2022 Conference - Inspiring Inclusive Communities in Ontario: Moving age-friendly insights, innovations and strategies into action



If you are looking for our upcoming 2024 AFC Conference (Building Healthy Communities: Uniting Experience, Research, and Practice for Ontario’s Age-Friendly Future) please click here.



Date: March 22 – 24, 2022

Time: 8:30 am – 12:30 pm each day (Eastern time zone)

Cost: Free

Location: Online via Zoom and Slack

Registration: Registration is closed and the conference has concluded.

Target Audience: Age-Friendly Community Initiatives in Ontario, Planners, Implementers, Researchers, Academics and Policy Makers.

Content: The age-friendly movement has been gaining momentum in Ontario for over a decade. This is an opportune time to bring together the perspectives of age-friendly community implementers, policy-makers, planners and researchers to reflect upon the lessons learned and respond to emerging challenges. As we move into the next decade, we’re challenged to consider: How do we broaden our work to be more inclusive? Who has been left out of the conversation? What partnerships are needed? What does the future look like for an age-friendly Ontario?

This virtual conference explored these questions, highlighted strategies to strengthen local planning, implementation and sustainability and showcased innovative age-friendly strategies.

This three-day event was split into themed morning sessions:

  1. Inclusive communities
  2. Community planning
  3. Innovation in action

Contact info@sagelink.ca for more information.

Conference Day 1: Recordings and Resources

Session 1: Welcome and Keynote

After a welcome from the conference hosts and Hon. Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility, a short video was shown of older adults sharing how they like to spend their time. Then, the keynote speaker discussed age-friendly communities as an approach to healthy aging, and its alignment with current global initiatives.

Speakers: Dr. Jane Barratt, International Federation on Ageing

Webinar Recording 

  1. Creating a more inclusive Ontario: age-friendly community planning guide for municipalities and community organizations (Ontario Provincial Govenrment)
  2. World report on ageing and health (World Health Organization)

Session 2: Diverse Populations

Speakers explored topics of equity, diversity and inclusion, as well as Francophone, 2SLGBTQI+, and BIPOC older adults, in the context of age-friendly communities.

Speakers: Dr. Tamara Daly, Michel Tremblay, Dr. Arne Stinchcombe and Randa Higazy

Webinar Recording 

PDF Slides: 
  1. Addressing Age Equity – Dr. Tamara Daly
  2. Aging in community: A focus on older LGBTQ2S+ Canadians – Arne Stinchcombe
  3. Building Inclusive Age-Friendly Communities: Challenges and Opportunities in Mental Health Programs for Racial and Ethnocultural Older Adults in Canadian Cities – Randa Higazy
  4. Fédération Des Aînés Et Des Retraités Francophones De L’Ontario (FAFO) – Michel Tremblay
  1. The Diverse Experiences in Aging Research (DEAR) Collaborative
  2. Funding opportunities (Sagelink)
  3. Support for Interpretation and Translation — Promotion of Linguistic Duality (Government of Canada)


  1. Plouffe, L. A., & Kalache, A. (2011). Making communities age friendly: state and municipal initiatives in Canada and other countries. Gaceta Sanitaria, 25, 131–137. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gaceta.2011.11.001
  2. World Health Organization. (n.d.). The who age-friendly cities framework – age-friendly world. World Health Organization. Retrieved October 13, 2021, from https://extranet.who.int/agefriendlyworld/age-friendly-cities-framework/
  3. Southeastern Minnesota Area Agency on Aging (SMAAA) (n.d.) [Age-friendly Communities]. SMAAA.  https://semaaa.org/funding-community/age-friendly-communities/
  4. Menec, V. H., Means, R., Keating, N., Parkhurst, G., & Eales, J. (2011). Conceptualizing age-friendly  communities. Canadian Journal on Aging, 30(3), 479-93. Doi: http://dx.doi.org.subzero.lib.uoguelph.ca/10.1017/S0714980811000237
  5. Stinchcombe, A. & Wilson, K. (2021). Aging in the LGBTQ2+ Community.  Rootman, I., Edwards., P., Grunberg, F., & Levasseur, M (Eds). Health Promotion and Older Adults in Canada. Canadian Scholars: Toronto.
  6. QMUNITY. (2015). Aging Out: Moving towards queer and trans* competent care for seniors. https://qmunity.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/AgingOut.pdf
  7. Herman, L., Walker, R., & Rosenberg, M. W. (2021). An age-friendly city?: LGBTQ and frail older adults. In M. Hartt, S. Biglieri, M. W. Rosenberg, & S. E. Nelson (Eds.), Aging People, Aging Places: Experiences, Opportunities, and Challenges of Growing Older in Canada (1st ed., pp. 89–108). Bristol University Press. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv1h0p58s

Session 3: How can older adults be included in the conversation?

Panelists discussed their perspectives on the question ‘How can older
adults be included in the conversation?’.

Speakers: Mirella Palermo, Dr. John Puxty, Dr. Caroline Bergeron and Laura Tamblyn Watts

Moderator: Trèva Cousineau

Webinar Recording 


  1. Global report on ageism (World Health Organization)
  2. Engagement of older adults in regional health innovation: The ECOTECH concept mapping project (SAGE Open Medicine)
  3. Policy book: A Roadmap to an Age-Inclusive Canada (CanAge)
  4. How and Why Modern Employers Should Embrace Longevity (AARP International)
  5. CanAge Free Membership

Conference Day 2: Recordings and Resources

Session 4: International Strategies, AFC Planning & Evaluation Framework, and Citizen Science

A short video was shown of older adults sharing their perspective on the key ingredients to aging well. Presentations on Age-Friendly Ireland’s national strategy, Ontario’s planning and evaluation framework, and a citizen science initiative in Australia, followed.

