(WTNH) — Organizations across Canada were forced to make sweeping cuts to their summer day programs over the past five years after the H1N1 pandemic.
But by last year, budgets to assist the youth in accessing affordable programs in Canada’s largest city had been exhausted.
This summer, the City of Toronto partnered with several organizations to get back into the business of providing summer programming to young people.
“The sooner we are able to get back to engaging with young people, and getting them out of school and into the community, the better it is for them, their safety, their well-being and certainly for those around them,” says Community Services Chair Ana Bailao.
For the City of Toronto, and the organizations, it will take time to create a plan to improve attendance in the event of an influenza outbreak.
Mayor John Tory says the first priority is to get back to old-fashioned family traditions, even if that means doing it with activities that are out of the box.
“If we had a little extra time we might play tag, swing, get on a trampoline, go sledding, go outside to play outside,” says Tory.
“Bring back what we know that kids love so much and the essence of what they need,” says Bailao.
For an extended interview with Councilor Bailao, be sure to watch CT Investigates this weekend on News 8 at 11 p.m. and streaming live on Facebook.