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Supporting healthy, resilient communities

Presented by Diane English
in Parks and Recreation

A new Canadian parks, recreation, and sport infrastructure database

Sponsored by Canadian Parks and Recreation Association

Canadian municipalities spend billions on parks, recreation, and sport infrastructure each year. But, it’s an ongoing challenge to increase physical activity levels, especially when managing changing demands and ageing facilities. Municipalities must make the most of their capital budgets. They need the right data at their fingertips to make the best investments to support healthy, resilient communities.

That’s why the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA) has partnered with data intelligence provider ActiveXchange. Together, they launched Canada’s first open database for parks, recreation, and sport infrastructure. This new database will provide current, high-calibre information for thousands of recreation and sport facilities and parks. It will give stakeholders access to infrastructure and demographic information that will facilitate effective and efficient planning and collaboration. The information in the database is crucial to understanding the supply-and-demand picture across any community. This is a vital part of planning sustainable facilities that meet local needs.

The Mayor by George B. Cuff

Data Provides for Healthier Communities

In one platform, data on providing facilities for healthier communities can be collected and analysed. The technology behind the system is based on ActiveXchange’s existing online platform. Sports and facility operator organizations can access business and shared market insight. It already contains thousands of records from trusted sources like Statistics Canada. And any municipality can create a free account that will allow them to:

  • review existing facility records;
  • add new parks and facilities; and
  • benchmark facilities across a community, region, or the entire country.

Information on park and facility location and amenities is only one part of the picture. The database includes essential demographic information. It also includes enhanced modules that can provide mobility data (as an indicator of usage) through to fair provision analyses. It’s a best practice planning toolkit for parks and recreation planners, funders, and delivery partners.

All basic facility information is accessible to any municipality or industry organization. This means increased efficiency for decision makers. And time-consuming data collection and analysis tasks in master planning or feasibilities studies can be streamlined by using the tools in the database.

The database is undergoing final development and testing throughout the first half of 2022. To learn more, visit

Municipal World Insider and Executive Members: You might also be interested in Cynthia Graham’s article: How COVID-19 made parks essential to healthy cities.

Diane English is Principal at Diane English Consulting and Bench Facilitator for the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association, a national organization dedicated to realizing the full potential of parks and recreation as a major contributor to community health and vibrancy.

The Mayor by George B. Cuff

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