As the warm embrace of summer envelops Canada, a recent study reveals that Canadians are more eager than ever to step outside and engage in a myriad of outdoor activities.
According to the latest Households and the Environment Survey, a biennial study, 78% of Canadian households reported participating in outdoor activities close to home in 2021. This marks a steady increase from 77% in 2019 and 75% in 2011, highlighting a growing trend among Canadians to embrace the great outdoors.
Walking emerged as the most favored activity, with nearly three-quarters of Canadian households opting for this simple yet fulfilling exercise.
British Columbia stands out as the province where outdoor engagement is most prevalent, boasting an 82% participation rate. In contrast, Manitoba lags slightly behind with a 72% rate. Among Canada’s census metropolitan areas, Victoria and Vancouver distinguish themselves with the highest proportion of walkers and joggers, runners, and rollerbladers, respectively.
The survey also delved into the types of sports and games that Canadians prefer. Faster-paced sports such as football, soccer, basketball, baseball, and road hockey captured the interest of 15% of households. On the other hand, more leisurely games like golf, croquet, and lawn bowling engaged 13% of the populace. Interestingly, racquet sports like badminton and tennis seemed to be less popular, drawing the attention of only 8% of households.
When it comes to water-based activities, just over one-fifth of Canadian households reported going to a swimming pool or beach, or engaging in water sports like surfing, scuba diving, and snorkeling. Additionally, 12% of households took to the water in boats, canoes, kayaks, or jet skis, showcasing a diverse range of interests.
This uptick in outdoor activity participation has significant implications for Canada’s outdoor recreation industry.
The industry stands to benefit immensely from this growing enthusiasm for outdoor pursuits. Increased demand for hiking gear, bicycles, water sports equipment, camping gears, and even walking shoes could lead to a surge in sales and rentals, providing a much-needed boost to local economies. Moreover, the trend could also stimulate investment in public outdoor spaces, such as parks and trails, thereby enhancing the quality of life for Canadians.
Furthermore, the rise in outdoor activities could have a ripple effect on related sectors such as tourism, hospitality, and healthcare. As more Canadians seek to explore their local landscapes, there could be increased demand for eco-tourism packages, camping facilities, and wellness retreats. The healthcare sector could also see positive impacts, as increased physical activity is closely linked to improved mental and physical well-being.
The survey shows that Canadians are increasingly finding joy and health benefits in the great outdoors.
Whether it’s a simple walk in the park, camping, hiking, or an adventurous day on the water, the nation is seizing the opportunity to get active. And as they do, they’re not just improving their own lives; they’re also contributing to a thriving outdoor recreation industry that has far-reaching benefits for the entire country.