Skip to content

Whether it’s our cool toques or Canadian vernacular, we know that Canadians are spectacular!

150 Reasons to Give

Oh hello neighbour! Welcome to your opportunity to make a lasting impact on the lives of over 6,000 Variety kids and members. Sounds cool eh?

Canada is turning 150 years young and we can’t think of a more Canadian way to celebrate than supporting your friendly neighbors at Variety. Without Variety many children, from far and wide, with disabilities would not have access to sports, life skills, inclusive programming, and plain old fun. We’re asking you to take a moment to be a true patriot, strong and free, and donate a buck to help a fellow Canuck.

What’s more Canadian than helping others?

Donate now to help Variety change lives and continue to create a barrier free and inclusive society.


Not sold yet? We’re giving you 150 Reasons to choose Variety! Take a look below or follow our journey on social media, and let us know that opportunities for children with disabilities to succeed, matter to you.

ambassadors canada flag


Canada Day

What is Canada known for? Poutine and being nice, of course! We don’t have poutine here at Variety but we sure do have some amazing people. What’s more Canadian than helping others? Show your support and help children with disabilities thrive in an inclusive and accessible environment. Click the button above to donate today!

dance-abnle cropped



Everybody deserves a chance to bust a move and let loose. Join us on July 4 with Help by Helping and Cabana Pool Bar for the first ever all-inclusive dance party! It will be a night of music, dancing and entertainment in celebration of those within the disabled community. To make a donation, click the donate button above!

summer camp


Summer Camps

Summer’s here and that means one thing at Variety…SUMMER CAMPS! Over 600-800 kids participate in our camps every year. Our summer camps offer a barrier-free and inclusive environment for children of all abilities with a broad range of activities such as sports, games and training activities. Help us continue to provide inclusive and accessible camps for kids. Donate today!

Sunshine Swim team


Sunshine Swim Team

The Sunshine Swim Team is the only team exclusive to individuals with developmental disabilities. Also a part of Special Olympics, athletes train toward competitive swimming in a supportive and inclusive environment. Show your support and donate today!

Pizza nova


Pizza Nova

It’s AWESOME partners like Pizza Nova that help us do what we do. Every dollar raised creates opportunities for kids with disabilities. You could be awesome too! Make a difference for Variety kids and click the button above to donate. What’s more Canadian than helping others, eh?

Pride Celebrations


Pride Celebrations

Here at Variety, we’re proud of our inclusivity. In June we celebrated our diverse community by celebrating Pride Month and raising the Pride flag in front of our facility. Variety is a place for everybody and everybody has a place at Variety. Help make our community more inclusive and donate today.

madi ambos


Madi Ambos

This four-year-old SUPERHERO is one of the reasons we do what we do. You can be a superhero too! Your donation will help kids like Madi have access to inclusive programs that encourage participation, independence and healthy active lives. Click the button above to donate today.

Willow #kidswhogive



Join our amazing supporters like Willow. She is a member who did a vendor table at our Easter Vendor Market, giving a generous donation of $29.50 to Variety…awesome! Join Willow and help us make a difference in the lives of children with a disability. Click the button above to donate today!

Teamsters golf


Teamsters Ontario

It’s loyal community supporters like Ontario Teamsters that help us provide opportunities for children across Ontario. Every year since 1989, Teamsters have held the Ontario Teamsters Invitational golf tournament and raised over $1.6 million to help make a difference in the lives of young people with disabilities. Every dollar has done so much, thank you for your dedication and support! Click the button above to donate today.



Our Programs

Did you know we have over 100 fitness and wellness programs for people of all ages and abilities? Your donation will help deliver specialized programs to children with physical and intellectual disabilities in the GTA and across Ontario, changing the lives of over 30,000 people every year. Now that’s #MakingADifference! Click the button above to donate now.

Mikhela's zumbathon


Mikhela's Zumbathon

We have AMAZING participants like Mikhela. She has been a member since she was 5 and participates in our drama program, swimming and Taekwondo! In June, Mikhaela turned 18 and celebrated by throwing a Zumbathon in support of Variety. Thank you Mikhela for the amazing $4,540 you raised! You can be amazing too – click the donate button above and give today!

dodge city cropped


Dodge City

Channel your inner Patches O’Houlihan and get ready for some dodge ball! Athletes for Change is Dodge City, a dodge ball tournament in support of Variety. Check out their page for more information. If dodge ball isn’t your thing, you can still show your support. Just click the donate button above and donate today.

blue jays - throwback


#TBT Toronto Blue Jays

One of our long-standing supporters is the Toronto Blue Jays. Here’s a little throwback of some Variety kids with former Jays players, Lloyd Moseby and Ernie Whitt in the 80s! Thank you for supporting us through all these years. You can help too, donate today!

Sherwin Williams 2



Thank you to long-lasting and loyal partners like Sherwin-Williams. Over the years, they have provided equipment and support to improve our facility such as providing paint for our children’s gym mural. Thank you for all your support and for your incredible work! Click the donate button above to support Variety today.




Our LINKS program is one of many aimed to help those with physical and/or developmental disabilities. Participants gain confidence and independence by learning a variety of skills and subjects like math, geography, communications, swimming, and photography. Donate today to help support amazing programs like LINKS.




Everything we do has a team of INCREDIBLE volunteers that help make amazing experiences for all our members, participants and guests. Thank you to everybody who has dedicated their time to helping change the lives of so many people in our community. Be incredible like our volunteers – click the donate button and give today!

sensory wall


Sensory Wall

Did you know we have a sensory wall in our kids’ gym? Sensory walls help children calm down and relax, allowing them to focus and attend to tasks or relieve stress or anxiety. Your donation will help us continue to improve our facility and ensure that children of all ages and abilities enjoy their experience here at Variety. Click the donate button today!

Drama Company - grease


Drama Company

I got chills, they’re multiplyin’…and I’m losing control! Variety’s drama company performs a production every year and this year they performed their uniquely adapted theatrical production GREASE. The program provides a variety of educational creative arts for youth and adults with disabilities. Click the button above to support programs like these – give today.

VVAC Banquet


Athletic Banquet

In June we celebrated the accomplishments of the incredible young athletes from Variety at the Athletic Banquet. Variety is home to several sports teams such as synchronized swimming, weightlifting, track and field and wheelchair basketball, giving children of all abilities the chance to be active, competitive an discover their potential.

ambassadors 2015



Meet our awesome Variety Ambassadors! These rock stars help us share what Variety does and they have so much fun doing it! These dedicated members never turn down a chance to represent Variety. Stay tuned to meet each ambassador! Be rock stars like them and help support Variety. Donate today!



VOLT Hockey

We have been fortunate to partner up with the Royal Danish Consulate General to be able to offer VOLT Hockey – an accessible form of hockey played in specially designed hockey sport chairs. Now kids with disabilities such as Spina Bofida and Cerebral Palsy can enjoy a good ol’ Canadian game of hockey! Support programs like these – donate today!

