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More Canadians getting active outside

August 17, 2023, 11:00 a.m. (EDT)

We’re into August, and Canadians are enjoying as much of the great outdoors as our short summers allow. For many, that means activities.

The Households and the Environment Survey asks Canadian households every two years about participation in a variety of outdoor activities. Our most recent data is from 2021, when nearly 8 in 10 (78%) households in Canada reported participating in outdoor activities close to home, up from 77% in 2019 and 75% in 2011.

In 2021, over 8 in 10 (82%) households in British Columbia participated in outdoor activities, tops among provinces, while just over 7 in 10 (72%) households in Manitoba did. Overall, 78% of households in census metropolitan areas (CMAs) and 77% of households outside of CMAs participated in outdoor activities close to home.

Let’s have a look at which Canadian households—and where—participated in some summer-related outdoor activities.

To the track or the trails

Walking was the top outdoor activity in 2021, reported by around three in four (74%) of Canadian households. Over one-third of households reported bicycling (35%) and going to the park/playground (34%), while nearly 3 in 10 (29%) reported hiking. Another 23% reported jogging, running, rollerblading, and cross-country running.

Nearly 8 in 10 (78%) British Columbia households went for walks in 2021, and among CMAs, households in Victoria (84%) had the highest proportion of walkers. Nearby Vancouver had the highest proportion of households with joggers, runners and rollerbladers (33%).

Let the fun and games begin!

Organized sports and games can have a variety of positive impacts on one's mental and physical health.

In Canada, households were more likely to report playing faster-paced sports such as football, soccer, basketball, baseball or road hockey (15%) in 2021 than the more sedate games of golf, croquet, lawn darts, lawn bowling and bocce (13%).

Fewer than 1 in 10 Canadian households (8%) played badminton or tennis.

The beach is this way

From paddling on the lake to playing in the pool, there are plenty of ways to get active in the water this summer.

In 2021, just over one-fifth of Canadian households (21%) went to a swimming pool or to the beach, surfed, scuba-dived, or snorkelled close to home.

Meanwhile, 12% of households boated, sailed, canoed, kayaked, rafted, rowed, dragon boated or jet-skied on water.

The great outdoors awaits

Whether you’re off on a camping adventure, heading to the local pool or riding your bike to work, the summer is a great opportunity to get active outdoors.

In the midst of summer, the great outdoors provides the environment we need for some of our favourite activities. 

The days are getting shorter already, so get out there and enjoy the warm weather while it lasts!

To learn more about what Canadians did in the great outdoors close to home in 2021, check out our Households and the Environment Survey.

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Contact information

For more information, contact the Statistical Information Service (toll-free 1-800-263-1136514-283-8300; or Media Relations (