For Immediate Release
April 20, 2018

Abilities Centre Ottawa and Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities Announce Five-Year Partnership
--New Centre Planned to be Built at LeBreton Flats

OTTAWA –In its first step today to establish programming in a new community and recreation centre, the Abilities Centre Ottawa and Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities announced a long-term partnership in support of children and youth, regardless of ability, to engage in a life of sport and physical activity.
The Abilities Centre Ottawa, a major component of the proposed redevelopment of LeBreton Flats, is scheduled to be a 125,000-square foot fully integrated, fully accessible, inclusive, multi-purpose recreation and community facility for people of all ages and all abilities.
“This is a wonderful commitment from Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities towards children and youth living with, and without disabilities, here in Ottawa and the National Capital Region,” said Emily Glossop, Chair of the Board of the Abilities Centre Ottawa. “Through this partnership, the Abilities Centre Ottawa will be working to help children and youth of all abilities find a love of sport through physical activity.”

The initiative is part of an existing partnership between Abilities Centre Ottawa and Abilities Centre Durham. It follows a prior announcement in October when Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities announced a $1.7 million grant to Abilities Centre Durham in support of helping children and youth, regardless of ability, engage in a life of sport and physical activity. Of those funds, Abilities Centre Ottawa will be receiving $100,000.00 annually for five years.

The Abilities Centre Ottawa facility, modeled after the new Abilities Centre Durham in Whitby, ON will be the second one to be built in Canada. The programming is focused on four areas: recreation and sport; arts, drama, music and dance; life skills and activities of daily living; and research and innovation.
“When built in LeBreton Flats, the ACO aspires to be an internationally renowned and innovative charitable organization and community hub,” said Todd Nicholson, ACO Board member and Chef de Mission for the Canadian Paralympic Team in PyeongChang. “We envision a centre where people of all ages and abilities can enrich their lives by engaging together in social, health and cultural programs, delivering sports and recreation, health and fitness, arts and culture, and life skills programming.”

Given the critical lack of accessible recreational space and programming in Ottawa, the aging of our population, and the fact that one in seven residents in the National Capital Region will be living with a disability, the new ACO is expected to be a role model for communities across Canada, and the world.
The $100,000 Jumpstart funding will support community initiatives such as ‘ParaSport Education Days’ in local schools and collaborations like this week’s Spring Sport Summit, in partnership with the Ottawa Sport Council and Ausome Ottawa, which is focused on creating a culture of inclusion for people with disabilities. These programs and events will occur and grow between now and the time the new Abilities Centre Ottawa facility is built.

“We are deeply appreciative of this opportunity to collaborate with Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities,” added Ms. Glossop. “The Jumpstart Program is about giving kids of all abilities the same chance to participate in sports and recreation. No one should ever be left out.”

Media are invited to view activities/conduct interviews at ParaSport Education Day funded by the JumpStart program at:

Stonecrest Elementary School
3791 Stonecrest Rd.
Woodlawn, ON
Friday, April 20

Media Contact: Bob Glossop, 613.866.8854,

The ACO Facility

The centerpiece of Ottawa's Abilities Centre will be the Field House.