• Geneva Park Outdoor Education Program feat. Eastwood Collegiate

    This spring a group of students and their teachers came to YMCA Geneva Park to experience the Outdoor Education program. This group, from Eastwood Collegiate in the Kitchener/Waterloo area, is made up of students from all over the world, who immigrated to Canada in recent years, and some in recent months. During their time at Geneva Park, they were able to explore the ideas of working together, inclusiveness, communication skills and focusing on what they have instead of what they [...]

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  • Jen B.

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  • Jody P.

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  • My Y is…

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  • Glenn

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  • Jesse R.

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  • The 5 Values in Action

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  • Barb C.

    Barb C.

    I have been a member of the Y.M.C.A. for over 13 years. I have been volunteering for 10 years. I instruct aqua, spin cycle, step and muscle/cardio. As a senior and a retired person, I get to meet many members of the Y. As a retired employee Of the National Bank, I have been able to recruit over $2500.00 in  donations from their “Our Hearts are with You ” program over the last 3 years. The money goes to good [...]

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  • Laura S.

    Laura S.

    My Y story starts in Neenah Wisconsin in the YMCA preschool program.  I then moved to St. Catharines where I enjoyed gymanstics, Gym/Swim & Crafts every Saturday morning, swimming lessons galore (in the lovely dark basement pool!!) and the BEST OF ALL summer Camp.  Camp Wa-Sa-Ah-Bun was my home as a camper, CIT, counsellor and as the assistant director where I met my future husband.  We were just a boy and a girl in a little canoe who fell in [...]

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  • Doug C.

    Doug C.

    There are a host of stories and testimonials from members describing how the Y has helped them physically, socially or financially.  Instead I want to recognize those volunteers who have helped the Y. They fall into 2 categories – donors of money and donors of time and talent.  As chair of the recent Capital Campaign for the expansion and renovation of the Orillia YMCA, my eyes were opened by the generosity of individuals, service clubs and businesses in the community.  [...]

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Recent Stories

  • Madison’s Story

    Madison’s Story

    Madison is an example of a member reaching their full potential, finding their place in the world through our YMCA programs.  Her story is not just a story, but a poetic take on her journey and how it came to be, and where it stands to this day. Madison got started with us through the Barrie Alternative School and our Leadership Program, then became a volunteer in our fitness department, and is now a valued member of our staff team [...]

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  • Richard M – Member and Donor

    Richard M – Member and Donor

    This video will make you smile.  Richard, a YMCA member and donor, is one of those people you want at your dinner party.  His interesting life (was a past professional wrestler!) and his passion for “paying it forward” is balanced with a very humble attitude and appreciation for all he’s been given.

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  • Sandy – Member, Collingwood Y

    Sandy – Member, Collingwood Y

    Pictured here with our General Manager – Nilusha Premasinghe, is Collingwood YMCA member, Sandy. Sandy has been involved with the Collingwood YMCA for 23 years! You can typically find her enjoying a Gravity class, relaxing in Yoga, or challenging herself in Group Power. Sandy loves the family-oriented atmosphere at the Y, the wide variety of programs and classes, and most of all, the fact that everyone is included! In her words, the YMCA facility is beautiful, the staff and volunteers [...]

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  • Mike Stollery – Member

    Mike Stollery – Member

    Inspired by the YMCA: Mike Stollery Written by: Esther Griffin, Georgian College Mike Stollery joined the YMCA, located in St. Thomas, Ontario, when he was in his early 20s. As a runner, and fairly new to the city, he was drawn to the YMCA because it had the best exercise facilities in the area. It was the early 1980s, and the “old Y,” as Mike calls it, was located in a brick building that looked like it had been there [...]

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  • Colleen Derocher – Member

    Colleen Derocher – Member

    Twenty Smiles in a Boat Written by: Ciara Spurling, Georgian College Student Colleen Derocher’s slim fist drops into the lake water, the clear liquid creases into the groove of her hand, and sprawls aggressively from the centre of her clutched fingers. The water splashes up to sprinkle her forearm, causing a thrilling sensation against her warm skin. It’s a refreshing feeling, one that reoccurs every time she thrusts her black paddle into the depths of the bay. The summer sun [...]

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  • George Todd – Member

    George Todd – Member

    Strong Written by: Christina MacBean, Georgian College Student May 12, 1997 was the beginning of a brand new era for George Todd. With a new city, new home, new job, a lot was at stake on that cold day in May. As with most things, George embraced his future with gusto. He was looking forward to his new role as the General Manager of the Barrie PUC. Keenly aware of the implications of such a big change in his life [...]

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  • Paula Hayden – Member & Volunteer

    Paula Hayden – Member & Volunteer

    Paula’s Home Away From Home Written by: Ashley Jewell Paula Hayden was born in Goose bay, Labrador, and spent her teen years growing up in Newfoundland. Paula had always been a giving person and had volunteered at multiple non-profit organizations. For five years she worked at a local Christian church as a children’s pastor. Around thanksgiving in late 2010, Paula wanted to experience some new things and possible job opportunities, so she packed her bags and moved to Barrie, Ontario. [...]

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  • Doug Long – Member

    Doug Long – Member

      A Long 50 Years Written by: Adam Fulford, Georgian College Student It’s 1961. Barrie Doug Long and some other boys from the high school could be found at the local YMCA on a typical afternoon or weekend. This branch of the YMCA, at the time located in downtown Barrie on Owen Street, was just a two story house with an outdoor pool. All the exercise equipment was scattered on both floors, with the weights originally being on the second floor, [...]

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  • Audrey S – Member, Gravenhurst Y

    Audrey S – Member, Gravenhurst Y

      I love My Y. For about two years we looked after our two small granddaughters and their favourite place to go was to the pool. Every Thursday, on the day we looked after them, we brought them to the pool and gradually they taught themselves how to swim, which amazed their mom and dad. Now, they are both in school but the staff were so kind and they still ask how the girls are doing. My husband and I still visit [...]

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