PLE Team Volunteer Qasim Syed

My name is Qasim Syed and I am  PLE Team  youth volunteer at JFCY. 

I wrote this blog in order to showcase the options available to make use of your extra time now that summer is approaching. I think there is value in youth keeping themselves busy. When I was in grade 5, I joined the community centre which was located really close to my house. Throughout the years, I participated in many of the events and activities, especially basketball. For those that know me, they know that I have loved basketball ever since and it has helped positively shape my life. I now participate in volunteering activities and school clubs.

As summer is approaching, it is a great time to start to think about what you may want to do with all that extra time. This blog will provide you with some information on opportunities to participate in sports and do volunteer work. I live in Toronto, so the activities here are Toronto-focused; however, if you want to check out options in your community I would suggest that you start by looking up your local YMCA or community centre.


Participating in sports is a great way to enjoy your time off during the summer. Some examples of sports that promote skill development in youth include: basketball, swimming, track and field and beach activities such as frisbee and beach volleyball.

Sports can help develop confidence and give you the opportunity to interact with others who have similar interests.

The YMCA organizes lots of activities for youth to participate in sports over the summer. Click here to find the location nearest youth.  The YMCA offers financial assistance to low-income families and youth so that everyone has the opportunity to participate in their programs. For more info on financial assistance, ask someone at the YMCA or check out this application form. 

Activities at local community centres are often free or low cost.

The City of Toronto also has many opportunities for youth to get involved in sporting activities over the summer. Click here for more information.

Volunteering Opportunities for Youth

Volunteering or finding a hobby is a great way to meet new people and develop skills and discover new interests.Volunteering is not only a great way of being productive but also encourages better time management. Moreover, by joining club or volunteering you could end up discovering a new activity or hobby you enjoy.

At your Community Centre

The opportunities are endless.The community centres around your neighborhood have several different varieties of clubs and activities to choose.

To find out more about community centre volunteering opportunities click here.

With Charities

There are also charities in Toronto which are always looking for new volunteers. No matter what your interest from working with the environment to health organizations there are a variety of charities in Toronto which are always looking for more volunteers!

A great website which lists lots of opportunities to volunteer is Volunteer Toronto

For other communities in Ontario, check out the Ontario Volunteer Centre Network.

At Festivals and Events

Toronto in the summer time is host to many events and festivals which need the help of volunteers to run smoothly. 

For more information on events happening in Toronto this summer click here

Events at Harbourfront Center click here

For more information on events happening daily click here

If you have other ideas on affordable summer activities for youth, leave a comment on the blog so you can share your knowledge with others!

f you are under age 18 in Ontario and have legal questions about your rights please contact a lawyer at JFCY at 416-920-1633, or toll-free at 1-866-999-5329.  

This post was written by Qasim Syed, a PLE Team Member volunteer, with contributions by JFCY volunteer Sarah Mehta Alexander and a JFCY staff lawyer.