Age Friendly Thunder Bay is a community based stakeholder group advocating for seniors’ independence and quality of life in Thunder Bay. AFTB helps citizens age with dignity in a community recognized by the World Health Organization Global Network of Age Friendly Cities.
Thunder Bay and its district is aging. The number of seniors sixty-five and over living in Thunder Bay is increasing and the trend is expected to continue in the future. According to the 2016 Census nearly 20 percent of Thunder Bay’s population is 65 plus. This means that older people are a growing economic and social sector of our community. Providing an environment that promotes quality of life and independence for an aging population is thus an important obligation of the Thunder Bay City Council. Further, seniors consume goods and services and represent a market that will support economic growth and community development. For Thunder Bay to be sustainable in the future, we must act now to address the issues of age friendliness in our city.
Thunder Bay has many age friendly features that promote quality of life and independence for older people. These include an attitude of respect for seniors, access to pleasant places for walking, many volunteer opportunities, and a wide variety of cultural events and activities. However, seniors identified aspects of living in Thunder Bay that would benefit from improvement, such as, increasing safety in our neighbourhoods, more information about services for seniors, better access to health care and home care, more accessible bus stops, increased inclusion of seniors in municipal consultations and planning processes, increased housing options that are affordable with reasonable wait times, and more paid job opportunities.
In spring 2009, Thunder Bay citizens came together as a stakeholder committee to promote Thunder Bay as a good place to grow old. For the past several years, the committee has worked to: create a vision; communicate and educate; support research and information dissemination; establish priorities for action; provide advice to city and community partners and coordinate initiatives to optimize the use of resources.
Some priority improvements required to make Thunder Bay a more age friendly community are
- increased housing options,
- more access to health and community services,
- improved transportation, and
- increased safety
We are currently establishing community goals and an action plan to make Thunder Bay a more age friendly community. The Age Friendly Stakeholder Committee welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with seniors, business leaders, service providers and political leaders to achieve the World Health Organization’s vision of a community for all ages.
Thunder Bay aims to be a great age friendly city!
- We recognize the great diversity among seniors
- We promote the inclusion of seniors in all areas of community life
- We respect senior’s decisions and lifestyle choices
- We anticipate and respond flexibly to age related needs and preferences
- And because there are benefits to everyone including children!
Age Friendly Executive
Rebecca Johnson, City Councillor (President)
Randy Moore, Habitat for Humanity (Vice-Chairperson)
Marie Klassen, Lakehead Social Planning Council (Treasurer)
Anita Jean, Norwest Community Health Centres (Secretary)
Brian Spare, Community Member
Cliff Huber, Retired Teachers of Ontario
Elaine Weirsma, Lakehead University
George Saarinen, Lakehead Public School Board
Joan Duke, Community Member
Judi Marton, Thunder Bay District Health Unit