About Our Cause

The Grand Parade is a moment when Canadians take to the streets to publicly honour aging friends and family, and to fundraise on behalf of the charities that support them.

Canada has entered uncharted territory – the 2016 Census revealed that for the first time, there are more people over age 65 than children 14 and under.

As a whole, older Canadians have never been healthier, or better off financially. Yet the big picture obscures the stark snapshots underneath...

In our society, growing older often robs people of status, a sense of being valued, and even self-respect.

We wonder - if I can’t contribute as I once did, or my mind is not as clear as once it was, or my personality seems to be muted, if awareness of my life story fades, what remains? Am I more than just a difficult obligation?

Yet tens of thousands of Canadians want something better for their aging family member or neighbour or friend. And hundreds of organizations pursue a different, richer vision of what it means to grow into senior status and beyond as a Canadian.

Because of them, and because of any aging person who needs some support to preserve a dignified, decent and emotionally healthy life, there is The Grand Parade.

Why We Walk

The Grand Parade is a moment when Canadians take to the streets to publicly honour aging friends and family, and to fundraise on behalf of the charities that support them.

  • We walk for our parents, dear aunt, favourite uncle, younger sister, and great-grandparents.
  • We walk to shine the light of appreciation on those who go before us. We walk to celebrate their contribution, and to declare their place in our hearts.
  • We walk as people and organizations committed to serving when age begins to demand its due. In a time obsessed with the now and the new, we treasure the experience, wisdom, and character of our elders.
  • We walk together, past obligation and duty, through concern and then care, all the way to dignity and respect. Proudly, and publicly, we proclaim our commitment and love.
Aging Statistics

In 2017, MacLeans Magazine summarized the census data on aging succinctly in an article penned by Terra Coife. You can read the article online here. The results are telling:

Seniors now outnumber children in Canada

Statistics Canada's 2016 census reported that there are now 5.9 million Canadian seniors 65 and older, compared to 5.8 million Canadians 14 and under - a jump of 20 per cent since 2011.

Canada is younger in the West

The census makes clear that Eastern Canada is "considerably older that in western provinces" although Ontario is split evenly between old and young.

There are more older women than older men

You likely already suspected this given our understanding of longevity. But the fact is, there were 20 percent more women than men aged 65 or older. And, the older we get, the more acutely that fact is reflected. In Canada, there are two women for every man older than 85!

If you think Canada is old...

Compared to other countries like the United States, Britain, France, Italy, Germany, and Japan, Canada's seniors make up a lower share of the population than every country but the USA.

Canadian Seniors: By the Numbers

Sourced from Canadian Government census reports:


Percentage of population aged 65 plus


Canadians aged 85 or older


The age group that has grew by 20% in the past 5 years)


Number of Canadian of 85-year-olds living in collective dwellings such as nursing homes, long-term care, and seniors residences


Number of Canadians over the age of 100

2 to 1

Ratio of women to men aged 85 and older


This 5-year period registered Canada's largest increase in the proportion of seniors since Confederation.

Aging Issues

At-a-glance summary of presenting issues for aging Canadians:

  • Health: We face a shortage of geriatricians and inadequate long-term or community care
  • Mobility: Getting from A to B is a challenge - we no longer are able to drive for health or other aging issues
  • Housing: We require safe, available, and affordable options for living independently
  • Abuse: Our financial and social vulnerability is acute and we are vulnerable to abuse
  • Care: For some of us, our long-term care is taxing family capacity and resources
  • Financial: Seniors debt is a growing concern among our peer group, as well as inadequate resources until death
  • Isolation: The loss of our community and separation from peer group leaves us hidden, lonely, and feeling forgotten
  • Helplessness: The lack or loss of mobility, fatigue, and mental aging decreases our independence and leaves us precarious
  • Boredom: Our quality of life is reduced to uninspired daily repetition which leaves us bored and wanting more
Got questions about The Grand Parade?
info@thegrandparade.org | 1.877.743.3413