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Health and support services

Better Strength, Better Balance! Exercise Program

Woman holding hand weights

Better Strength, Better Balance! is a fall prevention exercise and education program for people aged 65+. It is funded by the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) through Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre, and is a collaborative effort between Ottawa Public Health and Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services.

This is a beginner level program for those wishing to improve their strength and balance. Strong muscles, strong bones and better balance will make you more mobile and less likely to fall.

You are strong enough to participate safely if you can do ALL of the following:

  • stand on one foot for 2 seconds
  • stand for 20 minutes (e.g. in a grocery line)
  • walk one block (100 metres or 325 feet) without becoming out of breath and needing to sit down
  • walk up 10 stairs

Better Strength, Better Balance! classes are unsuitable for people who are very active.

Participants attend class twice a week for 12 weeks.

  • Classes are progressive, becoming increasingly difficult over the 12 weeks.
  • Participants practice exercises at home and review the provided health information related to preventing falls.
  • A variety of simple equipment is used, including bean bags, cones, stretch bands, and balls.

The program is offered in the winter, spring and fall

  • April 3 to June 23, 2017
  • September 18 to December 8, 2017

First time participants can register for the next available session at any time. Call Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656).

Returning participants can register on or after these dates:

  • Fall 2017 registration begins August 22, 2017 starting at 8:30 am

To register or for more information please call Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656).

Learn more about staying active as you age.

Download a poster [ PDF - 278.72 KB ] and help promote the Better Strength, Better Balance Exercise Program in your community!

Better Strength, Better Balance! fall prevention exercise and education program now on Rogers TV 22.

  • Monday to Friday at 2:30 pm
  • Saturday at 8:30 am

Dates and times subject to change. Check the Rogers 22 program schedule for airing dates and times.

For the full schedule and more information, please visit the Ottawa Public Health website.

Finding healthcare

Find out how to stay healthy, where to get help and how to make informed decisions about your health. Ottawa Public Health is your link to Ottawa’s health and support services.

Emergency resources


Contact Information

Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region


Mental Health Crisis Line (24 hours a day)

613-722-6914 or 1-866-996-0991

Ligne Fem-Aide (french only)


Ottawa Dental Society Dental Emergency Service


Ottawa Public Health

TTY: 613-580-9656

Ontario Poison Centre


Telehealth Ontario

TTY: 1-866-797-0007

Finding a family doctor


Contact Information

Doctor Search
College of Physicians & Surgeons of Ontario


Find A Dentist – Ontario Dental Association


Find a Registered Dietician


Health Care Connect
Help Ontarians find a family health care provider. .

1 800 445-1822

Area hospitals

Most healthcare needs are covered by the province’s medical coverage, once you are a resident of Ontario. If required, private healthcare plans are available to cover specialized treatments that do not fall under the province’s scope of coverage. Ottawa has 4 main hospitals:


Contact Information

The Ottawa Hospital

TTY: 613-761-4024

General Campus
Civic Campus
Riverside Campus

501 Smyth Road
1053 Carling Avenue
1967 Riverside Drive

Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)

401 Smyth Road

Queensway-Carleton Hospital

3045 Baseline Road

Montfort Hospital

713 Montreal Road

In addition, there are a number of specialized hospitals and clinics in the region.

Health Care Options Medical Services Directory
walk-in and after hours clinics, urgent care centres, and family health care providers


Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre

501 Smyth Road

Royal Ottawa Hospital
Specialty mental care in Eastern Ontario

1145 Carling Avenue

Bruyère Continuing Care
Élisabeth Bruyère Hospital

43 Bruyère Street

Bruyère Continuing Care
Résidence Saint-Louis

879 Hiawatha Park Road.

Bruyère Continuing Care
Saint-Vincent Hospital

60 Cambridge Street North

The Rehabilitation Centre

505 Smyth Road
613-737-7350 TTY: 613-526-1132

University of Ottawa Heart Institute

40 Ruskin Street

Drop in medical clinics


Contact Information

Appletree Medical Group


Orleans Urgent Care Clinic (OUCC) 

