Play Works

What is Play Works?
We are a group of organizations concerned about the future of our youth. We represent the areas of sport, physical activity, civic engagement, arts and culture, rural youth, and recreation. We have joined forces to bring back the power of play to Ontario youth and are dedicated to advancing play for 13 - 19 year olds on local and provincial public and political agendas. Download the Play Works Platform.


What is the power of play?
Play isn't all fun and games. It's not just in a park or a gym and it's not just for children. Play is diving off the high board, making pottery, throwing a snowball, dreaming on a lawn. It's all about shaping, learning and inspiring. A game of chess ignites reasoning. A run in the park builds endurance and strength. Volunteering at an art gallery develops social responsibility. Play also helps prepare youth for future endeavors. Youth councils develop an interest in local politics, promote youth advocacy, and engage youth within ther community. Play is crucial for the social, physical, intellectual, emotional and civic development of youth. Play works.

So, what's the big deal?

  • Places to play are becoming less accessible to adolescent youth.
  • Cutbacks mean fewer activities for youth.
  • Unsupervised activities for youth are seen as too risky.
  • Volunteers and leaders are ready to burn out.

What does all this mean? Less youth participation. And that can mean more crime, drug use, complaints about loitering, and has contributed to a 50 per cent increase in childhood obesity over the last 15 years.

Ontario needs to come out and play!

Youth Engagement Initiative

Building on the foundation of the Youth Friendly Community Recognition Program, Play Works presents The Youth Engagement Project, aiming to support Youth Engagement Initiatives in small and rural communities, with the intent of helping youth facing barriers in volunteering to take on leadership roles in their communities. For more information click here

Introducing the Rural Youth Engagement Workshops

Connecting with Youth is a one-day workshop designed to highlight best practices in youth engagement in rural communities. This workshop is for people who work with youth or who are looking to increase youth engagement in their community.

Topics include: 
    - Learning about teen development and how teens make decisions, 
    - How to create more opportunities for youth to have a voice in local decision making, 
    - Understanding the unique role adults play in supporting effective youth engagement.

Registration is closed for 2018. Check back soon for information about our next workshop.

Play Works or
c/o 1 Concorde Gate, Suite 302
Toronto, ON M3C 3N6
Phone: 416-426-7142
Fax: 416-426-7371