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Education and Training

If you have questions or concerns about any of the OPA Training Sessions please click here to email the Training Department.

Our training would not be possible without the support of our amazing sponsors:   

Upcoming events

    • 13 Sep 2017
    • 8:30 AM
    • 14 Sep 2017
    • 4:30 PM
    • South Dumfries Community Centre - 7 Gaukel Drive, St. George, ON N0E 1N0
    • 13


    With the increasing demand for spray pads in communities are you prepared to deal with the choices (and possibly trade-offs) that will need to be made when dealing with the installation of this type of equipment? Once through or recirculated, type of features required, type of surface, materials, location, understanding the context of the Health Act, responsibilities of owners, and water treatment and testing, all these options, questions and the need for a basic understanding of operations come to light with the installation of a spray pad.

    With these things in mind, Ontario Parks Association has developed a new spray pad operations course that will help prepare participants to be able to confidently respond to these questions and more. This session is the first of its kind in North America, and promises to be an exciting addition to the training program line up currently offered by OPA. This two day Spray Pad Practitioner program will include both theory and practical, with a visit to a local spray pad being part of the training.

    Following is an overview of the items that will be addressed during this training:

    • Design philosophy
      • Considerations (ie. ages, collaborative play, inclusive play, sensory stimulation, motor skills, etc.)
      • Selecting colours, location, patterns
      • Types of fixtures – fiberglass, stainless, aluminum, fixed and removable
      • Determining shape/size
      • Sequencing and determining flow pattern
      • Surfacing options
    • Considerations for construction
    • Water treatment and testing
    • Flow through, re-circulation and retain and reuse systems
    • Equipment (ie. pumps, strainers, UV)
    • Inspections (daily, pre-opening,  pre-season)
    • Signage
    • Winterizing
    • Ministry Guidelines

    Whether you are an operator, supervisor, manager, or health official, you will want to attend this exciting course to gain a stronger understanding of this increasingly popular equipment. 

    DATE: September 13 & 14, 2017

    TIME: 8:30am - 4:30pm

    South Dumfries Community Center
    7 Gaukel Drive
    St. George, ON N0E 1N0


    Sunny Hill Park

    87 Sunnyside Drive

    St. George, ON 

    See Map (approx. 3 mins away)

    OPA Member Price: $395.50 
    Potential Member Price: $525.50

    ***Please wear closed toe shoes to the training session***

    Please note that lunch is NOT provided at this location – please bring a lunch for this session.

    To attend this training please register online. Payment can be made online, via cheque (made payable to Ontario Parks Association) or by calling the OPA office with a credit card for processing (905-864-6182, ext. 6710).

    • 20 Sep 2017
    • 8:30 AM - 1:00 PM
    • Barrie Operations Center - 165 Ferndale Drive North, Barrie, ON
    • 20

    This 1/2 day workshop will teach attendees: About various bridge structures and components including super structure components, sub structure components, and culvert structures. How to conduct a visual inspection on the various types of bridges found in the park system. And will familiarize attendees with inspections and deterioration of structures, addressing how to identify and address deficiencies at an early stage so as to avert future costly repairs/rehabilitation.

    This course will cover:
    • Bridge Information
    • Inspection / Observation
    • Deficiencies
    • Structure Components
    • Maintenance
    • Capital Needs

    September 20, 2017

    8:30am - 1:00pm

    Barrie Operations Centre
    165 Ferndale Drive North, 
    Barrie, ON L4N 9V9 

    Arboretum Sunnidale Park
    227 Sunnidale Rd, Barrie, ON L4N 5P1

    Please see: Map

    OPA Members: $175.00
    Potential OPA Member: $240.00

    Please wear close toed shoes as you will be walking to the bridge site through a trail in the park.

    PLEASE NOTE: Lunch is not provided for this session 

    • 03 Oct 2017
    • 8:30 AM
    • 04 Oct 2017
    • 4:30 PM
    • Wilmot Recreation Complex - 1291 Nafziger Rd, Baden, ON N3A 0C4
    • 8


    This two day workshop has been designed by professionals for all levels of trail builders and enthusiasts. You will receive instruction on how to observe, detect and document potential risk resulting from poor trail design, construction and maintenance. This workshop combines in classroom theory and hands-on experiences. Participants will come away with a valuable Trails Manual and will complete a written test on key elements of the course.