Variety Alumni


Variety Alumni

Do you know any Variety Alumni? Some of our past participants include Tracey Ferguson, Adam Lancia, Jeff Adams and Abdi Dini Fatah, all of whom are Paralympic medalists! Help support future Paralympic superstars and donate today. Just click the donate button above.

toronto police


Toronto Police

Community support from remarkable organizations like the Toronto Police Association are what keeps us going. They have shown their support through so many ways including participating in the Annual Toronto Police Children’s Games which has been going on for 35 years! Join the TPA and show some #CommunityLove.  Help children with disabilities play in an inclusive world. Donate today.

ambassador - alex



Meet Alexander, one of our awesome Ambassadors! Alexander is 11 years old and loves quinoa salad, smoked salmon and reading. For him, Variety is a safe place to do lots of fun things like swimming and the After School Program and meet great people. Help us help kids like Alexander live in a more inclusive and accessible world. Click the button above and donate today.

big brothers big sisters of canada



Earlier this year we announced our new, amazing and life-changing partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada. Strong community relationships like these are what helps us transform the lives of children in Ontario. You can learn more about BBBS’s mentoring program on their website. To help even more kids, click the donate button above and give today!

Tracey Schmitt


Unstoppable Tracy

Tracy Schmitt, or Unstoppable Tracy, is a motivational speaker, World Cup Olympic Class Sailing athlete and bronze-medalist in para-alpine skiing trial. She got her start right here at Variety! Your support will give children with disabilities the opportunity to feel UNSTOPPABLE just like Tracy! Donate today.

art camp


Art Camp

Variety also provides children with the opportunity to explore the arts! One of the summer camps we offer is Art Camp where children of all abilities and skills levels get the chance to learn painting, music, dance, illustration and drama. Campers are encouraged to be creative while learning about techniques and applications. Donate today to support fun and inclusive camps like these for kids in our community!

12A Bus


12A Bus

It takes a village to make an inclusive and accessible community. One of our favourite moments throughout the years is when TTC modified a bus route to include a bus stop directly in front of our facility, making it more accessible to our members! Now everybody can come and enjoy our programs. Thanks TTC, your support helps us on our way to becoming completely barrier-free and accessible! Show your support and donate today.

toronto sport hall of honour collage


Toronto Sport Hall of Honour

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again; we have some AMAZING people here at Variety! Earlier this year, three people with ties to Variety were inducted into the Toronto Sports Hall of Honour. Adam Lancia, Nerissa Pooran and Archie Allison – we love you guys! Be an inspiration to kids just like these three – click the donate button above today.

TD Bank


TD Bank

We are so grateful for community and corporate partners throughout the years. Partners like TD Bank support us in many ways like providing grants to support our Children in Motion program, providing more adaptive equipment so kids have more access to play, sport and fitness. Thank you for everything you’ve done! Help us help kids in our community and donate today.

toronto maple leafs - throwback


Toronto Maple Leafs

We have a long history with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Here’s a little #throwback of some players with former members of Variety…can you recognize any of them? Thank you for your support since the very beginning! You can support Variety too – just click the button above and donate today!

DEFI Sportif


DEFI Sportif

In May, three athletes from our Sunshine Swim Team competed at DEFI Sportif and brought home 10 medals! Congrats to Gohulan Rajalingam, Quinn Martin and Nerissa Pooran…you guys are awesome! Your support will help support programs like our Sunshine Team, giving kids with disabilities that opportunity to participate in sports and fitness. Click the donate button and give today.

ambassador - theo



Meet Theo, one of our fantastic Variety Ambassadors! His favourite animal is “a shark! They’re big, strong and really good swimmers.” Help kids of all abilities become big, strong and great swimmers. Click the donate button to donate today and support Variety.

building blocks


Building Blocks

This program teaches kids with a disability effective communication and interaction skills. They play interactive games and new activities to help them learn about making friends, personal space, teamwork and sharing. Your support will help programs like these continue to provide children with a disability the opportunity to interact with peers while learning valuable skills. Support Variety and donate today!

sportand social camp gala


Sport & Social Camp

Sport & Social is a summer camp for individuals with a disability that focuses on different ways to be active for life. Participants have a chance to play a variety of sports and have daily social skills groups focusing on topics such as communications and personal space. With your help, inclusive and educational programs like these can continue to improve the lives of children with disabilities. Donate today!

ambassador - cassandra



Meet Cassandra, one of our ambassadors! This Taekwondo athlete loves Variety because we have lots of sports and she always has a lot of fun. Give kids the opportunity to enjoy sports and donate to Variety today! Just click the donate button to give today.

invictus games - intro to para sport


Intro to Para Sports

In April, the organizing team from the Invictus Games 2017 stopped by to give some participants an introduction to para sports. It was a full day of wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, track and field, golf and more with Shane Risto,  Todd Kierstead and Paul Rosen leading the activities. Your support will help us continue to provide opportunities like this and help kids with a disability know that they can do anything! Donate today.

LG games


Lieutenant Governor's Games

Every year we host the Annual Lieutenant Governor’s Games, which is in its 33rd year! These games provide children the opportunity to participate in sports and recreational activities with each other no matter their abilities. It’s events like these that create a community that is inclusive and accessible to children of all abilities!

robert hampson


Robert Hampson

We can’t have our fun summer camps without our incredible camp counsellors! Robert was once one of our campers and now he’s on his third year as a camp counsellor and our 1st blind counsellor. Robert is right at home with his fellow staff and looking forward to welcoming our campers back on JULY 3.  At Variety, we are dedicated to making sure everybody, no matter their abilities, feels welcomed and included. Donate today to support an inclusive and barrier-free community!




The Harlem Globetrotters have been breaking down barriers in basketball for over nine decades. With Variety breaking down barriers for an inclusive community, it’s no wonder Variety and the Globetrotters have become such great friends! Thank you for inspiring our kids to do what they dream of, no matter their circumstances. You can be an inspiration too, just donate today!

swim a thon



Our awesome Sunshine Swim Team had their annual Swim-a-thon in June and raised $4,568! 15 swimmers participated and swam a total of 1,624 lengths…that’s 40.6km! How amazing are these guys and girls? Donate today to support inclusive and accessible programs like these.

gluckstein lawyers


Gluckstein Lawyers

Our goal is to give children with disabilities a brighter future in an inclusive and accessible community. Partners like Gluckstein Lawyers help us achieve that with their generous donations and never-ending support. Gluckstein Lawyers work to enhance the quality of life for their clients, and you can too! Just click the donate button and give today.

ambassador - jamie



“Hi! My name is Jamie and I’m an Ambassador for Variety Village. I love playing golf, wheelchair basketball and watching Jim Carrey movies. I love Variety Village because it is fun and I enjoy the many activities and benefits.” Jamie has been part of Variety for over 15 years! Give kids the chance to live in a barrier-free and accessible community, donate today.




