Seniors' Outings at Kortright

The Kortright Centre offers your seniors' group the perfect opportunity to connect with nature. Studies have shown that "Nature can promote the physical, mental, and social health of older adults".1

Kortright offers a wide variety of programs exploring different aspects of the natural experience, from a purely scientific investigation to artistic expressions of and in the natural world.

In addition to the range of topics, programs can be tailored to various degrees of mobility.

1Therapeutic landscapes and wellbeing in later life: Impacts of blue and green spaces for older adults
Jessica Finlay, Thea Franke, Heather McKay, Joanie Sims-Gould,
Health & Place,Volume 34, July 2015, Pages 97-106

Booking Information

  • All programs must be booked in advance.
  • Programs are 1-1/2 to 2 hours long and may be booked in the morning anytime between 9:30 am and 12 noon, or in the afternoon anytime between 12:30 and 3:00 pm.
  • These times may be adjusted slightly to accommodate your traveling arrangements.
  • We are pleased to offer 1 complimentary admission to teachers and supervisors for every 10 participating students.
  • Please note that most Kortright programs can be adapted for Special Needs groups.
  • For more details about programs at Kortright Centre, planning tips, and registration information please visit the TRCA School Programs website or call 416-667-6295, then select 3 (Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

Program Cost:

$200 for up to 30 participants

Program Adaptations:

our staff can adapt programs to reflect the mobility needs and interests of your group.

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Nature Hike:

Explore the trails of Kortright with our education staff, and learn about the local environment with a focus on the seasonal events happening in the natural cycle.
Kortright trails range from hilly, woodland paths to level trails surfaced with crushed limestone for ease of travel.

  • Season: all
  • Mobility level: moderate to high.

Pondering the Pond:

The Kortright "Peeper Pond" is home to a variety of exciting aquatic creatures, from tadpoles to water bugs, fish and more. The pond is easily reached by a ten-minute walk along a level, crushed limestone trail, and a floating dock provides safe access to the water for a closer look. The visit is preceded by a slide show, illustrating the animals we will potentially discover.

  • Season: May to October
  • Mobility level (pond visit): moderate
  • Mobility adaptation: after the slide show, participants will have a chance to example living organisms collected earlier in the day by Kortright staff.

Kortright's First Inhabitants: the First Nations' presence on the land.

Kortright is located in the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit, and, 500 years ago, was home to a Huron-Wendat village of over 2000 people. TRCA archaeologists and their students excavated the village, revealing some of the everyday objects from the site. In honour of this history, we will examine artifacts from the village, learn about earlier technologies such as fire-starting and flint-knapping and explore the trails to discover the traditional foods and medicines provided by nature.

  • Season: all
  • Mobility level: moderate
  • Mobility adaptation: no hike

Art in Nature:

"Earth art", also known as "ephemeral art" or "land art" involves creating art installations directly on the land in natural areas using materials from nature. Participants will view a slide show of earth art works, to gain inspiration for their own creations. We will then head out on the trails to create unique art pieces in a natural setting..

  • Season: All
  • Mobility level: moderate
  • Mobility accommodations: after the slide show, participants will work indoors or near the building using natural materials gathered earlier in the day by Kortright staff.

Nature Photography:

(bring your own camera or phone)
Whatever the season, Kortright's 325 hectares of forests, meadows, ponds, wetlands and streams offer a myriad of opportunities for artistic expression through photography. After a slide show of tips, techniques and examples, we will head out to explore the natural world through the camera's lens.

  • Season: all
  • Mobility level: moderate - hike can stay on level, limestone surfaced trails or enter hillier trails depending on mobility of group.
  • Mobility adaptation: groups will work with natural materials brought into the building

Crafting with Nature:

Working with grape vines, dried plants, basswood bark twine and other natural materials, prepare a variety of decorative objects for home or gift giving.

  • Mobility level: low to moderate - participants may want to go out on the grounds to gather materials. Otherwise, crafting takes place inside the building or out at the picnic shelter on nice days.
  • Mobility adaptation: staff will collect materials for participants

Maple Syrup:

(March Only)
Kortright staff will lead you on the trail of sweet Maple Syrup, as you travel in time to learn the methods of the First Nations, the early settlers and the modern producers.

  • Season: March only
  • Mobility level: steep hill descent and ascent to visit the pioneer kettles and the sugar shack.
  • Mobility adaptation: Visitors with lower mobility can have a modified program delivered in and around the building.

Organic Farm Visit:

Meet Kortright's resident farmer, who works in cooperation with nature to raise healthy, natural crops. Explore the greenhouse full of exotic vegetables from around the world. See how farm fields can co-exist with natural habitats without harmful impacts. Help with tasks such as planting, weeding and harvesting.

  • Season: May to October (Greenhouse visits available in off-season)
  • Mobility Level: moderate - grade is level; participants should be able to negotiate some uneven ground
  • Mobility Modification: Meet Kortright's resident farmer, and see some of the animals and crops at the Visitors' Centre.

Archetype Sustainable House Tour

The Archetype Sustainable houses are model homes which put green theory into practice. The houses, which are both LEED platinum status, demonstrate many green technologies, such as solar and wind power, and geothermal and air source heating. Follow a guided tour of the inside and outside the houses.

  • Season: all
  • Mobility Level: The houses are three-story structures - access to upper floors by stairs only.

The Innovation Trail: Green Technology in Action

The Innovation Trail is a 1.6-kilometre trail that features one of Canada's largest educational demonstrations of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies. The demonstrations and innovative programs offered at the Kortright Centre can provide you with the inspiration and knowledge to help you make informed decisions about important technology and lifestyle choices to reduce your impact on the natural environment.

  • Season: all
  • Mobility Level: moderate - grade is level; participants should be able to negotiate some uneven ground