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Niagara Falls
Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Sendzik talks St. Catharines age-friendly award

The city of St. Catharines received Ontario's Age-Friendly Community Recognition Award on March 26, in recognition of its age-friendly community action plan, “A City for All Ages.”

Only 88 of more than 400 Ontario municipalities created a plan to integrate an age-friendly community.

St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik said the plan “provides strategic direction for staff” with regards to programs and services for the older adult population.

He said affordable housing for all ages and incomes is a top priority in St. Catharines, as the city deals with “critical housing issues.”

Some city initiatives to tackle housing include the construction of Seasons Retirement Community on Ontario St., which will provide more living options for seniors and retirees.

“Now we are implementing the plan and focusing on these priorities to be the most age-friendly community we can be – for all ages,” said Sendzik.

According to the city, more than 50 per cent of St. Catharines residents will be over the age of 50 by 2031.

The city is also working together with Niagara Region, Niagara Falls and Welland to offer an inter-regional transit service for all Niagara residents to have better access to health care and services.

“We want to ensure that transit is focused on the customer, so that it’s an easy and convenient option to use transit,” said Sendzik.

“We know that transportation is about more than cars and streets … It's about providing alternative and sustainable ways to connect residents to the places they need to go, both within the city and beyond our borders.”

Sendzik said community engagement and municipal support was a large factor that led to the award, particularly through the Mayor's annual older adult forum.

“The older adult forum has been successful in engaging the community so that adults’ voices can be heard directly by myself and members of council.”

He said the feedback from the forum helps improve city services and transit schedules.

“The city of St. Catharines prides itself on being a compassionate city where all residents and visitors are treated with dignity and respect – including older adults.”

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