We can never thank our community partners enough for the countless hours and support they dedicate to us. Today we want to give a shout out to BMO for all the volunteering they have done and dedication they have shown to helping kids succeed in an inclusive environment. They even helped build our accessible playground! Show your dedication to helping kids succeed, donate today.

shayne smith


Shayne Smith

Our inclusive and barrier-free environment fosters the growth of future superstars. Starting out playing wheelchair basketball at Variety, Shayne has gone on to play on the Canadian Junior Wheelchair Basketball Team, 2 World Tournaments and 2 Canada Games Tournaments. Today, he’s a motivational speaker, playing wheelchair rugby and is the co-founder of Tee Talent, a business development company. Support future superstars like Shayne today and donate!

Royalty visits


Royal Visits

Variety has been visited by many celebrities but did you know royalty has been here? Princess Margaret, Princess Anne and Prince Philip have all been here visiting and meeting with some of the kids. Here is Princess Anne during one of her visits in the 1980s…cool! You may not be born into it, but you can feel like royalty too. Donate today and help children in our community succeed in an inclusive world.

mayor john tory


Mayor John Tory

Being able to create an inclusive and accessible facility wouldn’t be possible without help from key people in our community. Shout out to Mayor John Tory for all his support throughout the years. He has joined us on Pizza Nova’s That’s Amore Pizza for Kids Day, attended our Christmas parties and our Lieutenant Governor Games. Thank you Mayor for your dedication to creating a more inclusive and accessible world for our community. You can help too, donate today.



ParaSport Ontario

Here’s a shout out to one of our incredible partners – ParaSport Ontario! Their mission is to support the development and promotion of the Paralympic movement in Ontario and to promote parallel opportunities in sport for athletes with a physical disability. Thank you for your dedication to helping those with a disability excel in sports like wheelchair rugby, sitting volleyball, boccia, and goalball.

rafael polinario


Rafael Polinario

Rafael was a competitive swimmer in Cuba and competed in the 1980 Olympics and the 1982 Pan Am Games. After moving to Canada, he began his career at Variety as the Head Speed Swimming Coach where he coached swimmers to four Canadian Paralympic teams. He later became the Director of Teams and Team Events. Sadly, early this year Rafael passed after a valiant battle with cancer. Be an inspiration like Rafael was to the kids in our community. Donate today.

ambassador - matt



Meet Matt. In his words, he’s a “charming, humble, polite, good looking and funny guy.” While this is all true, we also love him because he’s one of our AWESOME ambassadors! Some of his favourite sports include curling and golf and he also enjoys going to the theatre and opera. “I love Variety Village because it is my home, where I can be me. I love the staff. I am accepted.” Help support a home away from home for people in our community – give today.



SoftChoice Volunteers

We love our corporate volunteers! In July, awesome volunteers from SoftChoice spent the day with us. They helped make our gardens look beautiful and helped feed some hungry campers at our barbeque! Thank you for all your hard work and showing your support for an inclusive environment. You can show your support too! Just click the donate button above and give today.

sam shopsowitz


Sam Shopsowitz

Variety has been home to so many who went on to do some amazing things! Did you know that the owner of Shopsy’s Famous Deli, Sam Shopsowitz, was a Variety Club member back in the 80s and helped raise funds to build our fieldhouse? Cool! Your support will help foster the growth of so many children in our community. Just click the donate button above and give today.

Untitled design


Wheelchair Basketball

For over 26 years, Variety has had a wheelchair basketball team. This sports team has had many highlights throughout the years. In 2012 and 2016 Variety Village athletes on the Men’s and Women’s National teams represented Canada in the Summer Olympics in London, England and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Support inclusive sports and future superstar athletes, donate today!

Megan Sherwin



To some, Variety is a second home. One of our ambassadors, Megan, has been a member since she was in a car seat! Participating in swimming, basketball and soccer, Megan knows that Variety Village is a facility that brings everyone together and focuses on inclusion. “It’s my extended family and you can’t get that anywhere else.” You can help make more kids feel at home and included too, donate today!

Superhuman Day


Superhuman Day

On September 7 we celebrate Superhuman Day – a day celebrating and bringing awareness to the thousands of people who have overcome what was perceived as a limitation and gone on to prove “Yes I can!” With your support, more and more kids with disabilities will have the opportunity to discover that they can do anything they set their minds to. Show kids you believe they can – donate today.



Variety in Canada

Did you know that 46% of the time Canada has been a country, Variety has been in Canada helping kids living with disabilities? COOL! Here’s to celebrating 69 years of Variety! Help us continue to help kids in our community and show your support today. Just click the donate button above to give.




Weightlifting is a great sport if you’re interested in overall strength. A three discipline sport, athletes interested in weightlifting can train to compete at regional, provincial, national and even world championship levels. Your support will help us continue to provide these opportunities to people in our community. Donate today by clicking the button above!



Flames Swim Team

One of our aquatic sports teams, the Flames Swim Team, is an integrated competitive team that provides training and competition to swimmers of all levels, ages, stages and abilities. Swimmers have gone on to reach provincial, national and even international levels! Help us continue to give kids the opportunities to participate in sport and fitness, no matter their age, level, and ability – donate today!




We have had some AWESOME corporate volunteers come to Variety. Aviva Insurance has visited numerous times and helped us paint around the facility and prep our gardens. Thank you for your ongoing support and for helping create a more sustainable Variety Village! You can help too! Just click the donate button above and give today.

rockwall 2


Rockwall Camp

Did you know that we have a rock wall right here in our facility? During the summer, we also do a rock wall camp for all abilities and skill levels. Participants learn the basic elements of safety, terminology and techniques of rock climbing. It’s a great camp to give kids a challenge, build their self-esteem and have fun! Support camps that give every child the opportunity to try something new, no matter their abilities. Donate today!



Charity Curl

Earlier this year, we had our 3rd annual Charity Curl. This one-day, two-game event raises funds to support our day and community-based programs.  Teams dressed up in costume and they played one of Canada’s favourite sports – it was definitely an evening of fun, socializing and fundraising! You can still support Variety without curling – just click the donate button today!

ambassador - patricia



Our ambassador Patricia says, “I love Variety Village because of all the people. Everyone is so happy all the time and it’s just great to walk into the building and see all the smiling faces. Everyone gets to participate in the action no matter their ability.” Give other kids in our community the chance to feel included in sports and recreation, no matter their ability!



Nemean Lion Athletics

Nemean Lion Athletics offers participants training in track and field events. Depending on their stage of development, athletes are streamed into the event group area where they can be the most successful. Event group areas can include throws, jumps, sprints, and wheelchair events among others. Give children the opportunity to experience track and field, no matter their age or ability, donate today!

Al Waxman picnic


Al Waxman

Variety has always had some amazing people supporting what we do. Back in the day, Al Waxman would always come out to support our kids. Waxman was best known for his roles in King of Kensington and Cagney & Lacey. Join him and other amazing people in supporting Variety and a more accessible community, donate today!

Marlena 15kg Jerk


Young Hercules Competition

In July, the five youngest members of our Variety Village Weightlifting Club participated in the Young Hercules Weightlifting Competition. This annual event promotes the sport of Olympic weightlifting for athletes 10 to 17 years of age. Congrats to Marlena Delgado, Nicholas Savva, Asher Edgson, Gabriel Savva and Feras Sharaf Eldin for doing an AMAZING job! Support our kids in amazing sports and fitness clubs like weightlifting – click the donate button today.




