Mayoral Candidate will Create More Opportunities for Older Adults to Participate with and be seen as Assets in their Communities.
Seniors in the City Plan
Toronto – Today, mayoral candidate Gil Penalosa launched his Seniors in the City plan, a series of initiatives to better engage with seniors across Toronto. What if everything we did in our city – crosswalks, libraries, parks, streets, shops – was designed to work equally for an 8-year-old and an 80-year-old? It would be a city that works for everyone, whatever their age.
Penalosa’s initiatives will build a Toronto for Everyone and in doing so help seniors be more financially secure, more active in their neighbourhoods and safer throughout the city.
“We have added years to our lives, now we must add life to those years,” said Penalosa. “We must stop building our city as if everyone was 30 years old and athletic. We need a Toronto for everyone.”
Ageing is not a problem to solve or a disease to cure. With average life expectancy in Toronto now over 80, Gil’s plan provides more opportunities for seniors to access the city and participate in new activities and volunteering programs.
Gil Penalosa’s Seniors in the City plan includes:
- Allowing empty nesters to subdivide their homes to support aging-in-place and subsidize retirement.
- $1 TTC fares for older adults on fixed incomes.
- Senior-focused programs in libraries, community centres and parks to improve physical and mental health.
- Opening schools during evening and weekends for arts, fitness, cooking and continuing education classes.
- Creating Guardians of Nature, a program to better connect people over 60 with nature and the City via weekly visits to parks, ravines and hydro corridors to promote use of green spaces and keep the City accountable for maintenance.
- Expanding the Toronto Public Library’s Senior’s digital literacy program to combat isolation.
- Redesigning intersections, crosswalks and traffic lights to support older adults with disabilities.
- Establishing a maximum temperature in buildings to protect older adults who are the most susceptible population to the effects of extreme heat.
Gil Penalosa founded the non-profit organization 8 80 Cities, which works with communities to develop safe streets, parks and other public spaces, and sustainable mobility. With 8 and 80 year olds as the target users, these initiatives become ideal for all ages. He has also worked across Canada and around the world with mayors, governors and communities, helping them become age-friendly communities based on the criteria of the World Health Organization.