    This course will cover:

    • Overview of Professional Trail Building
    • The Science of Trail Building
    • Maintenance of Trails
    • Environmental Impacts
    • Liability Issues
    • Handwork and Trail Construction Techniques

    DATE: October 3 & 4, 2017

    TIME: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm both days
    Wilmot Recreation Complex -Program Room
    1291 Nafziger Road
    Baden, ON N3A 0C4


    OPA Member: $395.50

    Potential Member: $621.50

    Participants are required to have a CSA approved hard hat, safety glasses, closed toe safety shoes/boots, and gloves. 

    It is recommended that the participant bring with them the following equipment: 
    • pin flags
    • clinometer 
    • pulaski
    • mcleod
    And/or any other trail building tools/equipment the organization, government agency or participant intends to use for trail design, building and maintenance. The idea behind having your own tools/equipment onsite is to allow the opportunity for it to be integrated into the course and suit the specific needs/wants and desires of the participants.

    Please note: A bagged lunch is required at this course
    This course is an Ontario Trails Council approved training program.
    • 30 Oct 2017
    • 8:00 AM
    • 03 Nov 2017
    • 5:00 PM
    • EO&TC, Fire Station #12, Byron (Emergency Operations & Training Center) 275 Boler Road London, ON N6K 2J9
    • 19


    The Ontario Parks Association (OPA) has developed the Registered Playground Practitioner Program to meet the needs of those involved and responsible for the hands-on inspections and maintenance of public playspaces and playground facilities.


    Safe Play - A High Priority

    The Ontario Parks Association places a high priority and commitment on the provision of safe play structures in our public spaces. We want to help ensure that they are safe and accessible. OPA also emphasizes the strong need to educate caregivers, supervisors and others about the benefits of positive and safe play experiences for our children.


    What You Will Learn

    Attending this course will teach you about significantly lowering the risk of injuries in play areas by providing a safe outdoor learning experience for all. This course uses the CAN/CSA-Z614, Children's Playspaces and Equipment, as a base document for the three independent sections of the course.


    Intensive 4 1/2-Day Program

    The Ontario Parks Association instructors include experts from the industry including an architect, liability expert, lawyer, representative of the CSA Standards Association and others to give in-depth training on the following topics and includes an on-site demonstration at a local playground structure:



    • space requirements
    • playability
    • access/egress requirements
    • playspace design
    • age appropriate issues
    • playspace materials
    • playspace construction


    • playvalue and hazard identification
    • inspection and maintenance
    • surfacing evaluation
    • record keeping
    • CSA overview
    • corrective actions


    • liability and insurance
    • due diligence
    • contractual obligations
    • risk management
    • owner/operator responsibilities
    • employee/manager responsibilities
    • playvalue and practical choices

    Principal Instructor Peter Kells

    Industrial Designer involved with the design of playground and recreation equipment since 1984. Involved with the writing of both the CSA playground standard and other international Standards. Executive member of IPA Canada (International Association for the Child's Right to Play). Playground Inspector since 2000.

    Upon completion of the program and achievement of a passing grade in the written examinations the participant will be registered by the Ontario Parks Association as a Playground Practitioner and thereby qualified to inspect playgrounds. 

    The OPA Registered Playground Practitioner Program is recognized as a playground safety course for inspectors by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.

    Attendees are required to purchase a copy of the new CSA Z614-14 Standard. The test at the end of the course is open book so attendees will need their own copy (sharing books is not permitted). Attendees can choose to either use the PDF version and bring it on their tablet or other electronic device (so long as they can turn off the use of internet / text messaging for the test as any use of outside sources is considered cheating and will not receive a passing grade) or the hard copy of the book. Books can be purchased at the CSA Online Shop ( http://shop.csa.ca/en/canada/injury-prevention/z614-14/invt/27019532014 )



    October 30 - November 3, 2017

    (please note this course falls on Halloween)

    8:00am to 5:00pm


    EO&TC, Fire Station #12, Byron (Emergency Operations & Training Center)
    275 Boler Road
    London, ON N6K 2J9

    PRACTICAL LOCATION: SPRINGBANK PARK (across the street) 1085 Commissioners Road West 

    The course will start promptly at 8:00am each day and parking is available at the back of the building.

    **Registration will close October 10, 2017**


    OPA Members: $1,243.00

    Non-Members: $1,469.00

    PLEASE NOTE: meals are not provided at this training session. Attendees will be required to bring their own lunch, coffee and snacks. 

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