Shout out to RBC, who has volunteered at Variety time and time again! They have been generous with their support, providing donations for our gardens and even helping to sustain it. It’s corporate volunteers like them that bring us one step closer to a more inclusive and barrier-free community. Show your support and donate today.



Synchro Club

Synchronized swimming is a sport that builds teamwork, confidence, flexibility, strength, and develops the “whole athlete”. We have over 100 athletes participating in pre-competitive, provincial and national level options of varying abilities in our synchronized swimming club. Your donation will help support programs like this, allowing children with disabilities to participate in all kinds of programs and activities!



Throwback - Construction

Here’s a quick throwback of when Variety was being transformed from the vocational school to the sports and fitness facility it is today! When the need for a vocational school decreased, we we shifted our focus on providing sport and recreation for everybody and re-opened as Variety Village in 1981. Donate today to support inclusive and accessible programs and facilities for people in our community.




We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without the support of our amazing corporate partners throughout the years. Valuable corporate relationships with partners such as Zurich Canada have been helping us sustain operating costs for years. We are so grateful for your many contributions to help restore and revive our valuable organization. Help them help us improve the lives of children living with a disability, donate today!



Cassidy Sheng

Cassidy Sheng was a member and swimmer on our Flames Swim Team. When she was seven, cancer claimed one of her legs but that didn’t stop her in becoming a superstar in and out of the pool. Cassidy won silver at the Can-Ams in 2014 in Miami with the 50m butterfly – her specialty. She also won gold in the same event at the Ontario’s championship in 2013. When the cancer came back, Cassidy remained as strong as ever, with FEARLESS becoming synonymous with her name. In early 2015, Cassidy passed but her strength and courage will forever be remembered.

ambassador - kathleen



Kathleen is a huge Toronto sports team fan, a musician, a talented athlete and one of our ambassadors! Kathleen has been a member since 1996 and swims with our Sunshine Swim Team, even competing in the National Games in Vancouver. She also participates in our Taekwondo and synchronized swimming programs. Kathleen loves Variety because “I get to know all the staff, meet new friends and enjoy fun programs.” Help us give kids the opportunity to play the sports they enjoy in a barrier-free environment.

track and field 2


Athletics Ontario

Athletics Ontario is the governing body for Athletics sports in Ontario. Athletics include track and field, road running, cross country, and race walking. With values like promoting physical, emotional and mental well-being and inclusiveness, accessibility and affordability, it makes perfect sense that they are one of our AMAZING internal partners! Show your support for giving kids the opportunity to participate in sport and fitness, no matter their skill levels and abilities. Donate today.

Adam Archie


Archie Allison

We are so lucky to have some amazing staff here at Variety. Archie Allison has been making a difference in the lives of thousands of people since starting in 1984. He is our Director of Access and Awareness but is also a coach, special event organizer and instructor at several colleges and universities. Earlier this year he was inducted into the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame! Follow Archie’s footsteps and help make a difference in the lives of people in our community, click the donate button today!

world dwarf games


World Dwarf Games

This year, Variety hosted the kick-off event for the World Dwarf Games that occurred in August. In its 7th year, the World Dwarf Games is the largest sporting event that is exclusively for athletes with dwarfism. Athletes of all ages and level participate in sports such as basketball, soccer, volleyball, swimming, boccia, and powerlifting among others. Support inclusive and barrier-free events like this – donate today!

johm mcroberts 2


John McRoberts

Earlier this year we were thrilled and honoured to welcome John McRoberts. McRoberts was a member of Variety Village in the 1980s where he played wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis before his start in para-sailing. He qualified for Rio with his wife in the SKUD-18 class in para-sailing – and won silver! Support barrier-free facilities and inclusive programs, donate today!

Jessica Ambassador Photo



A member of the Flames swim team and another one of our ambassadors is Jessica. Aside from swimming, she enjoys track & field and wheelchair tennis. One of her role models is a former teammate and Variety member, Cassidy Sheng. “She never gave up on anything and if she wanted something, she wouldn’t let anything stop her.”  Help give kids in our community inspirational role models like Jessica and Cassidy – donate today!

Asset 10


World Smile Day

On October 6 we celebrate World Smile Day! Today is a day to perform acts of kindness and make someone smile today. We can’t think of an easier way to make someone smile than to support Variety! By supporting Variety, you’re providing kids with abundant opportunities that they may not have had because of their disability. Be the reasons someone smiles, donate today.

parents and tot


Parent & Tot

We pride ourselves in how inclusive our programs are. For parents with tiny tots, we have several Parents and Tots programs that focus on developing fundamental skills for your child while you get a good workout in! We have programs focusing on developing motor skills, balance, coordination, climbing and even swimming. Your support will help us continue to provide inclusive classes where babies can be babies while parents work out. Click the donate button today.

rogers 2



Rogers has been supporting Variety for years – doing everything from helping finish our kids’ gym to painting to donating equipment and furniture to improve our facility! We are so grateful for all the support they’ve given and their dedication to ensuring kids with disabilities can live and play in a barrier-free and accessible community. Show your dedication – donate today.

ambassador - zach



“My name is Zachary. I have cerebral palsy which means my muscles don’t listen to me. I have two brothers and two sisters – I am a triplet. My inspirational role model is Ryan, my swimming teacher at Variety Village. I love Variety because it helps me with my CP and I get to learn new skills like rock climbing!” Help us help kids like Zach have the chance to learn new skills in a barrier-free environment. Click the donate button and give today.

taekwondo camp


Taekwondo Camp

Our summer camps aren’t just filled with swimming, track and field and arts – kids can learn Taekwondo too! Our Taekwondo camp helps kids of all abilities discover the dynamic sport. Donate today to help us continue providing fun and inclusive summer camps like this!



Vocational School

In 1948, a vocational guidance & training school and residence for youth began. The goal was to provide more opportunities for boys with physical disabilities in the community. There were three main areas of training: shop, watch making and commercial departments. Eventually, the need for such a school diminished and Variety evolved into the sports and fitness facility it is today!

under armour


Under Armour

Shout out to another one of our awesome corporate volunteer groups – Under Armour! They have done so much for us over the years including prepping and painting our back kitchen, painting around the facility, and helping us out with our Variety Village gear! Thank you Under Armour for your support over the years! You can show your support too – just click the donate button today!



The Honourable Eleanor McMahon

In July we were excited to welcome the Honourable Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport to Variety Village. Along with Lorenzo Berardinetti from Scarborough Southwest and Rick Makos, one of our board members, they toured our facility and even got to participate in a little VOLT hockey! Thank you for supporting inclusive and accessible programs and facilities. You can show your support too – just click the donate button today.



