by Deputy Mayor Jim McManaman and Mayor Nancy Peckford

It’s been a long 15 months. The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on everyone with gyms, organized sports, kids’ playdates, and activities cancelled – affecting individuals of all ages.

When we were elected in 2018, Deputy Mayor and I knew that increasing residents’ quality of life and our community’s overall well-being was a big priority. With that in mind, North Grenville’s first-ever Health, Fitness and Wellness Advisory Committee was established in 2019. Deputy Mayor Jim McManaman was keen to get this committee going, and as a busy Mayor and mother of 3, I jumped on board to find ways to become more physically active.

The Committee is comprised of a diverse group including fitness leaders, a gym teacher, nurses, public health experts, and more recently, an Emergency Room physician who works at CHEO, as well as an engineer!

Before the pandemic, the Committee was working hard to host North Grenville’s inaugural Health and Wellness Expo, but of course, with the pandemic, those plans were put on ice. As we resumed meetings later in 2020 and 2021 over Zoom (more sitting, more screen time!), several Committee members expressed interest in North Grenville joining the ParticipACTION’s Community Better Challenge for the month of June.

We were thrilled! The challenge is open to everyone in the month of June, whether you are 8 or 80, of any age or ability – not just those early morning runners (you know who you are!). Individuals, organizations, schools, sports’ groups and even workplaces can all participate and track their minutes.

All individual and group physical activity counts. If you walk around the block or wash your car, you can track your minutes. If you participate in a virtual fitness class through a local gym, your instructor can log those minutes for you (just make sure to confirm). Several local gym teachers will be tracking and logging the minutes of the kids who participate in their gym classes, virtual or in person.

All movement counts: gardening and yard work, walking your dog, washing your car, spring cleaning, chasing the kids around the house. It’s not just traditional exercise.
What really matters is that you keep track of those minutes on a daily basis. This means they have to be logged through the FREE ParticipACTION App that you can download on your phone or through the ParticipACTION website. The app will automatically assign you a community, based on your postal code.

While you can sync the App with many of the leading Fitness trackers (like a Fitbit), we strongly recommend you manually enter or verify your minutes on the App to ensure accuracy. By participating, you can help North Grenville earn the title for Canada’s Most Active Community. As a bonus, the top prize is $100,000 which we would dedicate to improving North Grenville’s local parks!

Within the first two weeks of the Challenge, the most active TWENTY communities will be featured on a Leader Board by ParticpACTION so that they can track their progress vis a vis other communities. That’s why we need residents to embrace the challenge early in June, so we qualify for the Leader Board.

The App also allows you to create your own group (8 people max) so that you can track your progress together. In fact, Council has created our own team – the Mighty Quintet! We plan on challenging each other. Stay tuned for updates!

Overall, ParticipACTION is a fun and inclusive way to motivate yourself, loved ones, friends, neighbours, and co-workers to just get moving. We have spent so many months apart and mostly in our homes. Through ParticpACTION, we can embrace the opportunity to do something together while being safe and investing in our health and well-being!

To Participate

Step 1:
Download the App
Download the ParticipACTION app to track your minutes or sign up on the ParticipACTION website. By using your NG Postal Code, your individual move minutes will be tracked and counted toward North Grenville’s overall score.

Step 2:
Sign up for the Community Better Challenge as an individual, or as an organization, or as a business. The more individuals and organizations that participate will help with our overall score.

Step 3:
Track your Activity
Track your minutes using the app or on the website. You can even sync your fitness tracker with the app! If you are tracking on behalf of a group, organization or for other family members, make sure you track your minutes on the ParticipACTION website:

Step 4:
Get Moving
Every move, step, rep and lap you track counts – so get moving!
Remember – the only thing you need to join the challenge is a North Grenville postal code.

Calendar: The Municipality has created a suggested daily activity in partnership with a variety of businesses and organizations. There are some prizes too!
Facebook: @NGMCevents
Let’s Get ACTIVE NG! We are In It to WIN IT!


  1. Today, 3June, it looks like North Grenville is sprinting right from the starting line – we are in first place, with Toronto second and Ottawa third, then Hamilton and London etc. We are currently tops in both in the Province and across Canada! We may lose our place as the larger communities gear up and get competitive, but we’re ontop nationally now. I wonder how long our community can hold top place – GO NORTH GRENVILLE!!!


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