YMCA child care staff connects with school age children.

The YMCA is one of Canada’s longest standing and largest charities, with a presence in Canada since 1851 and now serving more than 2.25 million people annually across 1,700 program locations.

Our Charitable Purpose

The YMCA in Canada is dedicated to the growth of all persons in spirit, mind and body, and to their sense of responsibility to each other and the global community.

While all YMCAs in Canada share this overarching purpose, each local YMCA is driven by their own mission statement to help them address the unique needs of their communities.

Our Values

  • Caring
  • Respect
  • Honesty
  • Responsibility
  • Inclusiveness

Why the Y Matters

As a charity, the YMCA provides vital community services that are having a positive impact on some of Canada’s most pressing social issues—from chronic disease to unemployment, social isolation, poverty, inequality and more.

Central to our success are:

  • The people who unite behind our mission and bring their many talents to our work;
  • The safe and welcoming places we provide—from health facilities to classrooms to newcomer centres—that foster a sense of community;
  • The comprehensive community-based programs that provide the extra skills, opportunities and confidence that many individuals and families need to achieve their full potential.
  • Our advocacy for health promoting public policy that fosters a sense of belonging; and
  • The philosophy that guides our actions, a holistic approach premised on the building blocks of the social determinants of health, harm reduction, the stages of change, and developmental-appropriateness

These three critical resources, people, places and programs, come together at the YMCA to create a sense of belonging to a supportive network that has proven time and time again to help our members and program participants achieve their personal development goals, be they physical, mental, social and/or emotional.

For some the impact can be truly transformational and can have an enormous ripple effect on those around them. While we celebrate each of these personal achievements—it is the scale at which this happens that makes Canada’s YMCAs truly unique. Last year we served 2.25 million Canadians in communities from coast to coast. This broad reach—and the fact that we’ve been doing this work for more than 160 years—are all part of the YMCA’s broader story of how we are building healthy communities.

Discover more about the YMCA

  • Our Impact

    Thanks to the YMCA, Canadians are more physically fit, better connected in their communities, and building the skills needed to achieve success in work and life.

  • What We Offer

    Our diverse programs support people of all ages and stages on their journey to better health in spirit, mind and body.

  • Our History

    The YMCA story begins back in 1844 in London, England with our founder George Williams. Discover the amazing history of the YMCA and our many contributions to society along the way.