After School Program

By now you probably know that we offer a wide variety of programs. With children back in school, our After School Program is underway! This program gives grade-school students the opportunity to be active after school. They can swim, dive, climb and play in an accessible and safe environment, all while having lots of fun. Your donations will help us continue to offer programs such as this, allowing children of all ages and abilities to just be kids in an inclusive facility.

dance camp-01


Dance Camp

Even though summer is over, we’re still thinking about our awesome summer camps! Another camp we offer is our Dance Camp – where kids learn the basics of jazz, ballet and hip-hop! Dance Camp is for kids of all abilities and skill levels and is a fun and inclusive space for them to learn the art of movement. Your donations will help us continue to offer creative, interactive and inclusive camps to children of all abilities.

paul rosen - todd kierstead


Todd Kierstead & Paul Rosen

We’re so lucky to have amazing people visit and prove that there are no limits! Todd Kierstead and Paul Rosen are two of our awesome friends, visiting Variety Village and teaching our members about adapted golf. You two are inspirations; thank you for your dedication in support an #AllAbilityFacility and showing our kids that nothing is impossible. Donate today to #HelpUsHelpKids succeed in a barrier-free community.



Make a Difference Day

October 28 marks Make a Difference Day when we celebrate how ANYBODY can make a difference in their community! Variety runs on community support and without people like you making positive impact everyday, we wouldn’t be able to provide kids with disabilities the opportunities to play in an inclusive environment. Donate today and make a difference in your community!



Boccia Day

Participaction and Boccia Canada came to Variety Village to host a Community Boccia Day for our members! Whether it was their first time ever or first time in a while, members came and enjoyed the Paralympic sport, similar to bocce and curling. When you donate, you’re supporting adapted sports such as Boccia, allowing people with disabilities the opportunities to participate in sport and fitness!

cheque presentation


Toronto Wolfpack

This year, we were so excited to form a partnership with the Toronto Wolfpack Rugby Team when they chose Variety as their charity of choice! We had amazing volunteers attend home games selling 50/50 raffle tickets…when you win, kids win! Thank you to the Wolfpack for supporting kids with disabilities and an accessible and inclusive community! You can donate and show your support too! Just click the donate button above and give today.



ParaSport Mentoring Program

In our Para Sport Mentoring Program, participants tried out a number of para sport activities such as boccia and wheelchair basketball. The Para Sport Mentoring Program increases the awareness and opportunities of para sport activities to youngsters with physical disabilities, their families and peers throughout the Greater Toronto area. Help increase opportunities for children with disabilities in your community. Click the donate button above and donate today!



Al Waxman

Variety has always had some amazing people supporting what we do. Back in the day, actor and producer Al Waxman would always come out to support our kids. Waxman was best known for his roles in King of Kensington and Cagney & Lacey. Join him and other amazing people in supporting Variety and a more accessible community, donate today!



Invictus Flag Tour

Prior to the Invictus Games’ start, Variety Village was lucky to be one of the stops on the Invictus National Flag Tour! A flagbearer visited Variety Village and walked with our Milestones group waving the Invictus flag in our fieldhouse. When you donate, you’re supporting a community where those with a disability can enjoy adapted sports, just like the events you see at the Invictus Games! Click the donate button above and donate today.

variety village members


Caregiver Appreciation Day

Variety can’t help children with disabilities alone; it’s the amazing caregivers that help us help children succeed. On Caregiver Appreciation Day we recognize the valuable contributions of caregivers in the lives of those with a disability and in society as a whole. Thank you to all the amazing and supportive caregivers! Donate today to help us and to help caregivers help more children with disabilities in our community.

2014-02-06 11.50.21


World Kindness day

Being kind doesn’t have to be limited to great big gestures, it’s the little acts of kindness that sometimes mean the most and feel the best! On World Kindness Day, celebrate by being kind to each other and spread happiness and joy through acts of kindness. It can be as simple as smiling at a stranger, giving up your seat on the bus, sharing kind words or clicking the donate button to give today! Spread happiness at Variety by helping kids with disabilities – donate today.



No Bull Burgers

What’s better than a delicious juicy burger? A delicious juicy burger for a good cause! In October, No Bull Burgers chose Variety as their charity of choice for their 3rd Annual #NoBullGivesBack Day. They gave away free burgers for a $2 and 100% of the proceeds came right to Variety to help kids with disabilities! If you missed it and didn’t get your burgers, you can still help by donating – just click the button above and give today.

the forward movement


The Forward Movement

Variety proudly supports #TheForwardMovement’s campaign to update the accessibility symbol in Ontario. In September we had a painting party and repainted accessible parking spots with the updated symbol. This updated symbol is meant to encourage others to rethink their understanding of disability. Your donation will help us continue to provide an inclusive and accessible environment – click the donate button and give today!

elizabeth walker young


Elizabeth Walker-Young

Elizabeth Walker-Young is one of Variety’s many amazing alumni. A former member of our Flames Swim Team, Elizabeth went on to become a four-time Paralympic swimmer – winning three gold, one silver and two bronze medals. But she didn’t stop there! She was then named Team Canada’s Assistant Chef de Mission for the London 2012 Paralympic Games and Team Canada’s Chef de Mission for the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games. Your donation will help us continue to foster spectacular Paralympic, world-record breaking athletes like Elizabeth!



Toronto Firefighters

Another one of our long-standing community partners is the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters Association. Over the years, the TPFFA has shown their support and dedication to our #AllAbilityFacility, supporting as at our events, their generous donations, and with all their help with our World’s Greatest Christmas Party. Thank you for continuing to support Variety. Because of community partners like you, more and more kids are discovering that #VarietyKidsCan! Donate today to #HelpUsHelpKids.



Variety Gala

In November, we had our Variety Gala – Throwback Thursday; a night where we looked back on 69 years of helping children with disabilities and celebrated many more to come! With special guests like comedian Carla Collins, DJ Matt Cully and Toronto Maple Leafs Alumni Bob Nevin and Terry Clancy, it was definitely a night to remember. Guests partied with a purpose – to help Variety Kids! Want to help us help kids? No need to wait for next year’s gala – just donate today!



PanAm Torch

Variety was lucky enough to have the PanAm Torch pass at our facility back in 2015 and even luckier to have two of our members carry it! Megan Sherwin, Variety ambassdor and Flames swim team member, ran in the Pan Am Torch Relay on Danforth Avenue and then passed it on to Aaron Sheng, who carried it in memory of his sister – Cassidy Sheng (see reason #70).

mont hall telethon


Telethon with Monty Hall

Back in the day, Variety hosted the Annual Variety Club Telethon – a televised fundraising program where movie stars, singers and other celebrities would come out and help raise money for Variety kids! A long-time emcee of our telethon, Monty Hall, was a great supporter of Variety and an advocate for inclusivity and accessibility in our community. The Telethon days may have passed but you can still do your part in helping kids with disabilities – donate today!

Aoun 3


International Children's Day

International Children’s Day promotes international togetherness and awareness among children worldwide. On November 20, and every day since 1928, Variety – the Children’s Charity and our donors help children who are sick, disadvantaged or live with special needs to slay their dragons, empowering them to live, laugh and learn. Help us help kids and donate today- with your help, Variety Kids Can!