Speakers: Louise Edmonds, Mairead Cranley, Sarah Webster and Dr. Helen Barrie


PDF Slides:
  1. National Age Friendly Ireland Programme: A Shared Service Function of Local Government – Louise Edmonds and Mairead Cranley
  2. Creating a More Inclusive Ontario: Age-Friendly Community Planning Guide for Municipalities and Community Organizations – Sarah Webster
  3. Using Citizen Science to Improve Age Friendly Worlds – Dr. Helen Barrie
  1. Age-Friendly Ireland international webinar series video recordings
  2. Age Friendly Cities Audit Tool
  3. Age-Friendly Ontario
  4. Ontario Age-Friendly Communities Planning Guide
  5. Diverse Populations Addendum
  6. Age-Friendly Community Planning Toolkit
  7. Citizen Science Portal (Government of Canada)
  8. For any age-friendly questions in Ontario, please contact the Knowledge Broker, Lisa Brancaccio, by phone 1-844-276-5756 or email 

Session 5: Partnerships & Strategic Alignment

Panelists explored  how partnerships and strategic alignment can mobilize and strengthen age-friendly community initiatives.

Speakers: Andrea Austen, Bonnie Schroeder, Rebecca Johnson and Lucy Marco

Moderator: Dr. Linda Garcia


  1. The Council on Aging of Ottawa
  2. City of Ottawa Older Adult Plan 2020-2022

Session 6, 7 & 8: Concurrent Sessions

These interactive breakout session enabled conference attendees from age-friendly community initiatives in rural, remote, and small town settings; mid-sized and large cities, as well as age-friendly aligned organizations to discuss opportunities and challenges unique to them.

Facilitators: Amber Colibaba, Michelle Dellamore, and Dominic Ventresca

  1. Rural Aging Research Program (Trent University)
  2. The secret to living longer may be your social life (TED Talk)
  3. What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness (TED Talk)
  4. Third Age Network Learning Groups
  5. Village to Village Network
  6. Ottawa Community Partnership for Health Equity
  7. GrandPals
  8. June 1st Webinar: Age Interrupted; How to Become Anti-Ageist (Catholic Family Services of Simcoe County)

Conference Day 3: Recordings and Resources

Session 9: Built Environment and Personal Health and Well-Being Showcase

A short video of older adults discussing how their communities can help them remain healthy was shown. Then, age-friendly strategies that target the built environment (i.e. housing, transportation and outdoor spaces), and personal health and wellbeing (i.e. communication & information, and community support & health services) were showcased.

Speakers: Dr. Catherine Donnelly, Jackie Tanner, Jana Ray, Amy Weiler, Tracy Gibbs and Jayne Culbert


PDF Slides:
  1. Building age friendly NORCs to support health and well being – Dr. Catherine Donnelly
  2. Canada HomeShare: Intergenerational social work facilitated homesharing – Jackie Tanner
  3. F.A.S.T. Track Canada: A national snapshot of age-friendly transportation – Jana Ray
  4. Adopt-a-Driveway – Amy Weiler
  5. Evaluation and communication in age-friendly Hamilton: A suite of practical approaches and tools in the implementation of the plan – Tracy Gibbs
  6. Be Prepared Project: Organize for the future you want for yourself – Jayne Culbert
  1. Canada HomeShare website
  2. ‘Like we’re roommates’: How a 79-year-old found company and a little extra help by letting a student move in (CBC News)
  3. Introduction to the Agile Retrospective: the Why, the What, and the How (Neatro)
  4. Hamilton’s 2021-2026 Age-Friendly Community Plan (Hamilton Council on Aging)
  5. Age-Friendly in Practice – Age-Friendly World (World Health Organization)
  6. “Snow angels” happy to keep sidewalks clear for seniors (The Sarnia Journal)
  7. Lambton Elderly Outreach website
  8. LifeBook: An easy and safe way to record the practical details of your life (Age UK)
  9. Age-Friendly Peterborough website (workbook live soon)
  10. CanAge website

Session 10: Social Environment Showcase and Closing Panel

This session showcased age-friendly strategies that target the social environment (i.e. including respect & inclusion and social participation). The conference then closed with a panel on ‘Looking Ahead: What’s next for Ontario’s AFC movement?’

Showcase Presenters: Jenna Wickens, Heather Thompson, Sheila Schuehlein and Darrel O’Shaughnessy

Recording of Showcases: 

Video available here

PDF Slides:

  1. GrandPals – Jenna Wickens
  2. Putting food on the table: Addressing food security among isolated older adults during COVID-19 – Heather Thompson
  3. Getting to know Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario: Informed collaboartive approaches to serving our communities – Sheila Schuehlein
  4. Men’s Sheds helping to build Ontario age-friendly communities – Darrel O’Shaughnessy
  1. Putting Food on The Table Project Toolkit (Source: Sheridan’s Institutional Repository)
  2. Seniors Safety Line: 1-866-299-1011
  3. Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario: TwitterFacebook and Instagram

Panelists: Dr. Raza Mirza, Wendy Carew, Jayne Culbert and Heather Thompson

Moderator: Sarah Webster

Recording of Closing Panel: 

Video available here


More Information

Background: Check out the Ontario Age-Friendly Communities Outreach Program website for more background on AFCIs in Ontario.

Hosted by: This conference was hosted by the Age-Friendly Communities Outreach Program, with funding from the Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility (MSAA).

Conference Proceedings Report

As a follow-up to the Conference, we have compiled a summary of the Conference proceedings to:

  1. Inform and support aging in place.
  2. Increase awareness of current age-friendly initiatives, policies, and practices within Ontario.
  3. Provide key recommendations to propel the age-friendly movement forward.

Conference Proceedings Report – July 2022