Are you or your children wanting to join a recreation program but can't afford the fees? There are options for financial assistance that can help.

 PRO Kids
 Positive Recreational Opportunities for Kids (PRO Kids) helps cover the costs of programming for children and youth when fees are out of reach. PRO Kids is a non-profit charitable organization with the City's Recreation & Culture Division that partners with community organizations offering recreation programs.
Affordable Access to Recreation & Transit - Pilot Program

The Recreation & Culture Division and Transit Services Division have teamed up with Lakehead Social Planning Council (LSPC) to provide better access to recreation and transit through the new Affordable Access to Recreation & Culture and the Affordable Bus Pass Program. Both programs go through the same application form that is administered by LSPC.

View the flyer or find information in the drop-down menu below. 

Affordable Access to Recreation & Transit - flyer


To qualify for the Recreation and Transit Affordable Access program, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • You live in the City of Thunder Bay
  • Have income at or below the income limits identified on the application form and listed below
  • You meet the age eligibility criteria for each program (18 and over for the recreation credit, and between 25-59 years for the Affordable Bus Pass)
  • Currently not receiving transit assistance through Ontario Works (OW), Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or the Passport Program (DSO)
    • You may still apply for the recreation subsidy if on OW, ODSP or the Passport Program
  • Agree to take part in surveys to evaluate the pilot program

Income limits 

Approval is based on need, using the Statistics Canada Low Income Cut Off numbers after tax (LICO) for the City of Thunder Bay. Combined household income must be below the amounts below based on household size:

1 individual - $23,696

2 individuals - $29,498

3 individuals - $36,265

4 individuals - $44,031

5 individuals - $49,938

6 individuals - $56,323

7 individuals - $62,707

The Affordable Access to Recreation & Culture program is for eligible participants 18 years and older. 


Eligible programs and services

  • Admission to Recreation Facilities (admissions, coupons, paid in full memberships)
  • Facility Rentals (55 Plus Centre, West Arthur Community Centre, City arenas, Jumbo Gardens Community Centre, Vale Community Centre, pool rentals, birthday parties, Mariners Hall, Baggage Building Arts Centre)
  • Recreational Programming (55 Plus courses, community fitness courses, squash leagues, personal fitness coaching, chronic disease management courses, adult swim lessons)

Ineligible programs and services 

  • Programs eligible for PRO Kids support
  • Programs and products that are not purchased through the Perfect Mind system (eg. drop-in programs, food/drink purchases from vending machines, coffee/muffins at 55 Plus, River Street Café food/drink items, public skating)
  • Gift certificates

Affordable Bus Pass Program

The Affordable Bus Pass Program is for eligible participants 25-59 years of age. More eligibility details on this program can be found on the application form.

How to Apply

Application forms are available through LSPC's website as of July 1, 2023. If approved, a $350 credit will be placed on your account in Perfect Mind. The credit is not refundable and expires at the end of each year. Individuals can reapply for the following year as of November 1.

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Frequently Asked Questions
Once approved, how do I get my credit for recreation?
Credits will be applied on your registration account in Perfect Mind by City staff once the approved application is sent by LSPC. You may register online using PerfectMind, by phone (807) 625-8463 or in person to have your credit applied.
How long does my credit last? 

Approved credits will last until December 31 of the year you are approved for. Credits must be used in the same year. For example, if you are approved for a credit in 2023, it must be used within the 2023 calendar year. Credits are non-transferable and expire on December 31. They cannot be used for programming in 2024, even for programs that begin in January*.

*If you want to register for a program starting in January, and you are approved by LSPC, you may pre-register and your credit will show up in your account as of January 1.

How many people are approved each year? Is there a waitlist?

Participation limits are listed below.

  • 2023 – up to 125 individuals 
  • 2024 and 2025 – up to 250 individuals
  • 2026 – up to 125 individuals 
There is no waitlist, once the maximum limit is reached, the program is full. You can reapply as early as November 1 for the following year.
Why was my application rejected? 

Applications may be rejected for the following reasons:

  • Combined household income is not below the cut off
  • You have already received recreation subsidization for this calendar year
  • Program has reached max capacity, please re-apply in November for the following calendar year
  • Information in application was falsified
  • Your application is incomplete (eg. not signed, missing proof of household income, missing proof of Thunder Bay residency)

Letters are sent to applicants by LSPC regarding the acceptance/rejection of their application with one or more reasons identified. 

If my application is rejected, can I reapply for next year? 
If your situation changes and you meet the criteria of the program, or if the participant limit was reached when you first applied, you may reapply as early as November 1 for the following year.  
Who should I contact with questions?

For questions related to the application, please contact LSPC.

For questions related to a recreation program that you will be applying the credit to, please contact the Recreation & Culture Division at (807) 625-2351.

For questions related to the Affordable Bus Pass, contact Transit Services at (807) 684-3744 or 

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