Our members and staff got dressed up for Halloween and did not disappoint! We had bees buzzin’ around, giant gnomes in our courtyard, and mysterious characters walking around the Village. There may have been some spooky looking characters but Variety is anything but! A home away from home for many, Variety is a place where people can have fun no matter their age or ability. Donate today and help give more people the opportunity to experience this home away from home.




At Variety, we do everything we can to give everybody the opportunity to participate in sports and fitness programs, no matter their ability! Take our Chair Fitness program as an example. Chairfit is designed for people in chairs or those who require a chair to increase stability. This fitness program focuses on upper body and increases strength and cardiovascular endurance. So no matter your ability, you can always enjoy sports and fitness programs here at Variety!



Toronto Sun
Christmas Fund

The holiday season means the return of the Toronto Sun Christmas Fund! Started by sports columnist George Gross, the annual fund raises money for Variety Village in support of our inclusive and all-ability facility. As of 2008, Mike Strobel has taken over and he has helped bring the total funds raised to over $1.3 million! The holiday season is about spreading love and joy – donate to help children with disabilities have a Christmas filled with happiness!



Taekwondo Championship

In November, the Toronto Open Taekwondo Championships were held at the Village. This annual event celebrates and showcases Taekwondo athletes of ALL abilities. Over 1100 participants from all over Ontario, Quebec and even the United States came out with 24 athletes from Variety’s own Young Choung Taekwondo Academy competing; great job athletes! When you donate, you’re supporting inclusive programs like Taekwondo. Click the donate button today!

rick mercer


Rick Mercer Report

Throwback to one of our favourite days: Back in 2015 , Rick Mercer came to Variety Village to shoot a segment for the Rick Mercer Report! He met our staff and members and even tried his hand at wheelchair basketball with Adam Lancia and the high ropes course with Alexander. Thank you Rick for supporting our #AllAbilityFacility – it’s supporters like you that help us provide a safe, accessible and FUN place in our community!



Tracey Ferguson

Tracey Ferguson; Canadian Disability Hall of Fame Inductee, seven-time Paralympic athlete, three-time gold medalist, amazing wheelchair basketball athlete…and it all started at Variety! Tracey began playing wheelchair basketball here at Variety after a spinal surgery left her paralyzed at nine years old. That start turned into an amazing athletic career lasting over two decades and putting her at the top of the World Championship, Paralympic Games and international-level podiums.



Jeff Tiessen

Jeff Tiessen is the Executive Director of one of our awesome partners, Parasport Ontario. Recently, it was announced that he will be receiving a Senate 150th Anniversary Medal for his involvement in Canada’s Paralympic Movement. Before Parasport Ontario and before founding Disability Today Publication Group, Jeff was a three-time Paralympian athlete – winning medals for various track & field events and setting Canadian and world records! When you donate, you’re supporting an all-ability facility so kids with disabilities can enjoy sports and fitness!



International Day of People with Disabilities

On December 3, 2017 we celebrated International Day of People with Disabilities. The day aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development. It also aims to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life. At Variety Village, we celebrate ability, not disability, every day! Donate to support an inclusive, accessible and barrier-free environment.



Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is an annual day celebrating giving. This world-wide movement which takes place after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, encourages people to put some money on the side and donate to charitable organizations. Variety reminded people about the lasting impact they could make for kids with disabilities when they donate…and they delivered! We were able to raise DOUBLE the amount we raised last year! If you missed out, you can still make a lasting impact…just click the donate button at the top of the page and give today!



World's Greatest Christmas Party

In December, Variety Village hosted the World’s Greatest Christmas Party! This signature annual fundraising event has over 1,000 people enjoy tasty treats, a special visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, games, and fun activities for the whole family! The party is an affordable way for families to celebrate the holiday spirit in a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment, while helping Variety Village raise funds for its specialized programs to support people with disabilities. You can still help raise funds, just click the donate button above and donate today!

master cabanatan


Jerome and Rommel Cabanatan

Our programs wouldn’t be successful without our amazing instructors! Master Jerome Cabanatan and Master Rommel Cabanatan are two incredible instructors at Variety’s Young Chuong Taekwondo Academy. They both have impressive careers both as an athlete and as coaches; Jerome represented Canada at the World Championships and World Military Championships, among others, and Rommel was awarded the 2016 Community NCCP Coach Developer Award for his outstanding commitment in coach education. These two are so dedicated to our #AllAbilityFacility and giving all kids the opportunities to learn and enjoy sports and fitness!

pan am masters weightlifting championship 14


Weightlifting Competition

Back in 2014, Variety Village hosted the Pan Am/Canadian Masters Weightlifting Competition. More than 250 athletes from across Canada, the US, South America and Dominican Republic came out to compete! The athletes ranged from ages 35 to 83 and the nice part about a Masters competition, is that athletes compete against other athletes their age. Variety had four athletes competing under the supervision of Olympic athlete and world champion, Coach Abdallah Alsebaai. When you support Variety, you’re supporting inclusive events such as the Pan Am Masters Weightlifting Competition!



Mike Strobel

Mike Strobel has always gone above and beyond to shine a light on Variety Village. The quirky Toronto Sun columnist, veteran writer, editor, author, and very good friend of the Village, took over the reins of the 38 year old Toronto Sun Christmas Fund in 2008 after the passing of fund-co-founder, George Gross. With Mike at the helm these past 9 years, he has helped raise the fund total to over $1.3 million! Mike continues to help make a difference in the lives of many people with disabilities – and you can too! Just donate today!



Ryerson Rams

We love when other groups in our communities come out to Variety and learn more about accessibility and what we offer! We had the Ryerson Rams Men’s team come out to Variety Village and they tried their hand at wheelchair basketball and had a chance to play VOLT Hockey with our amazing VOLT Hockey team. The kids did not take it easy on them either! Thank you Ryerson Rams for showing your support in kids with disabilities having the opportunities to enjoy sports and fitness here at Variety!



Canadian Games for Physically Disabled

Here’s a throwback to August of 1976 during the Canadian Games for the Physically Disabled. Previously only open to athletes in a wheelchair, this was one of the first Canadian games where athletes with a visual impairment and/or had an amputation were able to compete. The games took place from August 23-29, 1976 and Variety Village was the focal point for the duration of the games. Just as we did in 1976, Variety believes that everyBODY should have the opportunity to enjoy sports and fitness. Donate today to help us give kids with disabilities those opportunities.

Madi and Megan


Madi Ambos

Remember our superhero member, Madi Ambos? (Hint:Check out reason #7) Madi was able to travel to St.Louis with her family to undergo a life-changing surgery. Recently, Madi took her first steps! Her first real steps; no walker, no canes, no braces and nobody helping her stand. It’s because of generous donors like you who help us help kids with disabilities reach incredible milestones. Help more kids like Madi, donate today!



Abdi Dini

Abdi Dini is another Variety Village alumnus who has gone on to achieve some incredible things. Starting his wheelchair basketball career in 1996, Abdi has won gold with Team Canada and bronze with Team Ontario. He has competed, and won, at various Paralympics, ParaPan Ams and World Championships – further proving what an outstanding athlete he is. Donate today to help Variety kids have the opportunities to train and compete in adaptive sports, just like Abdi…your donation could help foster the next great Paralympic athlete!



