Graffiti about responsibility

Youth Programs

New friends, new skills, counselling — you can find it all and more at your YMCA. Our youth programs are specifically designed to help you achieve your goals, or help you get your life back on track. Overcome obstacles and let your potential shine bright at the Y!

Youth For Entrepreneurship (Y4E)

Are you 15-24 and interested in learning about entrepreneurship? Join a series of FREE workshops powered by Desjardins.

Man standing outside the YMCA building

Support you can count on and connections that get you ahead

Your YMCA has what you need, whatever your circumstances.

  • Training and mentorship to help you become a community leader.
  • Exchange programs to help you experience more of Canada.
  • Build self-esteem and gain confidence at Teen Nights.
  • Counselling, support and housing to help you overcome life challenges.
  • Alternative education programs tailored to your needs.

Choose from exciting programs that help you get ahead

YMCA Academy alternative middle and high school

At the YMCA Academy, we know that all students have their own learning styles. That’s why we offer an alternative learning experience for high school students interested in an interactive, experience-based learning process.

Youth leadership programs

Our YMCA Youth Leadership Programs help you develop your leadership potential and provide you with opportunities to learn, grow, and make contacts.

Join our Youth Leadership Development Program (YLD) to enhance your leadership skills through training, teamwork, meaningful community service, and volunteering.

If you’re a newcomer to Canada seeking a safe, supportive, and enjoyable way to connect with their new community, then the Newcomer Youth Leadership Development Program (NYLD) is ideal for you. 

Teen Nights

Hang out with friends, shoot some hoops, or get involved in interesting workshops and discussions where you can learn new skills and speak your mind. Teen Nights, at the YMCA provides a safe space for teens to socialize, get support and take part in fun activities.

Youth housing

The YMCA has been providing housing and shelter for youth for decades. Whether it is family problems, trouble with the law or being locked out of the house, we’ll help you stay warm and safe, and get you the help that you need.

Youth Substance Awareness Program (YSAP)

If you, or someone you know, is looking for help with substance use and misuse problems, our counsellors are there to help show how to practise safely and make healthier choices.  

Youth Gambling Awareness Program (YGAP)

The YMCA Youth Gambling Awareness Program is a free service offering educational prevention programs designed to raise youth awareness with regards to gambling, healthy/active living and making informed decisions.

Youth Travel and Exchange Program

Join one of our YMCA youth travel and exchanges programs to experience and learn more about the different communities that make up our great country, all while making connections with youth in other parts of Canada.

The Black Achievers Mentorship Program

The Black Achievers Mentorship Program is dedicated to the advancement of Black youth in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and aims to provide them with opportunities to develop socially and academically with the support of Black mentors and role models.

The Shane Stanford Youth Bursary

The annual Shane Stanford Youth Bursary provides one Black youth community leader with $2,000 to further their post-secondary education.

Personal Finance: I'm in Charge (PFIC)

PFIC is a FREE financial literacy series to set you up for success! The workshops cover topics including - Education planning, signing a cellphone contract, saving money, buying your apartment, paying your rent, and more. View the list of exciting workshops and register now

Youth Opioids Awareness Program (YOAP)

Join the conversation about the opioid crisis with the Youth Opioid Awareness Program. Learn about opioids, prevention, recovery and how you can help protect yourself and your community.

Youth 4 Youth

The Youth for Youth Gambling Education Program (Y4Y) is a provincial education and prevention initiative, funded by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) that is designed to empower young people to raise awareness on underage gambling, problem gambling, and the support resources available.

YMCA Community Action Network

The YMCA Community Action Network (YCAN) program supports young people between 15 to 30 years old to identify and implement a local service project that is meaningful to them while addressing community needs. On top of making a difference in their community, participants will also have the chance to learn new skills and build social connections.

Have questions about our youth programs? We've got answers.

How do I join the YMCA?

The YMCA has a lot of programs and services you can participate in. We have Health and Fitness Centres across the Greater Toronto Area. You can visit us at any time for a tour or call us at 416-928-9622 for more information.

Can the YMCA help me find a job?

Yes we can! The YMCA has employment programs where we help youth learn about the career & employment opportunities available to them, and provide training in important job-related skills such as teamwork and self-management.

Can the YMCA help me get my mandatory volunteer hours for school?

Yes we can! The YMCA has exciting volunteer opportunities for everyone including youth who are looking for ways to meet mandatory volunteer hours for school.

Does the YMCA have overnight camps?

Yes, we do! During the summer, the YMCA of Greater Toronto runs Traditional Camper Programs and Leadership Camp Programs located at YMCA Camp Pine Crest.
Year round, our two Outdoor Centres offer opportunities for families and groups to stay overnight with custom or set programming. Check out our rental and retreat options here.

Does the YMCA have any leadership camp programs?

Yes! We have a few different Leadership Camp Programs to suit your needs.

Endless opportunities to shine bright at the Y

Did you know that the Y is a charity that helps people from all walks of life, at all ages and life stages? Explore all our programs and services and find the best options to keep you and your family shining bright.