We work across governments at the federal-provincial/territorial level to advocate and coordinate support for recreation and physical activities opportunities
  • We work across ministries on recreation initiatives


1. The Conference Board of Canada (2013). Strengthening Ontario: The Socio-Economic Benefits of Participation in Sport

2. Statistics Canada, 2012. Survey of Household Spending

3. Harper, J. (2011). Public Perceptions of and Attitudes Towards Community Recreation and Parks Services in Canada