Gavi Engel-Yan

She may have a neurological disorder that affects her muscles and voice, but Gavriella “Gavi” Engel-Yan is a force to be reckoned with. She uses a motorized wheelchair to travel and talks by typing into a machine, but Gavi has some pretty impressive accomplishments already; for one, she is Canada’s first and only female Volt hockey player! Variety Village is a place where everybody has the opportunity to be a stellar athlete because there are programs for everyBODY!



Official Opening

Here’s another throwback to 1981 at the official opening of Variety Village! Premier William Davis is speaking with Jennifer Skalenda, a former member. When it opened, Variety Village was the Variety Club of Ontario’s new $8.2 million sports and training and fitness centre for people with disabilities. Fast forward 36 years later and we’re still here – giving people with disabilities the ability to participate in sports and live a healthy and active lifestyle!



Jessica & Aly

Variety Village isn’t just a sports and fitness centre, it’s a second home for many and relationships and friendships are created here. Take Jessica and Aly – two swimmers on the Flames team who have become best friends. Both athletes have cerebral palsy which has helped them understand and help each other come out of their shells. Now, Jessica and Aly are prospects for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics and the 2024 Paris Paralympics, respectively. Donate to support an inclusive home away from home where kids with disabilities participate in sport and make life-long friendships.



Griffith Foods

We had an AWESOME corporate volunteer group come in from Griffith Foods and had a Pancake Breakfast in appreciation of our staff and members! Volunteers from Griffith Foods came to Variety early in the morning to prepare for a fantastic pancake breakfast, free for our members and staff. They mixed, flipped and served over 600 pancakes in one morning – complete with blueberries, chocolate chips, and sprinkles! Thank you Griffith Foods; a lot of people sure had happy stomachs that day!

gary crawford tree lighting


Gary Crawford's Tree Lighting

The holiday season means a couple things here at Variety; the World’s Greatest Christmas Party is coming up, the Toronto Sun Christmas Fund is back and lastly, Councillor Gary Crawford will be holding his annual Christmas Tree Lighting here at the Village! This year was the 8th year that Gary Crawford had this event which included caroling, delicious treats, performances by students from local schools, and even a visit from jolly ol’ Saint Nick!



The Sarhan Family

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again; Variety Village is a home away from home for many. For the Sarhan family, the Village is a safe haven after fleeing from their war-torn home in Syria. Their oldest child, Foad, uses a wheelchair because of demyelinating disease and living in Syria was even more difficult for him and his family. The family’s sponsors introduced them to Variety Village and is now a second home for Foad who has been to summer camps, uses the gym machines and even goes swimming every week! Donate today to help keep Variety Village a safe place for more kids like Foad.



Human Rights Day

Started in 1948, Human Rights Day celebrates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the milestone document proclaiming the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being, regardless of their race, age, gender, etc. The principles in the Declaration are as relevant today as they were in 1948. At Variety, we strive to give EVERYBODY the rights and opportunities to do what they dream of, no matter what. Donate today to support our all-ability facility.



Throwback to LG Games

We’ve told you about the annual Lieutenant Governor’s Games, but we dug up some throwbacks of the LG Games in its earlier years! This photo was taken in 1987, just a few years after the Games began! Today almost 1,000 kids participate but back in 1987, 137 athletes participated. Political and sport dignitaries attended the games, playing along with the kids. Here, you can see Toronto Argos linebacker, Willie Pless, playing pillow polo which is similar to floor hockey.



Swim Meet

You may remember our Sunshine Swim Team – our swim team made up entirely of athletes with developmental disabilities. This month they had their Sunshine Swim Meet, held by Special Olympics Ontario right here at Variety Village! The athletes swam and competed against other athletes and teams in an inclusive, welcoming, and fun environment! When you donate, you’re supporting a facility and programs that is barrier-free and accessible for ALL.

Variety Village Feb  2014 (107)


Our Staff

Where would we be without our SUPER STAFF? We have amazing people who are dedicated to providing a safe, fun and inclusive community for everybody – regardless of their abilities or age. Our staff works incredibly hard every single day to make sure that everybody has the opportunity to participate in sports and play at our all-ability facility. Whether they’re running programs, manning the front desk, or providing our members with delicious food, each staff member strives to make sure that everybody is included and welcomed here at Variety!



Donald Barrie

Don Barrie is just another example of the incredible people that come out Variety Village. Born with osteogenesis imperfecta, also know as “brittle bones”, it made moving difficult for Don. He came to Variety in the 1980s and since then has become a journalist and web designer, coaches a hockey team on the Canadian Electric Wheelchair Hockey Association, writing a book, and sits on the board of the Centre for Independent Living in Toronto…wow! If that wasn’t impressive enough, Don won a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013. Variety has been home to so many INCREDIBLE people – donate today and help us continue to be a home away from home for many!

michael caine


Variety Club

Variety has a long list of supporters throughout the years, including celebrities! This photo was taken back in 1983 during the Variety Club of Ontario’s annual luncheon in Toronto. Model/actress Susan Anton, known for her roles in Goldengirl and Baywatch, is seen in the photo speaking with actor Michael Caine, whose impressive resume includes roles in the Batman films, The Italian Job, Get Carter and Inception. The Variety luncheon attracted many celebrities and dignitaries all in support for kids with disabilities.



Variety Barbeque

Here’s another throwback! “Celebrity cooks serve hot dogs with relish; Singer Eartha Kitt, left, and CITY-TV’s Jeanne Beker were among a host of celebrities who helped kick off the Variety Club Telethon by serving hot dogs yesterday afternoon at an outdoor barbecue at Shopsy’s on Yonge St. The public could purchase the hot dogs with a donation and, since the Shopsy’s wieners and Silverstein’s buns were donated, all the money went to the Variety Club.” – Toronto Star, 1985



Bradley Bowden

Bradley Bowden is another Variety Village alumni on our Wall of Fame. A wheelchair basketball and a sledge hockey athlete, Bradley has represented Canada at three Paralympic Winter Games, one Paralympic Summer Games and six IPC World Championships. Some of his accomplishments include winning two gold medals, a silver, a bronze and being named the MVP in the 2010 Paralympic Games in Vancouver. He was also the first Paralympian to be inducted into the Orangeville Hall of Fame…now that’s impressive!



Anne Polinario

By the time she was 24, former Flames team member Anne Polinario had won three bronze medals at her first Paralympic Games in Sydney and was on her way to her second Paralympic Games in Athens. There, she picked up five more medals! Anne is the daughter of Rafael Polinario (see #49) and her mother was on Cuba’s national synchronized swimming team, so it’s no surprise that she has an impressive track record! She currently holds a number of Canadian records and has won a total of seven gold, four silver, and three bronze medals – wow!

paddle-boading-flyers - Copy



Here at Variety, we strive to make sure that everybody – no matter their abilities – can find a physical activity that they enjoy to help them live an active lifestyle. The unique programs we offer help us do just that and paddleboarding is just one example! For a limited time, we’re offering adapted paddleboarding for all abilities! Paddleboarding is a great form of aerobic exercise that helps increase muscle strength, balance and mobility. Donate today to help us continue to provide unique and inclusive programs for all abilities!



