Township of Severn: Outdoor Fitness Equipment

Municipal Profile

Severn is a rural township in south-central Ontario, located in the Severn Sound watershed between Lake Couchiching, and the Severn River (both are part of the Trent–Severn Waterway) in Simcoe County. The current township was founded on January 1, 1994, as part of the restructuring of Simcoe County, by amalgamating the village of Coldwater with the townships of Matchedash and Orillia, plus portions of the townships of Medonte and Tay. The current population is approximately 12,377 (+2.9% from 2006, Statistics Canada, 2011), and growth projections indicate that the Township’s population will increase by 5,200 during the period of 1996-2016, with the majority of that growth to be located to the communities of Coldwater, Washago, and Westshore.

Date of Implementation

  • Project Report and Recommendation: November, 2013
  • Project Completion: 2015 and 2016

Project Goals

Healthy communities require equitable community engagement, political commitment, healthy public policy, and asset-based community development. By coordinating the efforts of the committee for recommendation to Township Council, the initiative was developed to provide easy and fair access to fitness equipment for the community, and further contribute to a healthy and active population.

Township of Severn Strategic Plan

Recreation Master Plan, 2009


What was your municipalities’ main reason for moving this project forward? Who was the biggest champion for the project?

The project was supported by the Chair and Members of the Culture and Recreation Advisory Committee, and staff at that time (2013). Patricia Harwood has been the internal champion of the project since late 2013, overseeing full implementation of the initiative. The 2013 committee included Chair Vicki Gray, Members Barb Clare-Powell, Lisa Ferguson, Bill Harvey, Tarryn Reineke, Grace Smith, Stephanie Stanton, Richard Weese, Steven Zeidler, Judith Cox, Stuart Lowrey, Si Lowry and Public Works staff Clayton Cameron, and Culture & Recreation Co-ordinator Kerri Craig-Paul.

Financial Considerations

What was the cost of the project? How was the project funded? Internally or externally? If externally, where was the support acquired (i.e., grant program, community donations, multiple methods)?

The purchase of Outdoor Fitness Equipment was recommended by the Culture and Recreation Advisory Committee in November, 2013 for inclusion in the 2014 budget, with a proposed cost of $9,430 plus HST and the costs associated with landscaping costs. That report contained the breakdown as follows:

Financial Impact

Timberline Park

    • Airwalker $843.00
    • Crest Press/Lat Pull $1,281.00
    • Step Climber $775.00

Total: $2,899.00*

Washago Centennial Park

    • Elliptical Machine $1,266.00
    • Sitting Rotator $989.00
    • Strength and Stretch Bars $997.00

Total: $3,252.00*

The equipment was recently installed at Washago Park and Timberline Park, with the Ian Crichton Memorial Park deferred for equipment at this time. Based upon the cost of the 6 pieces of equipment for the 2 parks, plus HST and landscaping costs, the full cost was just under $15,000.00. The equipment was installed by Active Playground Equipment (APE), and is part of their ActiveFit equipment line.

*based on 2013 projections

Measures of Success/Impacts

How has the project helped your municipality or department achieve its sustainability goals? What specific metrics can you share about the impact it has had?

The installation of the equipment helps contribute to the goals outlined in Severn’s Recreation Master Plan (2009) and aligns most with the following Plan principle: ‘Parks and recreation services will encompass a broad range of initiatives and undertaking that not only meet residents’ needs for productive leisure time pursuits, but also contribute to a healthier and more active community, a sustainable environment, a stronger economy and a higher quality of life.’

Although no specific metrics on use are collected at this time, the park and equipment has shown medium to-high levels of use, as determined by the amount of wear to the equipment.

Project Rationale (Summary)

Why would you encourage other municipalities to adopt/implement a similar practice?

The outdoor fitness equipment uses body weight as resistance, so the user controls the difficulty of the workout. Community members or guests of any age can work on the following areas:

  • Stretch / Warm up
  • Cardiovascular / Aerobic
  • Muscle / Core Strength
  • Endurance / Power
  • Balance / Coordination
  • Flexibility / Meditation

These products also provide people with the opportunity to exercise without needing a gym membership or an appointment, and through the placement near the existing playgrounds; the intention is to also provide caregivers the visual need to keep an eye on the children, while also fitting in a work out.

Municipal Contact Information

  • Patricia J. Harwood
  • Manager of Recreation and Facilities
  • P.O. Box 159
  • 1024 Hurlwood Lane
  • Orillia, ON
  • L3V 6J3
  • E:
  • P: 705.325.2315 x.253

Document Links or Attachment

Township of Severn Recreation Master Plan

Township of Severn Strategic Plan (2012)

Type of Case Study

☒Education and Outreach

☐Policy Adjustment or Development

☐Partnerships & Collaboration

☐Enforcements & Incentives

☒Implementation of Programs & Services

☒Facilities & Infrastructure Improvements

Website: Visit Site


1024 Hurlwood Lane
Orillia, Ontario, L3V 6H4