The Down Syndrome Association of Toronto (DSAT)

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Social Activities

Below is a list of programs offered by DSAT and other organization in Toronto.  

To see the program details, simply click on the name or the + to expand the description.

Camp Diversability

 One Week, Adult, Sleep-Away, Leadership Program

August 8 - 13, 2017

Mulmur, Ontario

Supporting the Development of Special Leaders


Click here to donate to Camp Diversability


Camp Diversability is a volunteer-based, collective effort which brings together motivated young adults, with ‘special needs’ or ‘alternate abilities,’ who wish to work on personal growth, leadership, confidence and ways to contribute their gifts in their community in order to strengthen self-esteem and personal power. Each person can be a leader, in their own right, and share their unique gifts.
Camp Diversability’s host location is Unicamp of Ontario, deep in the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve Forest. Operating for 45+ years, spring, summer and fall, and is an off-the-grid, eco-conscious community. For more information about Unicamp, please visit their site:
Camp Diversability creates opportunities for participants to learn about, develop collectively and demonstrate their leadership skills through interactions with each other, within the Unicamp community, through the year and beyond camp. This year the campers will be challenged with planning and organizing a talent show from start to finish which they will perform for the larger Unicamp community.
Space is created for organic learning opportunities to arise and making sure there is time to enjoy a wide range of recreational activities, including swimming, caving, trekking on the Bruce Trail, arts, crafts, dance and sports.

Unicamp has similar values to Camp Diversability’s, which are to:

• understand and acknowledge the importance of each person
• seek kindness in all we do
• foster the freedom to learn together and to search for what is true
• affirm that all people need a voice
• work to build a fair and peaceful world
• care for our sacred earth with awareness of the interconnectedness of all beings and circumstances

It is unanimous that last summer was a great success! We had a group of devoted volunteers who worked with engaged participants who were enriched by the experience. The volunteers learned so much from the participants as well.
As a way to enhance their leadership opportunities, and deepen their friendships, our returning participants are now Directors of Camp Diversability. They gather together every two months to make decisions regarding the next camp (2017).

WAYS TO SUPPORT CAMP DIVERSABILITY, *See our website or contact us for further details.

• be a Male or Female Senior or Junior Team Mentor at camp
• workshop/presenter at camp (come to Unicamp and teach a workshop in drama, music, arts or dance or what you feel would benefit the campers and eat and spend the rest of the day with us.)
• lifeguard
• help us research busing options and funding
• connect us to private or corporate funding
• help organize and/or support at the bi-monthly Directors meetings, held in Toronto and York Region
• provide a mid-city location for our Director meetings
• send us leadership stories of how you have been inspired and positively impacted by a great leader, which we can post on the website.
• help us with social media
• spread the word about this project and share our website


If you feel that you would like to catch this wave and ride it with us, please contact us to see how you can add your power, support and skills to the mix. Camp Diversability Team Mentors are excited to learn what we can from our participants and volunteers. Let’s see what kind of magic we can create together!

Yvonne Bloom


Down Syndrome Association of Toronto



Facebook: Camp Diversability (please "like" us)

Dance Rock


As you all know, Dance Rock is getting increasingly popular, with DJ Arif ( As more and more dancers fill the church basement, we want to ensure that everyone is having a good time in safe surroundings.

For that reason, we’ve decided to keep our downstairs entrance doors locked and closed to dancers until opening time at 7:30 pm which allows dance organizers and volunteers to set up.

Parents/caregivers sign MUST leave a phone number they can be reached at on the the contact sheet at EVERY dance (adding the names of any teens who you are car-pooling with) and make sure your dancer is wearing a name tag.

Finally, parking on MacNaughton is NOT advised. It upsets the neighbourhood and does attract yellow tickets from Toronto's finest. Please park in the church parking lot or the neighbouring school parking lot. Both are free, vacant and a better option.

Here are the details:



All dancers with developmental delays and their friends are invited to this event.


Basement of St Anselm's Church, 1 MacNaughton Road, Toronto, M4G 3H3  (enter through MacNaughton Road door).  View map


Friday nights 7:30-9:30 pm MONTHLY

2016 DATES: 

September 9, 2016

October 14, 2016

November 11, 2016

December 9, 2016

January 13, 2017

February 10, 2017

March 10, 2017

April 21, 2017

May 12, 2017

June 9, 2017


Admission $5 (includes snack and drink)


St Anselm's Church is located just 2 blocks east of Bayview at the corner of Millwood Avenue and MacNaughton Road. (Millwood Ave runs east-west and is just one block north of Davisville Avenue and 5 blocks south of Eglinton.)  There's lots of PARKING behind the church, on the streets and at the school just east at Bessborough Drive.  This dance will be supervised, so parents can leave dancers who do not require one-on-one support at the dance.