LINKS Breakfast

Another reason why Variety is awesome? LINKS Breakfast Club! You may remember our LINKS program (see reason #15) – one of our adult day-programs for those with physical and/or developmental disabilities. Every Thursday, the LINKS participants cook, sell and serve our members and staff delicious breakfast! Past meals have included grilled cheese, bacon and eggs, BLTs and omelettes. The breakfast club is just one of the ways LINKS participants learn new life skills and build their confidence. Donate today to support inclusive and progressive programs like LINKS!

jeff adams


Jeff Adams

At the age of nine, Jeff Adams was left with a permanently damaged spine after undergoing radiation to treat his cancer. But that didn’t stop this Variety Village Wall of Famer from accomplishing some amazing feats. a five-time Paralympic athlete and six-time World Champion, Jeff holds the world record for several track and field events and was inducted in to the Terry Fox Hall of Fame. After sports, Jeff smoothly transitioned into business and founded two companies – Marvel Wheelchairs and Icon Wheelchairs.



Grandmaster Young
Su Choung

Grandmaster Young Su Choung has been a partner of Variety Village since 1992. He founded the Variety Village Taekwondo Program and ran the first integrated and inclusive Taekwondo program in Canada. Over the years he has produced many Olympians, National Team Athletes and Coaches, International Referees and Judges, and has assisted with training and developing two Wall of Fame Para Athletes Inductees. Grandmaster Choung understands the importance of an all-ability facility, donate today to show you do too!



Look on the
Bright Side Day

Did you know that December 21 is “Look on the Bright Side Day”? It’s a day to be optimistic and look for something positive, in an otherwise bad or sad situation. Many of our members have experienced hardships in their lives, just as you may have, but thanks to Variety and the wonderful programs and people, our members are able to stay positive and look at the bright side! Help us continue to spread positivity to our participants, donate today!



Global News Throwback

Let’s take it back to 1984 when this photo was taken! Singer Julie Amato shoved pie in co-anchor John Dawe’s face on air during the Variety Club telethon. Dawe’s challenged viewers to match a Kingston caller’s $100 pledge if they wanted him to get face full of pie. Well viewers really wanted to see that because over $700 was raised from the one pledge alone! That money went towards helping kids with disabilities have access to inclusive programs here at Variety and you can help too! Just donate today.



Rob Snoek

Robert Snoek competed in the Paralympic Games in Barcelona (1992), Atlanta (1996) and Sydney (2000) as a track & field athlete and finished in the top ten for each of his events. He also competed in four World Championship Games, setting Canadian records in all his events. After his athletic career, Snoek moved on to sports broadcasting, covering the Olympics, Paralympics, PanAms, and Invictus Games. He’s been awarded the King Clancy Award for his outstanding contribution to the lives of Canadians with a disability and has been inducted into the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame.

laura misciagna


Laura Misciagna

Laura Misciagna developed a new era for Canadian athletes with cerebral palsy. She established World Records in several wheelchair events including the 100m in 1987, 200m in 1987, 400m in 1991 and 800m in 1989. She competed in the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games, winning bronze, and the 1984 New York/Stoke Mandeville Paralympic Games where she won three gold medals. Donate today to help kids with disabilities succeed in a barrier-free and inclusive environment, giving them the opportunities to be incredible athletes like Laura! Click the donate button at the top of the page.

mel fitzgerald


Mel Fitzgerald

After discovering wheelchair sports in 1977, Mel Fitzgerald competed in 800m, 1500m and marathons all over the world. He represented Canada at two Paralympic Games, two PanAms, and the 1984 Gold Cup in Australia. He won bronze at his  very first national wheelchair games in Edmonton and set two World Records at the 1980 Paralympics. In 1980, he was named the Canadian Male Athlete of the Year, St.John’s Athlete of the Year and Newfoundland and Labrador’s Athlete of the Year and was later appointed at Member of the Order of Canada in 1982.



Kaley McLean

When she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of two, doctors said she would never be able to walk. But Kaley McLean proved doctors wrong time and time again. She began swimming at Variety Village in 1995 and went on to compete in the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens. She competed in the 200m freestyle, 50m backstroke, and 50m butterfly which she beat her personal record in and broke the Canadian record in. Kaley’s not just a swimmer either, she also has a black belt in taekwondo! Donate today to give kids with disabilities the chance to break records and prove that they can!



Suleiman Muse

Suleiman Muse has been part of Variety Village for about 20 years. He first participated in sledge hockey and wheelchair basketball at a recreation and local level From 2009, Suleiman advanced in the sport of canoe kayak with his home training base Balmy Beach Canoe Club. He has represented Canada for several years and has participated in the World Championships in 2011 with a 6th place finish. Donate to #150Reasons to give kids with disabilities the access to progressive and inclusive programs that will help them live a healthy and active life while improving their confidence!

Camper at Variety Village



From all of us here at Variety, we want to wish you and yours a very merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Nothing says holidays like family time, delicious food and the spirit of giving! Fulfill the last part and give to kids with disabilities in our communities to let them have access to progressive, accessible, and barrier-free programs. Just click the donate button at the top of the page to give – it’s the gift that keeps on giving!



Thank You Day

December marks the end of another year and we want to say a great big THANK YOU to you! Your ongoing support throughout our 150 Reasons to Give campaign has allowed us to help more children with disabilities experience the inclusive and accessible community that is Variety Village. Thank you to the wonderful staff who works hard every single day to provide our members and participants a safe and accessible space to work out, make friends, and learn new skills!


Happy New Year

2017 is coming to end and we can’t help but look back at the amazing things we accomplished! It was a great year for Variety – we are spreading our message of inclusivity and accessibility throughout our communities and more and more kids with disabilities thrive. We are so excited for the new year and cannot wait to see what we can accomplish in 2018, with your help! From all of us here, Happy New Year to you and yours!



We’ve made it to reason #150 of our 150 Reasons to Give; YOU! Thanks to you, 2017 was a fantastic year for Variety. Thanks to you, we were able to expand our aquatic and grassroots programs. Thanks to you, we delivered our programming to our very first off-site location. Thanks to you, our first Variety Cocktail Gala was a huge success. And, thanks to you, we have been able to help more and more kids with disabilities succeed. We wouldn’t be able to make an impact on the lives of kids with disabilities without the unending support from you. We’ve given you 150 reasons to give to Variety and you’ve delivered, so thank you!

There's still time to make a donation!

As always, we at Variety greatly appreciate your support and contributions that allow us to improve the lives of the 35,000 people we help annually. It’s not too late to make your year-end gift, you can still donate! Just click the button below to give.

BUS: We have a bus stop right outside! Take the 12A from Victoria Park Station.

FREE parking onsite.

Wheel-Trans accessible.

Back To Top