Recreation Therapy


Ontario College Diploma

Area Of Interest

Community Services


2 years

Program Code



Start Dates & Ontario Colleges Program Codes:

  • Fall Start (September): 0108
  • Accelerated program — Fall Start (September): 0105

Help by Having Fun!

Recreation is important for everyone as a way to relax and keep balance in their lives. But for some with physical, cognitive, emotional and/or social limitations, recreation therapy is also a way to connect and participate with others. You can learn how to help!

Confederation College’s Recreation Therapy program will give you the skills and knowledge you’ll need to plan, implement and evaluate a wide range of leisure services for children, adolescents and adults who experience barriers to a healthy leisure lifestyle. You will learn how to work with individuals and groups of all ages to assess their needs and interests so you can encourage independent and personally fulfilling leisure lifestyles. Coursework includes therapeutic recreation, developmental psychology, program and event planning, communications for community services, administrative practices, physical activity leadership and recreation facilities.

Top Highlights

  • 450 hours of field placement enhance in-class learning by providing hands-on experience
  • Students receive a free membership with Therapeutic Recreation Ontario (TRO).
  • Students receive a free membership with Parks and Recreation Ontario (PRO).
  • Program is offered as an accelerated program for those with a designated diploma or degree.
  • Students have the opportunity to receive certification in Dementiability Methods

Program Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. assess the individual strengths, needs, challenges and interests of people experiencing barriers to healthy leisure to assist them in meeting their leisure goals.
  2. collect, record and report comprehensive client information accurately, in verbal, written and electronic formats in accordance with current ministry guidelines and professional standards.
  3. develop, implement and evaluate individual and group recreation therapy programs which respond to identified needs, align with assessments results, and adhere to current best practices.
  4. design leisure education programs and services for clients, families and other health care professionals to promote the personal, social, economic and health related benefits of recreation therapy services.
  5. research and analyse recreation therapy theories and practices to enhance professional efficacy and contribute to the development of the profession.
  6. develop and maintain collaborative relationships with clients, inter-professional teams and community service providers in the development and delivery of safe and effective recreation therapy services.
  7. assist in the development of administrative, marketing, financial and human resource strategies that enhance the delivery of recreation therapy services.
  8. implement strategies and plans for ongoing personal and professional growth and development within the current and future therapeutic recreation environment.

Recreation Therapy in Ontario

What is Recreation Therapy?

Recreation therapy, also known as therapeutic recreation, is a dynamic field that utilizes leisure activities to enhance the well-being of individuals with various physical, cognitive, emotional, and social needs. This practice supports people in achieving a balanced lifestyle, promoting health and wellness through engaging and purposeful activities.

In Ontario, recreation therapy plays a pivotal role in healthcare and rehabilitation settings. Certified recreation therapists work across the province, employing a range of therapeutic activities to support individuals in reaching their personal and social goals. This approach to therapy is integral to fostering community inclusion, enhancing personal skills, and improving the overall quality of life for participants.

Educational Pathways

Ontario's colleges and universities offer some of the best recreational therapy programs in Canada, providing comprehensive training that covers therapeutic recreation courses, recreation, and leisure services programs, and therapist courses. These educational pathways are designed to prepare students for certification and employment in the field, highlighting the importance of theoretical knowledge and practical experience in developing competent professionals.

Recreation Therapy Certificate and Certification Programs

For those looking to enter the field, obtaining a recreation therapy certificate or completing recreation therapy certification programs is a crucial step. These programs, available throughout Ontario, equip students with the necessary skills to assess, plan, implement, and evaluate therapeutic recreation interventions.

Programs and Courses

Ontario is home to a wide range of recreational therapy programs and courses, including specialized therapeutic recreation courses in Canada. These programs offer depth and diversity in training, catering to the evolving needs of the therapeutic recreation sector and preparing students for a variety of therapeutic recreation jobs in Ontario.


Hands-on experience and the chance to do placements and internships gave me the opportunity to apply my knowledge directly which enhanced my...
Veronica Elsey
Lifestyle and Program Manager
“The Recreation therapy program was a wonderful experience for me. I got immense support and guidance from the faculty. The placement and internship...
Tessin Leo
How Confederation Has Changed My Life I had dropped out of high school after grade 10 in St. John, NB. I got into Confederation as a mature student. I...
Brian O`Neil

Employment Opportunities

Graduates of the Recreation Therapy program find work in a variety of settings including hospitals, retirement homes, supportive housing complexes, correctional centres, rehabilitation/treatment centres, government agencies, long term care centres, community non-profit agencies, developmental disability service providers, school and inclusion service agencies.

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Stephen Holloway

Program Coordinator
(807) 475-6419

Contact our Recruitment Team