For more information contact:

Yvonne Bloom 416-771-4844


Dance Rock West

Dance Rock West


Dance rock is expanding out to the west end of the city. Come and dance the night away to all your favourite tunes by DJ ARIF.


360 Windermere Ave, Toronto, Ontario

South of Bloor in between Runnymede and Jane

There is parking at the church and overflow parking on the street



Friday nights, 7:30 - 9:30 pm


September 23, 2016

October 28, 2016

February 3, 2017

March 24, 2017

April 28, 2017

May 26, 2017

June 23, 2017


All dancers with developmental delays and their friends are invited to this event.

Dancers must be 13 years of age or older.


Admission $5 (includes snack and drink)



SIGN IN WITH EMERGENCY CONTACT INFO - We remind all parents and caregivers, if you are not staying at the dance, PLEASE sign in with emergency contact numbers. In case of emergency, we need to be able to reach you immediately. Many participants are unable to tell us phone numbers... Especially in an emergency!

For more information please contact Nancy Howson at or 416-966-0990.


At DramaWay we provide process-based arts programs that facilitate social and life-skills development. We are dedicated to providing unique creative programs that help participants expand their artistic skills and grow as individuals in a structured, non-competitive, inspirational atmosphere. DramaWay programs span the realm of the fine arts. Programs offered include theatre, dance, film, music, visual arts and even puppetry. All programs are created, geared and modified to suit individuals of all abilities. We specialize in working with individuals who have special needs.




Keeping with the importance of building social networks, DSAT is extremely excited to offer our new "DSAT PAL (Play and Learn) Programs". The PAL programs will offer various events and activities to help develop and nurture a social network while learning and having fun with peers.

PAL 03 (Ages 0 to 3)

DSAT's PAL03 morning play group will be held the last Wednesday and Sunday of each month. This event will offer parents an opportunity to socialize with other parents of children with Down syndrome while their children play and interact with their peers. Siblings are welcome to join. All playgroups are held at The Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre 750 Spadina Ave. Toronto, ON  

Click here for more information or to register

PAL 05 (Ages 0 to 5)

Through the DSAT PAL 05, our children will establish friendships that will be sure to last a lifetime. DSAT's Saturday morning play group offer parents an opportunity to socialize with other parents of children with Down syndrome while their children play and interact with their peers. Siblings are welcome to join. All playgroups are held at Kidnetix Play Centre Address: 100 Bridgeland Ave. Unit#1 North York, ON M6A 2V1  

Click here for more information or to register

PAL 612 (Ages 6 to 12)

DSAT PAL 612 is designed for children with Down syndrome to nurture friendships in a fun, social setting. Places will be chosen to encourage appropriate socialization, play, and interaction for all children. Siblings are welcome to join in on the fun, and build friendships with other siblings as well. Parent involvement will be hands on while sharing in the company of others. For 2014/2015 DSAT will be expanding their Saturday morning playgroup to include children up to age 12. All playgroups are held at Kidnetix Play Centre Address: 100 Bridgeland Ave. Unit#1 North York, ON M6A 2V1  

Click here for more information or to register

PAL 1319 (Ages 13 to 19)

This unique PAL 1319 program is designed for teens with Down syndrome to meet new friends, gain independence and develop life skills through fun, social outings with other teens with DS. Each outing will be organized, led and fully supervised by the DSAT PAL 1319 team consisting of parents, professionals and volunteers. Such outings will include, but not limited to movies, bowling, dinner, etc. and will occur once a month throughout the year. 

Click here for more information or to register

East End Children's Center

Neighbourhood meeting places for anyone caring for young children 

Parents, Grandparents and others caring for babies and small children will find an environment and people that respect and value them… Infants, toddlers and preschoolers will find lots to learn about… and friends to learn with!

The East End Children’s Centre is a non-profit community based organization. Its purpose is to encourage the healthy growth and development of families and others involved in the provision of care for young children in Toronto’s east end.

EECC Program Flyer:

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JUST DANCE! . . . At St.Bonaventure


At St. Bonaventure - Try SOMETHING Different - A VIDEO DANCE - You can watch famly friendly music videos of song that is being played.

Just Dance Dates:  

September 16, 2016

November 4, 2016

December 2, 2016

January 20, 2017

February 17, 2017

March 3, 2017

April 7, 2017

June 16, 2017

Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm


For Ages 15-39 with developmental delays and their friends are invited to this event.
Parents can leave dancers who do not require one-on-one support at the dance; and
please sign the waivers with your contact info. (Parents are welcomed to stay and help
at the dance but limited seating area)


1300 Leslie Street, M3C 2K9 - South of Lawrence Avenue, and South of Edwards
Gardens North of Eglinton.


Admission $8 includes Video Dance, juice, chips.


