Age-Friendly Community Strategy

Age-Friendly Community Strategy

Making communities age-friendly is one of the best ways to help seniors remain healthy, active and independent for as long as possible. Age-friendly communities encourage healthy aging by improving and preserving health; physical, social and mental wellness; independence and quality of life.

The City of Greater Sudbury, through the Seniors Advisory Panel and community partners, has worked to obtain recognition as an Age-Friendly Community and is continuing to develop an Age Friendly Community Work Plan.

Age-Friendly Communities:

  • recognize that older adults have a wide range of skills/abilities,
  • understand and meet age-related needs of older adults,
  • respect decisions and lifestyle choices of older adults,
  • protect those who are vulnerable, and
  • recognize contributions of older adults and include them in all areas of community life.

In an age-friendly community, the policies, services, and physical and social environments are designed to help older adults live safely, enjoy good health and stay involved in their community. This is accomplished through:

  • accessible outdoor spaces, public buildings, roads, walkways and public transportation;
  • housing options;
  • health and support services; and
  • opportunities to be socially active, volunteer and participate in the community.

Learn more about the World Health Organization’s eight pillars of age-friendliness.

What have we done so far?


  • An Age-Friendly Community (AFC) Planning Guide was developed by the Ontario Ministry of Seniors’ Affairs (OMSA), the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario, the University of Waterloo, McMaster University and an advisory group including local representatives from government, professional associations and older adults. It provides tips and tools for communities to develop age-friendly action plans.


  • The University of Waterloo, Queen’s University and Laurentian University, in partnership with OMSA, received grant money to: raise awareness of and disseminate the AFC Planning Guide; support the integration of the guide into planning initiatives, and develop community/university partnerships across Ontario to support community based age-friendly initiatives.  The City of Greater Sudbury was chosen as a pilot community to link with researchers and students to provide direct support with the implementation of local age-friendly initiatives.




  • On January 24, 2018, the Committee invited community partners, businesses, Community Action Networks (CANs) and older adults to participate in an Age-Friendly Community Planning Session. Over 60 participants provided suggestions on how the City and community partners could further the Age-Friendly Community Action Plan.

  • On March 26, 2018, the City of Greater Sudbury was recognized by The Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario and The Honourable Dipika Dameria, Minister of Senior Affairs with a Category 1 Age-Friendly Community Recognition Award. The inaugural award recognized the City’s leadership in creating a community that enables seniors to live independent, active and healthy lives.

  • In May 2018, the Seniors Advisory Panel presented short and long term age-friendly considerations to the City’s Business Leadership Group. Leaders were encouraged to bring information back to their teams for review and consideration.

  • On June 20, 2018, a community consultation session was held that included two visioning sessions for an Age Friendly Strategy. Participants provided ideas on how Greater Sudbury could become a welcoming city for all ages.

  • The Seniors Advisory Panel responded to the Association of Municipalities Ontario (AMO) report, “Strengthening Age-Friendly Communities and Seniors’ Services for 21st Century Ontario” by addressing issues that impact seniors in Greater Sudbury.


  • Held a Seniors Summit, with over 550 local older adults in participation to advise the City and community on what should be older adult priorities.
  • Brought forward recommendations from the Summit to over 60 local agencies that provide support and services to older adults to advise them on the suggested recommendations. 


Greater Sudbury Age-Friendly Community Strategy Update (PDF, 5,315 KB)


  • The Seniors Advisory Panel received 3 different grants:

1. Inclusive Community Grant: Installed park benches/ rest stops across the city.

2. New Horizons Fund: Created a Community Response to COVID-19 Older Adults Resource Guide.

3. New Horizons Fund: Purchased smart televisions and iPads for all long-term care facilities within Greater Sudbury.

  • The Panel met virtually with local community agencies to assist with determining the needs of older adults within the City of Greater Sudbury during the COVID-19 pandemic. Agencies were connected to older adults for food, pharmacy, medical and other needs.
  • The Keeping Seniors Warm initiative clothed 87 older adults for the winter season. 
  • The Greater Sudbury Age Friendly work continued and Public Health Sudbury and Districts assisted the Panel in creating an update to the 2020 Age Friendly Report.


Age Friendly Update

  • Three members from the Advisory Panel received the Queen's Jubilee award for outstanding volunteerism.
  • The Keeping Seniors Warm initiative clothed 92 older adults for the winter season.


  • The Seniors Advisory Panel was newly named the Older Adult Advisory Panel at the suggestion of academic and older adults recommendations to address ageism. 
  • Held an Older Adult Summit, Weaving Community Fabric Together for Older Adults, which attracted over 60 agencies that shared what services and programs their organization provide to older adults and caregivers of older adults. Approximately 300 people participated in the event.
  • The United Way paired up with the Older Adult Advisory Panel to take the lead on the Keeping Seniors Warm initiative. This years, the initiative supported 77 older adults for the winter season.

Age-Friendly Awards and Recognition

  • The City of Greater Sudbury was the recipient of the 2018 Ontario Age-Friendly Community Recognition Award, which celebrates the work of Ontario communities that are striving to become age friendly.

  • In September 2018, Greater Sudbury became a member of the WHO Global Network for Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. Through this membership, the City will be part of a growing global movement of communities, cities and other sub-national levels of government that are striving to better meet the needs of older residents.

Next Steps

  • Continue to leverage Council’s leadership, support and stewardship to maintain Age-Friendly recognition.

  • Review the newly updated World Health Organization’s Age-Friendly Checklist to identify areas of opportunity for possible implementation.

  • Ensure that the Older Adult Advisory Panel to continues to deliver presentations to partners, businesses and Community Action Networks to raise awareness on age friendliness, while continuing work on the local priorities suggestions.

Age-Friendly Steering Committee Membership

  • Councillor Natalie Labbee, City of Greater Sudbury
  • Barbara Nott (Chair, Older Adult Advisory Panel)
  • Micheline Lalonde (Age Friendly Working Group Co-Chair, FARFO)
  • Lyse Lamothe (Age Friendly Working Group Co-Chair, Centre de santé communautaire du Grand Sudbury)
  • Laryssa Vares, Public Health Sudbury & Districts
  • Mary Michasiw, Rockview Towers
  • Mary Lou Hussak, United Way
  • Sherri Moroso, City Liaison, City of Greater Sudbury


For more information please contact Sherri Moroso at or 705-674-4455, extension 2449.