If program fees are preventing you, or a member of your family, from joining a city program, you could qualify for a yearly amount of $300 per person in Leisure Access fee assistance.

Apply for fee assistance

On this page:

  1. Find out if you qualify
  2. What you need to apply
  3. Apply
  4. After you apply
  5. Using your funds
  6. Canadian Tire Jumpstart program
  7. Frequently asked questions

Find out if you qualify

You may qualify for Leisure Access if you are a resident of Kitchener and your total household income (before taxes) is at or below the low-income cut-off (LICO) line.

The maximum family income depends on the number of family members. Family income cut-off levels are:

  • family of one: $22,926
  • family of two: $28,540
  • family of three: $35,078
  • family of four: $42,600
  • family of five: $48,315
  • family of six: $54,493
  • family of seven or more: $60,670

SourceStatistics Canada low income cut-offs (LICOs)


What you need to apply

To apply for Leisure Access, you need:

  1. completed application
  2. proof of income for all adults (18 years and older) in your household (see accepted documents)
  3. proof of address, if not included in proof of income document (see accepted documents)

People who have arrived in Canada as a refugee or a qualifying newcomer are eligible to apply for Leisure Access within the first year (365 days) of receiving documentation that shows immigration status. In these circumstances, proof of income is not required, but proof of arrival to Canada is. Examples of accepted documents are:

  • Confirmation of Permanent Residency (issued within one year)
  • Refugee Protection Claimant Documentation (issued within one year)
  • a document issued under a special program of the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRC) such as a visa issued under Canada-Ukraine
  • Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) (issued within one year)

Accepted forms of proof of income

  • government-issued Notice of Assessment for the most recent year showing your name and line 150 (if you need a new copy, call the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-959-8281 to request one)
  • Ontario Works (OW) statement including address and Ontario Works eligibility card
  • Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) statement (include address portion)
  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) statement
  • Relocation Assistance Program (RAP) statement
  • proof of additional income not accounted for on Notice of Assessment like child support

Accepted forms of proof of address


Apply

You can apply for Leisure Access:

If you have any questions, send us an email.

Online

To apply online, you will need:

  • an email address
  • PDF or image files of the required documents (we accept clear smartphone images of documents)

Apply online

In person

Paper application forms are available at any of our community centres or pools.

You can drop off your completed application and required documents at any community centre or pool.


After you apply

Within two weeks of applying, we’ll send you an email (or letter, if no email is provided) to let you know if we approved your application and list your next steps.

If your application is approved, we will set up an ActiveNet account for you (if one doesn’t exist) and add Leisure Access credits for the people listed on the application.  Each person will receive $300 per year for city-run programs. We will send you more information about using your credits (including which programs qualify and how to use the funds).

If your application is declined, we will let you know why and, if applicable, any steps you can take to apply successfully.

Staff may make exceptions, on a case-by-case basis, to accommodate individual Leisure Access requests in unique circumstances.


Using your funds

You can use Leisure Access to pay for:

You can also use your funds to pay for a Kitchener Group Card, giving you unlimited access to ongoing groups at the Downtown Community Centre, Rockway Centre and Breithaupt Centre.

You cannot use Leisure Access to pay for:

  • programs offered by neighbourhood associations
  • minor sport organizations (examples: hockey, soccer, gymnastics, baseball)
  • manuals, exam fees or administrative fees for swimming programs
  • program or supply costs for leisure programs (example: art supplies)

When you’re looking at programs in ActiveNet, look for “Scholarship (Leisure Access): 100%” to know a program is covered by Leisure Access fee assistance.

Our funding year

We accept applications all year, but our funding year runs from November 1 to October 31.

Your Leisure Access usage is based on the transaction date (not the program date), which means that if you register for a program before October 31, you can use your Leisure Access funds to register for a program after November 1. You can use your Leisure Access funds to pay for city-run programs (see full list).

Funding is based on council approval, budget availability and resident demand.


Canadian Tire Jumpstart program

Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart program gives kids aged four to 18 a chance to participate in sports. It provides financial aid to qualifying families for program registration costs.

Find out more on the Jumpstart website.


Frequently asked questions

Can I carry over credit to next year?

If you have unused funds at the end of your enrolment period, you cannot:

  • carry them over to the next year
  • transfer them to another person or family member
  • redeem them for cash
Do I need to apply again next year?
You must reapply for Leisure Access each year.
What can I pay for with my Leisure Access credit?

You can use Leisure Access to pay for city-run programs. This does not include programs run by neighbourhood associations or our partners at community centres.

When you’re looking at programs in ActiveNet, look for “Scholarship (Leisure Access): 100%” to know a program is covered by Leisure Access fee assistance.

Can I use my Leisure Access credit to pay for neighbourhood association programs?
You cannot use Leisure Access credits to register for neighbourhood association programs. Your neighbourhood association may offer discounts for Leisure Access members. Contact your local community centre for more information.