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Municipalities influencing health

Municipal staff and council play an important role in shaping the health and wellbeing of our communities. In fact, 90% of municipal operational expenditures in Ontario contribute directly or indirectly to the social determinants of health! Municipalities can develop policies and provide facilities, programs, and services that influence the health and well-being of our population and make our communities great places to live where everyone can thrive.

When each person has the opportunity to achieve their full health potential, our communities become strong, healthy, and vibrant – a great return on investment.

Health for All E-Newsletter


Health for All is THU’s quarterly e-newsletter written for municipal staff and elected officials. The newsletter highlights local opportunities for municipalities to affect the health and well-being of their communities. Click here to subscribe.

Past editions: 

We appreciate feedback on the newsletter and at any time invite questions, comments, or conversations about ways THU can collaborate with municipalities to create communities where everyone can thrive.  Click here to submit your anonymous feedback.

Request a meeting or presentation 

If your council or staff would like a meeting with or presentation from THU on a topic related to municipalities’ ability to promote health, please contact us. THU can offer evidence briefs, examples from other communities, and data to help municipal decision-makers promote health. Click here to request a presentation or meeting.

Community Placemaking Grants

Check back in October 2024 to see about future grant opportunities. 

Community Placemaking Grant Opportunity – The Timiskaming Health Unit is offering financial support for community-led projects that propose new ways of interacting with public spaces. Projects should activate a public space and can be playful and fun or address and identified issue in a neighborhood. Applicants are encourage to reimagine and reinvent everyday public spaces and propose pilot projects that are creative and experimental. 

Examples of Community Placemaking include:

  • Public art such as a mural or sidewalk art
  • Community gardens
  • Adding shade features or seating  

Grants up to $1,500 per project are available and applications are due on November 3, 2023.

Please review the applicant guide with local ideas and examples.

Grant application form (Check back in October 2024 to see about future grant opportunities)

Congratulations to the 14 recipients of the THU Community Placemaking MicrograntsCongratulations to the 14 recipients of the Timiskaming Health Unit Community Placemaking Micro-Grants (2023) who have exciting plans to activate public spaces in their communities! In total, 36 applications were received, each with innovative ways of interacting with public spaces.

For more information contact Lorna Desmarais at desmaraisl@timiskaminghu.com or at 705-647-4305, Ext. 2239.

Resource Spotlight:

  • Timiskaming Board of Health: check out our Board of Health webpage to learn more about local public health matters and view BoH reports, presentations, and briefing notes. 
  • Community Safety and Well-Being Plans are provincially legislated for municipalities in Ontario under the Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act, 2019. The Timiskaming Community Safety and Well-Being Plan was developed for the intended use of all 23 municipalities in the Timiskaming District and the Municipality of Temagami, with the support and contribution of multiple agencies and organizations in the Timiskaming District, with direct input from the district’s residents.
  • 2022 Municipal Election Primer: a short overview of public health priorities in Timiskaming, and actions municipalities can take to support mental health, inclusive communities, a healthy built environment, income security, substance use health, oral health, and more (October 2022). 
  • Who Does What Series: The Municipal Role in Public Health (November 2022). 90 percent of municipal operational expenditures in Ontario contribute directly or indirectly to the social determinants of health. As public health is both a complex concept and a shared responsibility, coordination and cooperation between levels of government take on special importance. Check out this resource to learn who does what!
  • Association of Municipalities Ontario: AMO develops a variety of advocacy positions on all matters that impact Ontario’s municipalities such as infrastructure and broadband, indigenous relations, parks, health and social services, and more. These positions are in the form of backgrounders, policy updates, reports, and more to inform municipalities of current issues affecting the municipal sector.
  • How Is Cannabis Responsibility Shared Across Government Levels: This fact sheet details how the Federal, Provincial and Municipal levels of government work together to create and execute an effective legal framework for recreational cannabis use, its possession, and distribution as a regulated substance.
  • Make our Community Smoke and Vapour Free (Ontario's Tobacco Control Area Network)