Restoring Camp Otonabee

February 25, 2023


Since 1952, children and youth have been enjoying the beautiful outdoors along the Ottawa River at Camp Otonabee. At the camp, young people participate in a range of outdoor activities, including canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, team building, hiking, natural exploration, theme days, and swimming. Campers not only get to explore new activities but also form long-lasting friendships and unforgettable memories.

Lépine's partnership with the Dunrobin-area YMCA Camp Otonabee began after a series of tornadoes struck the region in 2018. Initially, Lépine sent workers to assist in the cleanup efforts. Since then, we have continued our efforts by sending a team annually to restore and revitalize the property so Ottawa families can continue to benefit from this wonderful property.

Camp Otonabee is dedicated to inclusiveness and offers supportive programs for campers with special needs and requirements. The values and objectives of YMCA Camp Otonabee align closely with those of Francis Lépine, the president of Lépine Apartments, whose youngest son Émile lives with cerebral palsy, a condition that affects motor functions, hearing, and cognition. Francis Lépine believes that every child should have access to activities that engage and challenge them to grow, regardless of their ability.

After discovering Camp Otonabee, we wasted no time in improving the grounds so that urban youth could once again enjoy the space. By working with volunteers and camp staff, we created a more accessible and immersive experience for campers. This included removing dead trees, overgrowth, and underbrush to highlight the natural beauty of the camp. Creating more visibility for camp counselors made the camping experience safer for all.

Beyond our business ventures, we continue to apply the guiding principles of quality, sustainability, and accessibility to our charitable efforts. We strongly believe that when we build a property, we are investing in the community surrounding it. By supporting local ventures that are dear to our hearts, these communities are able to create strong and prosperous cities, which are ultimately the foundation of a strong Canada.

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