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CNIB to receive funding from the Government of Canada to retrofit Lake Joe

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MacTier, Ontario, October 3, 2023 — CNIB is pleased to announce a federal investment of more than $2.3 million to support retrofits to a number of buildings at the CNIB Lake Joe camp in MacTier, Ontario.

This significant funding from the Infrastructure Canada-Green and Inclusive Communities & Building Fund will transform CNIB Lake Joe into a green, inclusive, and resilient facility for generations to come. The upgrades will scale up recreational programming from spring/fall to a year-round basis, accommodating participants comfortably and safely during colder months.

CNIB Lake Joe has been a beacon of hope and empowerment for the blind and partially sighted community since 1961. It offers life-changing experiences, fostering a sense of independence and breaking down barriers that too often restrict individuals with sight loss. These upgrades will enable CNIB to enrich the lives of even more youth and adults who are blind or low vision by providing an accessible, inclusive, and welcoming environment year-round.

The retrofits will include upgrading wall and roof insulation in the dining hall, kitchen, Wellness Centre, cabins, and Recreation Hall. The electric baseboard heating will be replaced with ground source heat pumps, significantly improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, LED fixtures will replace T12 fixtures in approximately 70 buildings, exterior halogens will be replaced with LEDs, and a photosensor control will replace the Welcome Centre timer, further enhancing energy efficiency.

Once complete, these improvements are expected to reduce the facility’s energy consumption by an estimated 58% and greenhouse gas emissions by 83.10 tonnes annually. The upgrades will also create employment opportunities for local suppliers and companies, supporting the Muskoka community.

"CNIB Lake Joe holds a special place in the hearts of countless Canadians with sight loss. This investment will allow us to expand our services, providing transformative experiences to more individuals and their families throughout the year. We are incredibly grateful to the Government of Canada for choosing to fund this project through the Green and Inclusive Buildings Fund," said John M. Rafferty, President and CEO of CNIB.

By investing in CNIB Lake Joe's infrastructure, the Government of Canada is not only creating jobs and strengthening the economy but also demonstrating its commitment to building inclusive and accessible communities that benefit all Canadians.


“By investing in CNIB Lake Joe, we are helping more campers with sight loss and their families have an incredibly important camp experience year-round.”

  • The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities

“The Government of Canada is proud to invest in the CNIB Lake Joe camp through the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings Program. By supporting green retrofits and improvements, we are ensuring that this beloved camp can continue to make a positive impact in the lives of Canadians who are blind, partially sighted or Deafblind, and their families. We are dedicated to fostering a more sustainable and accessible future for all.”

  • Robert Oliphant, Member of Parliament for Don Valley West

“We are incredibly grateful to receive this funding, as it will enable us to enhance the lives of more individuals in the blind and partially sighted community. CNIB Lake Joe has been a haven for personal growth, empowerment, and connection for decades, and these upgrades will further our mission to break down barriers and promote inclusivity for generations of people with sight loss.”

  • John M. Rafferty, President and CEO, CNIB




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