Take bus 54 or 51 from the Eglinton Station or bus 51 from the Leslie Station.
For parents who are driving/dropping off, there is Shops at Don Mills Plaza or
stay to help out at the dance.

Contact Info:


Karate For Change

New Karate Program For Kids With Intellectual Disabilities

My name is Daniel Dees and I run the program "Karate For Change". The program is a non contact program of Karate, focusing on physical fitness, discipline, and large body motor movement, as well as small body motor movement.

Social skills are built within the class dynamic, and while a lot of work for the kids, they have a lot of fun. They are worked hard and there is a tremendous amount of buzz around the program, about how great the kids are doing.

There is really nothing else like it, I love how hard they work. My program began upon a realization that many kids with disabilities are quite sedentary. I had been working as a respite worker for the summer, and all the children I was working with spent their time in doors. With my life long passion for Martial Arts and my interest in working with kids and adults with disabilities, I decided to finally combine the two.

The program has been an incredible success, and despite all the great things I have seen, there has been one particular progression that has ultimately captured me. The relationship between the fathers and their children has improved and grown immensely. The fathers have been coming out in droves to support their children, and I believe it has something to do with the nature of the program, which is slightly more geared towards physical fitness, and of course fathers love to see their kids kick and punch a bag! I believe the program brings the children and their fathers in particular, closer together. I have heard the coolest things, such as the kids wanting to workout with their dads.

We do some very cool things together in class, things the fathers can do with their kids as well. I have been running classes in Port Credit and Scarborough for kids with autism and a class in Richmond Hill for kids with Down Syndrome. We just opened our first location in the downtown area at 553 Queen St. West.

To learn more about these various classes or to register someone please contact Daniel at  You can check out our website at 

To see the original article with pictures click here

Kitchen Talk

Adventures in Cooking & Social Skills/Speech-Language Therapy! 

Longo’s Bathurst
9306 Bathurst Street
Vaughan, Ontario
L6A 4N9

View Map 

The kitchen is an exciting place - somewhere where people gather, talk & socialize. “Kitchen Talk” is an innovative program which builds the communication skills of people with special needs through the motivating element of food. Communication & social skills training through cooking activities

...What could be more fun?


Targeted goals focus on communication & interaction through cooking activities. Activities are structured to include practice, guidance & support with:

  • initiating an interaction/conversation
  • using follow-up questions to keep a conversation going
  • focusing on peers’ responses & recording them using visual worksheets
  • giving directions, sequencing ideas
  • communicating in front of a group of people
  • overall speech clarity (speech rate, volume, eye contact . . .)

focus is on peer communication & social interaction skills

Highlights & Registration

Contact Tina Gasee, Speech-Language Pathologist, for more information or to put your name on a contact list for future programs

Tina Gasee
(905) 326-9616

  • 1.5 hour program; 10 sessions (previous programs were 8 sessions)
  • School-age (7 years +) at 1:00 pm & Teen group at 2:30 pm
  • ratio of 1 staff to 2 clients

* Fee may be covered by private insurance or Special Services at Home

*** The Loft is NOT an allergy or peanut-free area.

Laura Hunter's STEPS Programs

For thirty years STEPS has provided skill development to children, youth and adults with special needs. STEPS offers a variety of recreational, life skills and leadership programs. These programs are designed to enable clients to participate successfully in activities in their community, their school and their home.

STEPS Programs focus on the development of physical skills, critical thinking, independence, decision-making, communication and self-confidence. Programs are customized to the ability levels and unique needs of participants and instruction is broken down into a series of small achievable steps.

STEPS receives referrals from teachers, physiotherapists and doctors as well as from families who have benefited from our programs.

To read more go to

Meta Centre

Saturday Recreation and Leisure Fun

For youths and adults 13+ years old with developmental disabilities.

Young adults will have the opportunity to establish a peer network within a structured social and recreational program.

Families will be able to connect with others and gain support and information for future support needs.

Who can attend
Young adults with developmental disabilities 13+. Young adults must be able to work within 1 to 4 ratio with staff. If parents would like to send their young adults with a 1:1 worker, space is available to accommodate such requests.

4801 Keele Street, Unit 13

Hours of Operation
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

$10.00 per day

Saturdays Only

To register your daughter and/or son for the Saturday Program, please contact:
(416)736-0199 -- Erin Mittlemen at ext.239 or Robert Passaro at ext. 241

You will be required to attend an Intake Meeting to gather pertinent information.

