Play Works is committed to keeping decision makers, policy influencers and champions for youth informed about local and provincial strategies that have been successful in getting the concept of youth play onto the public and political agendas. This page is dedicated to sharing approaches and resources that Play Works has undertaken to inform and enhance adolescent play in Ontario.

Download the Play Works platform - outlined in a powerful brochure that "makes the case" for youth play and explains how Play Works plans to take action. The brochure is printer and copier friendly (on both colour and plain printers). Please feel free to reproduce and circulate this document as often as you wish.


Do you Have What it Takes to be an Adult Advisor? - Webinar

Adult advisors can play a crucial role in the health and development of youth. In this hour-long webinar participants to learned how best to work with and support youth, and heard from seasoned adult advisors and youth members of advisory groups, learning how to set expectations, provide guidance, build rapport, and nurture the youth voice. 

For more information, check out the worksheet put together by the youth, answering all your biggest questions.

Good Practices Webinars

In 2017, the first of our webinar series on the Good Practices of YFC's took place, made possible through a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Watch the webinar below if you are interested in learning about the unique ways communities are servicing 13-19 year olds. 

Good Practices Reports

There are a number of good practices that have been sourced from the documentation submitted by communities that have applied to be recognized as youth friendly. These good practices are a great resource for communities that want to develop, expand or enhance their work with youth.

Download the Good Practices Report (2016)

Download the Good Practices Report (2014)

Download the Good Practices Report (2012)

Download the Good Practices Report (2011) 

Download the Good Practices Report (2010)

Download the Good Practices Report (2008)

Download the Good Practices Report (2005)


Do It Yourself was a one-time project designed to find out if/how young people were able to successfully plan their own play programs if given a little seed money, a little adult support, and no red tape. With funding received from the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion and the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and with support from the Laidlaw Foundation, Play Works funded 22 groups of youth in Ontario . View a list of the selected groups. Please note, this funding was one-time only and is no longer available.

Play Works did an analysis of the groups that applied for this funding. In just over a five-week period over 440 groups and individuals applied of which more than 260 met all the application criteria. Play Works found that communities investing as little as $1,500 in new youth initiatives could see a great return on their investment. Download this report.

The youth and groups who participated in this project experienced incredible growth and learning. For more information on the specific benefits to youth and their communities that were derived from the Do It Yourself initiative, read what individual youth and local adults said about their projects. Download this report.


Are you from a rural or small community? You can be recognized as Youth Friendly too! If your community is interested in applying, Play Works has created a helpful resource that might answer a lot of your questions as to how to go about putting in an application. Small and rural communities, just like yours, helped create this resource so that other communities like them, and you, could be recognized. Download this booklet.

Watch the video below for tips and tricks on how rural and small communities can utilize information and lessons in order to achieve a Youth Friendly Status.


Play Works has authored a report: “The Cost of Excluding Ontario's Youth from Play: A Call to Action.”

This report captures significant research on the benefits of adolescent play in supporting positive youth development. Four policy recommendations are presented that include:

  • Adopting a provincial positive youth development strategy
  • Eliminating user fees for play services
  • Eliminating funding silos and maximize collaboration
  • Increase youth friendly play spaces

Download the Executive Summary and the Full Report.


In 2006-2007, a review was done of three communities to determine the kinds of youth play opportunities that existed in the areas of St. Catharines, Kingsville and Greater Sudbury, and the types of groups which offered those opportunities. Download a copy of that research report.