Raphael, 13, has been coming to the Youth Zone every day for a year now. It’s where he met Viral, also known as “OJ”, 21, a former Youth Zone participant and current volunteer.

At the YMCA, we believe in the potential of young people, we support their development and we help them thrive. When children, teens and young adults come to the YMCA, they find opportunities to be active, learn and connect with others.

Experience has shown us that providing young people with a welcoming and inclusive environment and adult role models helps prevent isolation, physical inactivity, dropping out of school, as well as risky behaviours such as bullying, delinquency and substance abuse.

Our Youth Zones and school retention and leadership programs provide alternatives to the street and complement the support received at school and at home. Funded by your generous donations, these important initiatives help ensure a better future for our youth.

When you help kids like Raphael and OJ become better people, the entire community benefits.

Our impact


children attended our outdoor education classes, day camps and Camp YMCA Kanawana.


youths stayed in school thanks to our YMCA Alternative Suspension and Homework Help programs.


teens visited our Youth Zones.


children and parents benefited from our family support programs and our childcare services.


in financial assistance was granted by the YMCA, which allowed 530 children to attend camp.