Please note you can register at any time!

Music Circle

An After-School Group Music Therapy Program

The Music Circle is an integrated group music therapy program for children between the 8 - 11 with various needs. It is an after-school program in which participants will be invited to share music and friendship, while expanding skills in many areas including social, emotional, language, cognitive, and motor development. This ten-week program will be introduced and facilitated through musical experiences including singing, instrument playing, improvising, and song-writing. The children will have opportunities to build on their strengths as well as address their challenges with support. The focus of the program will be on building social skills such as turn taking, sharing, co-operation, initiation, self-expression, problem solving, and appropriate expression of emotions. This program could also be an excellent opportunity for siblings of children with special needs to learn and participate in a fun and normalized after-school activity with their siblings.

Primary program goals

  • To provide a safe and creative environment that will help children to enhance their skills
  • To provide outlets for emotions
  • To facilitate social interaction with peers
  • To enhance communication skills
  • To increase children’s self-esteem by providing them with successful experience
  • To facilitate creative self-expression through exploring various instruments including voice
  • To provide an enjoyable experience
  • Previous music training is not required.


Andrea Lamont, MTA, is a music therapist who works with a variety of challenges including developmental delays, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, William’s Syndrome, and Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Andrea encourages active participation in the music presented to develop social skills and to encourage expressive communication. This may include instrument manipulation, singing, movement, or listening. In addition to her private practice, Andrea also works at the Bloorview MacMillan Children’s Centre as a creative arts therapies team member. and as a researcher on music technology projects such as the “Virtual Musical Instrument”.




MusiConnects offers individual and small group music therapy sessions to children and adolescents with special needs including Down syndrome, autism, and learning disabilities.

Music therapy and music enrichment groups are also available for babies (newborns - 3 yrs.) and parents. In addition, individually tailored piano lessons that focus on the process of learning and self-expression are offered to individuals with special needs.

Contact Michelle at 416.220.6280 or for more information.

New & Expectant Parent Coffee Night


Tuesday, July 11th, 2017 - Fireside Room

7:00 PM to 9:00 PM


Trinity St. Paul's Church

Address: 427 Bloor Street West

Toronto, ON M5S 1X7

View Map:


New and expectant parents & trained parent mentors who have children 2 years of age or older with Down syndrome.


This is an informal gathering for parents to meet other new and expectant parents - as well as trained parent mentors who have children 2 years of age or older with Down syndrome. Light snacks and coffee and tea will be served and babies under 1 year of age are welcome to attend with their parent(s) but please note that sibling care will not be provided at this time. We look forward to welcoming you and your child to our community.

To register please click on the link below. If you have any question you can email us at or call our office at 416-966-0990.


Registration is FREE and is now open but with limited spots available.

Click the following link, then New & Expectant Parent Coffee Night for more information, or to RSVP:

PAL 0-3 Miles Nadal JCC Jungle Gym


Enjoy a morning of fun and play at the Miles Nadal JCC jungle gym!


Ages 0-3


Sunday, January 31
Sunday, February 28
Sunday, March 27
Sunday, April 24

9:30 AM to 11:30 AM


The Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, 750 Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON

View Map:

Registration page:

PAL 19+

PAL 19+

(For adults ages 19+) 

The PAL19+ program is designed for adults with Down syndrome (DS) to meet new friends, promote independence and develop life skills through fun, social outings with other adults with DS.

Each month, the events will consist of a dinner and social organized, lead and fully supervised by the DSAT PAL19+ team consisting of professionals and volunteers. The group will venture to various restaurants throughout the city of Toronto, close to public transportation to dine and mingle with old friends and new.

All PAL19+ events are drop off programs. Should an adult require their own support person, please contact one of our team members to make arrangements.


Below is a list of upcoming events. Each month, DSAT will email the full event information including, restaurant details, directions and nearby attractions for parents.

Future Dates


Saturday, April 22, 2017 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Saturday, June 24, 2017


Contact us: or


Nisha Hasan

Nisha is a volunteer board member of DSAT. Her passion for advocacy and wanting to do more is influenced by her younger brother with Down syndrome. She is a marketing and communications specialist working in the mining industry. Speaking to thousands of investors globally, she joined the DSAT to share her networking skills, connect with supporters and advance the organization’s mission. Nisha is committed to raising awareness and challenging the stigma associated with disability.

Parents and Infants Group

Surrey Place:

Surrey Place Centre clients, families and caregivers who are looking for information on groups and workshops offered by Surrey Place can check their Groups, Workshops and Events calendar.


