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YMCAs across Southwestern Ontario Collaborations

YMCA collaborations promote a shared commitment to wellness and build healthy communities by providing access to innovative programs based on the needs of people in the communities they serve. 

The YMCA has created an effective and sustainable business model that provides wellness programming that address challenges facing small communities. Research indicates that pervasive health challenges such as cardiovascular wellness, and childhood obesity will continue to rise if left unchecked. The YMCA’s ability to collaborate and partner with municipalities and other like-minded community organizations in the creation of innovative health and wellness models that respond to changing community needs, positions the YMCA as a leading health and wellness innovator.

Benefits to the Community & Members
Current YMCA Collaborations in Health, Fitness and Aquatics
Current YMCA Collaboration Projects
A YMCA Collaborative Management Model
Benefits of Collaboration with the YMCA
Benefits to the Community
For over 14 years, the YMCA has been successfully collaborating with municipal government to provide an innovative, affordable and accessible response to delivering health and wellness in rural areas, strengthening community health.

The YMCA provides expertise in the delivery of program and services that focus on outcomes that build healthy communities.  In partnership with municipalities across the Southwestern Ontario region, the YMCA has created effective and sustainable business models despite challenges facing these areas, such as population decline, strained economic environments and social demographics that illustrate significant health challenges that research suggests will continue to prevail in the future.

The YMCA’s proven ability to collaborate and partner to create innovative models that evolve with the changing needs of YMCA partners, has positioned the YMCA as a leader locally and provincially. Studies indicate that a YMCA branded facility helps draw businesses and families to the community, supports economic growth and serves as a community anchor.  As a charity, the YMCA provides financial subsidy  to that everyone can benefit from a YMCA experience.

Communities that collaborate with the YMCA can count on the YMCA as a sustainable health & wellness provider; one who employs local staff and volunteers, and one that empowers people to contribute to the health of their community.


Benefits to Members

The YMCA’s membership model is all inclusive, offering group fitness, aquatics, personalized programming, monthly wellness program reviews, family activities, priority registration, swim lessons, youth program discounts and camps all within one membership fee.



Current YMCA Collaborations in Health, Fitness and Aquatics 

Collaborative YMCA sites are municipally owned facilities that include YMCA wellness spaces and house a community membership model. Often designed with YMCA input, these centres are operated under contract terms of 3-5 years and are renewable under mutually agreed upon terms.

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Goderich- Huron YMCA (Goderich)
In collaboration with the Town of Goderich, the YMCA operates and manages a full service branch offering health, fitness and aquatics, community recreation, including Memorial Arena and auditorium, Sifto Arena, Agricultural Park, GDCI baseball diamonds, Rotary Soccer Fields., and the Rotary beachfront.

Central Huron YMCA (Clinton)
In partnership with the municipality of Central Huron, this YMCA satellite centre offers health, fitness and recreation for all ages including a wellness centre, and youth energy zone.

Lambton Shores YMCA (Forest)
In partnership with the Municipality of Lambton Shores, this YMCA satellite centre offers health, fitness and recreation for all ages, pre-school and youth programs and YMCA day camps.

North Middlesex YMCA (Parkhill)
In collaboration with the Municipality of North Middlesex, this YMCA satellite centre offers health, fitness and recreation for all ages, pre-school and youth programs, and YMCA day camps, and wellness programs available offsite in the village of Ailsa Craig.

Petrolia YMCA
In collaboration with The Town of Petrolia, the YMCA operates and manages a full service branch offering health, fitness and aquatics and community recreation.


Current YMCA Collaboration Projects

Municipality of South Huron

The YMCA has been engaged to provide Community Development and Pre-Architectural Development Services in support of a Council appointed Community Hub/Recreation Centre Project Advisory Committee.  The YMCA is aiding the committee in assessing community need and support for enhanced health and recreation programs, services, and facilities.  The 12-month engagement of the YMCA began in March 2018.

As part of its contracted Community Development Services, the YMCA conducted a series of Community Focus Group sessions throughout South Huron. The results determined a community need for health, fitness, and recreation programs, with participation interest in programming and facilities and willingness to support a capital fundraising campaign for enhanced recreation facilities.

Warwick Township

The YMCA completed its contracted scope of work, to deliver Community Development and Pre-Architectural Services, in July of 2018.  The YMCA assessed options for the replacement of Centennial Hall through a potential renovation and expansion of the community arena and completed a review of community support for enhanced health and recreation programs, services, and facilities.   The YMCA has since presented the Township with a potential participation model and recommended facility space program and construction estimate.  The incoming Township Council will consider next steps.

Walpole Island First Nation

The YMCA and Walpole Island First Nation have been exploring the development of new recreational facilities and have completed a market study of both Walpole Island and surrounding communities’ residents to determine need and support for enhanced health and recreation programs, services, and facilities.  Walpole Island Council will soon be considering next steps in this potential collaboration with the YMCA.

A YMCA Collaborative Management Model
Item Definition YMCA Management Model Expectation 
A1. Municipal Support The agreement references a relationship
between the municipality and the YMCAs
across Southwestern Ontario
1. The management agreement is signed between the
Municipality and the YMCA for a 3-5 year term
2. The Municipality acts as a guarantor of the agreement
3. The Municipality agrees to a contract payment
schedule that does not encumber the YMCAs cash flow
4. The Municipality agrees in principle to funding a
contribution to recreation
A2. Collaborator Organization In the absence of a municipal agreement
or where municipal support is yet to be
developed, the community partner agrees to
share the development costs and associated
risks with the YMCA until a municipal support
agreement can be secured
1. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is signed
between the Partner(s) and the YMCA
B. Fundraising Campaign Community fundraising achieves pledges of
support from the community that are able
to sustain the project
1. Fundraising capital targets are met, or plans are in
place to meet targets
2. Plans for pledges and fundraising that are capable of
sustaining the operational needs of the facility for the
initial term of the agreement are in evidence
C. Committed Volunteers The project is volunteer led and guided in
the long-term by community volunteers
1. A group of community volunteers exist to aid in
steering the project to launch
2. Community volunteers agree to act as a local advisory
group to the YMCA in the long term
D. Financial Readiness Municipal and/or local support is committed
to managing annual operational plans and
1. Annual planned operating deficits are funded by the
municipal partner (as they exist), as a Contribution to
2. Facility Capital renewal is the responsibility of the
municipal partner
3. Plans exist for mitigating membership migration from
existing YMCA markets should they exist
E. Community Impact A market feasibility study exists for business
planning purposes
1. A standard market assessment that defines price point
and budget pro forma to the satisfaction of the YMCA
is in evidence
2. The projects human impacts (social, cultural, health
based) are tangible and support the mission of the





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