Battle of the Blades
Retired NHL player with an impressive career playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers has chosen to compete on behalf of Smilezone for this season of Battle of the Blades!

NHL players like Colton Orr team up with professional figure skaters to compete in this figure skating challenge. As each pair is eliminated $25,000 is donated to the charity of their choice with the winning contender winning a whopping $100,000 for theirs!

Every Thursday from September 19th - October 31st a new episode will air on CBC at 8:00pm. Don't forget to vote for Colton :)

Check out the full story here

Ask An Expert: Emma Bentz

This month we interviewed long time visitor of Markham-Stouffville Hospital Emma Betz! Diagnosed with Type-1 Diabetes at only 10 months, Emma has spent a lot of time in hospitals; making her an expert in paediatric spaces. Emma was integral in the overall design of these Smilezones! Take look at her interview below.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Emma, I’m 11 years old and I’m in grade 6. I have type-1 diabetes and I was diagnosed when I was 10-months old.

How much time do you spend in hospitals each year?
I have been going to the hospital every 3 months since I was diagnosed. Each appointment I need to get blood taken and meet with the doctor, nurse, dietitian, and social worker. My appointments take about 1.5 hours so each year I spend about 6 hours at the hospital – phew that was a lot of math!
Tell us about your involvement in designing the Smilezones at Markham-Stouffville hospital.   Wh y did you choose what you did?
My mom was asked by Julie at Markham Stouffville if I would be willing to provide some suggestions about what would make kids more comfortable at the hospital. I suggested colourful spaces, toys to fidget with, and comfortable places to sit. I thought these things would make it more comfortable and help with anxiety.

How have your experiences at Markham-Stouffville Hospital changed since the Smilezone project? 
It was a big surprise when I came to my appointment after the changes. I really liked the murals, the technology, and having my appointment from a bean bag chair. I was distracted from my typical anxiety and it felt less like a appointment.

What role do you think the hospital environment plays in the healing journey of children receiving treatment such as yourself?
The environment is really important. It can really scary for kids and between the really nice doctors and nurses along with it not feeling so plain and boring, it makes it easier for me to keep going every 3 months which is important to keep me healthy.

What is your favourite feature of the revamped spaces?
The projector is definitely my favourite thing and I really like the beanbag chair too!

Do you have any advice for children who are going through similar experiences as yourself, or who may be seeking medical treatment for the first time?
I would tell other kids to be brave, it’s ok to cry, have a favourite stuffie, and mom and dad give good hugs.

We Have a New Website!

Check out our New Website

We wanted to enhance the experience you have when visiting our website so for the past few months we've been working hard to redevelop our site! Come check out some of the cool new features like our interactive virtual tour, "find a Smilezone" map and many others! Feel free to let us know what you think by clicking here :)

World Smile Day Week!

It's that time again! Our second annual World Smile Day Week celebration is just around the corner with World Smile Day taking place on Friday, October 4th; check out what we have in store:

September 30th: Woodview Mental Health and Autism Services (Burlington, ON) - cookie decorating and movie day!

October 1st: Vanier Children's Centre (London, ON) - Pet Therapy and "pet rocks"

October 2nd : Pathways (Sarnia, ON) - Gym games, sock turkeys and World Smile Day art

October 3rd: ErinoakKids (Brampton, ON) - Beach theme and sundae party

October 4th: Coronation Park (Oakville, ON) - Smilezone park clean up

Don't forget to follow us on social media for live snapshots of the festivities!
Smilezone Transforms
Woodview Mental Health and Autism Services
Woodview Smilezones

This month we completely transformed four new Smilezones at Woodview Mental Health and Autism Services! The Main Entrance/Waiting room, Family Room, Adult and Adolescent Waiting Room and Hallway now feature gorgeous murals, fun, bright colours, comfortable and accessible seating, sensory play for the students and more!

Thank you to The Vic Hadfield Table Hockey Challenge and the Rotary Club of Oakville
for funding this incredible project.

The Grand Opening

The grand opening of these Smilezones took place on September 17th where over 100 community members attended! We were honoured to have professional hockey player Megan Bozek come and spend time with the little hockey fans in celebration of the new Smilezones as well as hear heartfelt speeches by Vic Hadfield, Mike Henry form the Rotary Club of Oakville and many others.

Check out the CTV story here
Smilezone Highlights
Check out our October newsletter for more

Upcoming Smilezones!
This month we will be in our neck of the woods transforming Smilezones at Lighthouse for Grieving Children in Oakville, ON!

Check out all of the details in our October Newsletter.

Diversey Golf tournament
Diversey chose Smilezone to be the benefactor of their annual golf tournament! On September 11th we joined charitable golfers to tee off for Smilezone! All proceeds from the Tournament will be used to transform Smilezones at York Children's Aid Society!

Thank you to SpinCo Oakville!!
Thank you to SpinCo Oakville for Spinning it forward for the month of August! Thanks to their support we received $1,300 from their Friday 6:30pm classes! Thank you everyone who attended one of their classes.

Contact Us

Smilezone Foundation
557 Chartwell Road
Oakville, Ontario
L6J 4A8