Centennial offers weekly activity programs throughout the city for parents and their infants who have special needs. These programs are appropriate for children under the age of three.

Recreational Programs & Activities

Developmental Services Toronto 

Listing of Recreational Programs and Activities for Individuals with a Developmental Disability

Programs and Activities filetype pdf

Sara Elizabeth Centre

Saturday Speech, Drama & Social Skills Club

Yonge & St. Clair area

We'd love to have you join us for a fun & exciting program. Each participant is seen individually for Speech Therapy while the remainder of the group is busy dancing, singing, acting out stories, cooking, playing co-operative games, dressing up, role playing . . .

All activities focus on communication & socialization


  • *10 sessions, 2 hour program

    • Early Language 1 (5-9 year olds) 9:00-11:00
    • School-Age (8-10 year olds) 11:00-1:00
    • Teen/Tween (12+ year olds) 1:30-3:30
    • Early Language 2 (4-7 year olds) 3:30-5:30
  • Ages listed above are used as a guideline. Communication & cognitive skills of participants are also taken into account regarding group placement.
  • goals may include articulation, speech rate, expressive & receptive language, asking for clarification, topic maintenance, presenting, back & forth conversation skills, initiating interaction…
  • theme-based programming
  • ratio of 1 staff to 2 clients
  • focus on communication and social interaction skills


  • $670 - $695 (Contact Tina for current session details)
  • fee may be covered by private insurance or Special Services at Home
  • contact Tina Gasee, Speech-Language Pathologist, for more information or to put your name on a contact list to be notified about future programs

Download Registration Form

Tina Gasee
(905) 326-9616

The Fairlawn Neighbourhood Centre

The Fairlawn Neighbourhood Centre (FNC) is a unique place - the vision of Fairlawn Avenue United Church (FAUC.). Launched in 1997, this non-profit educational charity is financially independent from F.A.U.C. and self-funded through program and membership fees.

To date, more than 28,500 people have enjoyed the programs and it’s often the first place that new families visit when they move into the neighbourhood.The Centre offers a unique variety of non-denominational, structured programs for all ages. Each of the 300 programs are fee-based and require advanced registration. The Centre is also an Ontario Early Years off-site location.

The Youth Action Committee (YAC)

The Youth Action Committee (YAC) is comprised of very motivated and committed adults with Down syndrome who will meet once per month and learn leadership and public speaking skills. They will assist the DSAT Board in providing quality experiences focusing on the needs of its members. The members of YAC will speak and educate the public for themselves and for those who cannot.


LAUNCH PARTY - Friday, April 22

Future Dates:
May 20
June 17
Sept 16
Oct 21
Nov 25
Dec 16


Leaside Library
165 McRae Drive
Toronto, ON M4G 1S8
View Map:


6:30 PM - 8:00 PM (same time every week)


19+ persons with Down syndrome and volunteers




There is parking available in front of the library.

To register please click on the link below. If you have any questions you can email us at or leave a message at 416-966-0990.


Please click the following link to register:



Baby Sign Language for Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers, too!

Long before your baby can speak, she has the ability to understand speech & wants to communicate with you. Most babies are able to sign back to you by the time they are 8-12 months of age.

Since 2001, certified WeeHands Instructors have taught thousands of families & caregivers to sign with their children. WeeHands teaches you & your family American Sign Language signs, songs & language development strategies to use with your little one!

To read more about WeeHands go to

Yoga 4 Kids

Yoga for Children & Adults with Special Needs

Yoga for the Special Child(R) is a therapeutic program of yoga techniques that enhances the natural development of infants, toddlers and children with special needs. The classes include music and sound therapy, eye exercises, yoga poses, breathing techniques, relaxation and meditation. Yoga for the Special Child(R) is internationally recognized and was established by Sonia Sumar in 1972.

Sherry LeBlanc is the director of Yoga 4 Kids and has been teaching adults for 33 years and children’s yoga for 15 years. Sherry is a Licensed Practitioner of and Certified Program Teacher for YSC(R).


Location: Flow! Yoga and Wellness, 408 Dupont St. (on the north side between Howland Ave. & Brunswick Ave.)

To pre-register contact:, 416-532-5988
Mailing address: Yoga 4 Kids, 639 Dupont Street, Suite 507, Toronto, ON. M6G 1Z4. Full fee by PAY PAL


Check our Community News section for info related to current sessions or contact Sherry directly at, 416-532-5988



PO Box 40039
Liberty Village PO
Toronto ON M5V 0K7

Non-Profit Charitable
Organization #
11888 7942 RR0001

Established in 1987

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Copyright © DSAT 2017