1220 Place d’Orleans Boulevard

Walk-in clinics in Ottawa – Health care options directory


Community health and resources centres


Contact Information

Coalition of Community Health and
Resource Centres of Ottawa


Community Care Access Centre Locations in Ottawa and throughout Ontario


Ottawa Community Care Access Centre

100-4200 Labelle Street
613-745-5525 or 1-800-538-0520

Carlington Community & Health Services

900 Merivale Road

Centretown Community Health Centre

420 Cooper Street

Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre

2339 Ogilvie Road

Hunt Club/Riverside Community Services Centre

3310 McCarthy Road

Lowertown Community Resource Centre

40 Cobourg Street

Nepean, Rideau and Osgoode Community Resource Centre

1642 Merivale Road, Unit 541

Orléans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre

210 Centrum Boulevard, Suite 211

Overbrook-Forbes Community Resource Centre

225 Donald Street, Unit 120

Community Health Centre

1365 Richmond Road, 2nd Floor

Sandy Hill Community Health Centre

221 Nelson Street

Somerset West Community Health Centre

55 Eccles Street

South-East Ottawa Community Health Centre

1355 Bank Street, Suite 600
TTY: 613-739-8197

Vanier Community Service Centre

290 Dupuis Street

Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre

2 MacNeil Court

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Provincial resources


Contact Information

Eastern Ontario Health Unit

613-933-1375 or 1-800-267-7120

French Language Health Services Network
of Eastern Ontario

1173 Cyrville Road


Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care


Local resources


Contact Information

Local mental health help and events


Ottawa Police Service


Ottawa Safe Communities Network


Ottawa Safety Council


Ottawa Salus Corporation
Community Mental Health Services

200-945 Wellington Street
TTY: 613-759-8455


The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa


Travel Medicine Program (TMP)


Youth Services Bureau


Financial resources


Contact Information

Dental and eyeglasses subsidies

Call 613-560-6000 to apply for help

Help with living costs


Community resources


Ontario Disability Support Program



Seniors and smog

I am a senior, how can smog affect my health?

  • If you are a senior who suffers from heart disease or lung conditions such as asthma, emphysema, or chronic bronchitis, smog can make your symptoms worse
  • Smog can decrease the lung's working capacity. On a Smog Alert day, breathing can be more difficult. You may find your daily activities harder to do, and you may be more tired.
  • Smog reduces the respiratory system's ability to fight infections and remove foreign particles, increasing your risk of getting sick.
  • Seniors may be less able to sense the presence of ozone, and may have a delayed response to the early warning signs of smog exposure such as breathing difficulties, shortness of breath, and tightness in the lungs and chest.

How do I protect my health on a smog alert day?

  • Relax and take it easy. Avoid physical stress and activity.
  • Avoid strenuous outdoor work or exercise.
  • Stay indoors in a cool, well-ventilated place.
  • If you must be outside, try to schedule your activities early in the morning when pollution levels are lowest.
  • Avoid being outside around high traffic areas or during peak rush hour times to minimize your exposure to smog.
  • Avoid the sun and drink water and natural juices frequently.
  • If you experience symptoms such as tightness in your chest, wheezing, or shortness of breath, seek medical attention.

Adapted with permission, from the Smog Alert materials produced by the City of Toronto and by the Ontario Ministry of Health.

Air Quality Ontario (Ministry of Environment)

Serving vulnerable seniors

Vulnerable Seniors

In Ottawa, the older adult population will double by 2031. Most will have healthy, active lives but some may need support to remain safe in their home. People living and working in the community can help prevent the most vulnerable from “falling through the cracks” by knowing what to look for and how to connect with community supports and services for older adults.

A vulnerable senior may

  • Have declining physical and cognitive health
  • Be isolated or have a caregiver that needs more help
  • Have trouble accessing or does not have a family physician
  • Have no or limited services and supports in place
  • Have barriers to accessing services
  • Make frequent calls to 911 or many visits to the emergency department

What can you do to help?

  • Learn about the services that can help
  • Offer this information to the person that may need more help
  • Connect the person to a support or service

Services to support vulnerable seniors

For information on other supports and services in Ottawa, call 2-1-1. To speak with a public health nurse regarding a vulnerable older adult call 613-580-6744 Monday to Friday from 9 am to 4 pm.

Heart Wise Exercise program

Heart Wise logo

What is the Heart Wise Exercise program

  • The program consists of physical activity courses or activities that have low to moderate levels of intensity, and encourages participants to exercise at an appropriate level
  • Heart Wise Exercise programs meet stringent cardiac fitness program requirements identified by the Physical Activity Network Committee

To be Heart Wise Exercise certified programs must:

  • Encourage regular, daily aerobic exercise
  • Encourages and incorporates warm up, cool down and self-monitoring with all exercise sessions
  • Allow participants to exercise at a safe level, and have progressive options to increase intensity if appropriate
  • Accept participants with a known history of cardiac disease – physician approval may be required
  • Provide health screening for all participants
  • Have an emergency plan that is documented and known to all exercise leaders, including the requirement of current CPR certification, phone access to EMS and presence of an AED

Who should take part

  • People who are concerned about their heart health and who want to participate in regular fitness programs
  • Also offered to people without heart-related problems

What is required to participate

  • All participants should receive medical approval from their physician before they start the fitness program.
  • Participants are strongly recommended to follow the exercise prescription outlined by a physician

Where can I find or take a program

  • Look for the Heart Wise Exercise logo in the listing of fitness activities and programs in the Recreation Guide
  • Programs can be found in youth, special needs, seniors and the fitness and wellness sections
  • Additional Heart Wise Exercise programs are identified online with the Heart Wise Exercise logo
  • Read program description to see if the program is appropriate for you

Contact information

The Heart Wise Exercise program is offered in partnership by the City of Ottawa, the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and other community agencies.

Heart Wise Exercise locations - Central

Heart Wise Exercise locations - West

Heart Wise Exercise locations - South

Heart Wise Exercise locations - East