E-News and Job Postings

Current Issue

May 8, 2019

June 7 to 9, 2020
Westin Harbour Castle Hotel, Toronto, Canada

Recreation facility professionals play a vital role in their local communities by ensuring the infrastructure under their care and control are managed to ensure a safe environment for both patrons and staff. However, over the past many years, these facility operations experts’ knowledge and skills in safety awareness are being tasked to a new level of comprehension and application given increasingly alarming instances of varied emergencies impacting communities and the recreation facilities within them.

The Recreation Facilities Emergency Management Forum is designed to provide an overview of the four integrated functions of emergency management (prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery) within the context of the recreation facility sector. The program, through keynote presentations and concurrent sessions, will highlight issues, events, and real-life case studies related to emergency management at the global, national and local levels. The Forum’s goal is to inform and inspire recreation facility professionals to improve what they already do best: helping to sustain healthy and safe communities.  More 

Upcoming Events

  • Safe Ice Resurfacer Operator Online, Online Learning  More

  • NSPF® Certified Pool/Spa Operator® (CPO®) , May 23, Prescott, ON  More

  • CIT Recertification Challenge Exam - Online, June 1  More

  • Grounds Operations and Maintenance, June 10, Cobden, ON  More

  • Ice Making and Painting Technologies , June 10, Stouffville, ON  More

  • NSPF® Certified Pool/Spa Operator® (CPO®) , June 13, Strathroy, ON  More

  • Cemeterian™ Operations and Management , June 17, Ripley, ON  More

  • Ice Making and Painting Technologies , July 8, Keewatin, ON  More


Facility Forum Magazine
SPRING 2019 Digital Edition

Click here to access the digital edition

The SPRING 2019 issue is available on a fully interactive platform optimized for mobile reading. That means whether you are at your desk or on the go, your magazine is easy to access and even more comfortable to read. The new reading view makes reading easy with scrolling articles that automatically adjust to display content legibly on your screen. This reader-friendly view also guarantees you don’t ever have to strain your eyes looking at magnified images.

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Thank you to all 516 registered delegates, 85 instructors and sub-instructors who attended the 64th Annual Professional Development Program and the vendors, employees and EXPO guests. A total of 788 participants at this years annual training program.

A special thank you to our event sponsors:

MOL Focus on Workplace Ergonomics Has Started

The Ministry of Labour regularly advises of initiatives to improve workplace safety. ORFA has been advised that the MOL has started visiting workplaces to focus on ergonomic programs to lessen the number of worker lost days and injury claims. The ORFA will be looking at how this issue impacts our industry and how members are approaching the issue. If you have anything to contribute, please send it along to info@orfa.com. To begin our focus, we highlight facility housekeeping. Cleaning is recognized as a duty which workers have a high potential risk to suffer ergonomic or repetitive stress injuries. One of the contributing factors in facility upkeep is doing the same work with outdated tools and techniques. Tools and equipment that are designed to maximize human comfort, make certain jobs safer to perform, and play a role in increased productivity. Tools that reduce the amount of power needed for a job also decrease the likelihood of injury. The second issue is the assumption that everyone knows how to sweep, vacuum or mop so no training is required. In addition, if asked, cleaning staff will share that bending, stooping, twisting, and lifting are not only tiresome but also take a toll on their body. Ergonomic awareness must form part of all workplace health and safety programs.  More 

ORFA’s  Building Operations and Maintenance  course includes information on this topic and is available as inhouse training. Start designing your ergonomically safe facility today.

AFO Course Participants Discuss Allowing “Kirpan” in the Pool

The recently revised ORFA Aquatic Facilities Operations course held as part of the Annual Professional Development Program at the University of Guelph had the 30 participants discuss a variety of current topics challenging the aquatic industry. One topic was allowing swimmers to be in the pool with their kirpan. A kirpan is a small sword, worn in a sheath on a strap or belt. It is an article of faith that initiated Sikhs are supposed to wear at all times. Aquatic managers are encouraged to provide employees with direction should they encounter such requests. It is important to understand and be able to balance Human Rights and user safety when in the pool.  More 

Smart Watch Use at the Pool

A waterproof watch and whistle are usually the only accessories a life-guard on deck duty will need. Aquatic managers have most likely addressed the use of any personal devices such as a cellphone or tablet while a guard is on duty as they will distract from a guards observation responsibilities. However, has management addressed the use of smart watches by guards? Just as with any smartphone, internet access enables a smart watch with a whole world of potential capabilities and, with a Bluetooth connection to the phone means the watch can help place calls or send and receive messages that could distract a worker. Remember, it is a facility managers responsibility to stay ahead of shifts in technology by way of policy to direct employee behaviour to ensure user safety.

Chickens in the Rink? Maybe!

A recent bylaw change in Calgary has seen the recognition of chickens as emotional support animals.  More 

We all too often think of disabilities as either physical or visible. However, the  Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) includes all disabilities: physical, visible, and non-visible disabilities. Non-visible such as learning and mental health disabilities are to be considered. Certified emotional support animals can include such animals as miniature horses, peacocks and pot belly pigs. The ORFA reminds that in 2005, AODA training is required for all employers and workers in Ontario. AODA training gives employees the basic knowledge about accessibility, and how it influences people with disabilities so that staff can professionally respond to all users needs. Be sure all staff training files include an AODA training certificate.  More 

Why We Need to be More Noise Aware

April 24, 2019 was International Noise Awareness Day. What does that have to do with you? Possibly everything. Even if noise levels in your workplace fall below 85 A-weighted decibels (dBA) measured over an 8-hour work day - the maximum permitted exposure under Ontario’s Noise Regulation - they may still be putting you and your employees at risk.  More 

Consultation: Ontario’s Next Occupational Health and Safety Strategy

A new occupational health and safety strategy is being developed. Share your feedback to help protect workers’ health and safety on the job, while making it easier for businesses to grow and prosper across Ontario.  More


  1. General Manager    More
    Portage Regional Recreation Authority Inc., Portage la Prairie, MB, ON

  2. Parks/Arena Worker    More
    City of St. Thomas, ON

  3. Manager, Recreation Facility Operations    More
    City of Richmond Hill, ON

  4. Manager of Facilities    More
    Town of Halton Hills, ON

  5. General Manager    More
    Leaside Memorial Community Gardens, Toronto, ON

  6. Facility Maintenance Operator    More
    Town of Newmarket, ON

  7. Supervisor of Facilities and Parks    More
    Township of Minden Hills, ON

  8. Part-Time Ice Plant Operator/Pool Attendant    More
    City of Oshawa, ON