By Pooja Kukreja

Osteoarthritis Friendly Guide for Canadians

Living with a chronic illness can be incredibly tough. We get it. The daily struggles, the constant pain, the feeling of being held back—it can all take a toll on your mental and emotional well-being. But here's the thing: you're not alone, and you don't have to let your illness define you. At Wellesley, we understand the challenges you face, and we're here to help you reclaim your sense of joy and adventure.

That's why we've put together this comprehensive guide for Canadians living with osteoarthritis. It's packed with tips, recommendations, and resources to help you live your best life, despite your condition. From cosy cafes to scenic hiking trails, we've curated a list of osteoarthritis-friendly places and activities that will inspire you to get out there and experience the world.

Arthritis-Friendly Restaurants and Cafes in Canada

  1. Fresh Restaurant (Toronto, Ontario):
    With a focus on fresh, plant-based cuisine, Fresh Restaurant offers a variety of arthritis-friendly options. From nourishing salads and grain bowls to hearty soups and smoothies packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients, there's something for everyone to enjoy while supporting joint health.

  2. Zen Kitchen (Ottawa, Ontario):
    Zen Kitchen is a vegan restaurant in Ottawa known for its innovative and flavorful dishes. Their menu features a range of arthritis-friendly options, including gluten-free and dairy-free alternatives, as well as dishes rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants to help reduce inflammation.

  3. Pure Kitchen (Ottawa, Ontario):
    Pure Kitchen is another Ottawa-based restaurant that caters to individuals with dietary restrictions and health concerns, including arthritis. Their menu showcases nutrient-rich ingredients like leafy greens, whole grains, and lean proteins, all carefully crafted to promote joint health and overall well-being.

  4. The Coup (Calgary, Alberta):
    Located in Calgary, The Coup is a vegetarian restaurant offering a diverse selection of dishes made from locally sourced and sustainable ingredients. Their menu includes a variety of gluten-free and vegan options, as well as dishes featuring anti-inflammatory spices and herbs.

Arthritis-Friendly Hiking and Running Trails in Canada

  1. Grey Owl Trail, Manitoba:
    Located in Riding Mountain National Park, the Grey Owl Trail offers a scenic and relatively flat hiking experience suitable for individuals with arthritis. The well-maintained trail winds through lush forests and alongside picturesque lakes, providing opportunities for gentle exercise and relaxation in nature.

  2. Kinney Lake and Berg Lake Trails, British Columbia:
    Situated in Mount Robson Provincial Park, the Kinney Lake and Berg Lake Trails offer breathtaking views of towering mountains, glaciers, and crystal-clear lakes. While the terrain can be challenging in some sections, there are plenty of opportunities for leisurely walks and shorter hikes along these picturesque trails.

  3. Skyline Trail, Nova Scotia:
    The Skyline Trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park features a relatively flat and accessible loop trail with stunning panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and rugged coastline. This wheelchair-accessible trail is ideal for individuals with arthritis who want to enjoy the beauty of Nova Scotia's coastline without strenuous exertion.

Arthritis-Friendly Activities in Canada

  1. Ray Yoga Studio, Mississauga :
    Ray Yoga Studio offers a range of yoga classes suitable for individuals with arthritis. Their gentle yoga sessions focus on improving flexibility, balance, and joint mobility, providing a safe and supportive environment for practitioners of all levels.

  2. Swimming: Aquatic Centre, Saint John 
    The Aquatic Centre offers aquatic therapy programs and open swim sessions tailored to individuals with arthritis. Swimming is an excellent low-impact exercise that helps improve joint flexibility, strength, and cardiovascular health while reducing stress on the joints.

  3. Ji Hong Tai Chi & Qi Gong Meditation Centre, Mississauga:
    Ji Hong Tai Chi & Qi Gong offers meditation and mindfulness classes designed to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and improve mental well-being. Meditation can be beneficial for individuals with arthritis by helping manage pain and enhancing overall quality of life.

  4. Walking Locations: Parc du Bois-Beckett, Sherbrooke 
    Parc du Bois-Beckett in Sherbrooke, offers arthritis-friendly walking trails amidst lush natural surroundings. With amenities like picnic areas and benches, it's an ideal environment spot to relax and enjoy the outdoors while prioritising joint health.

  5. Cycling: Banff National Park, Alberta
    Banff National Park offers a variety of scenic cycling routes suitable for riders of all abilities. Cycling is a gentle, non-weight-bearing exercise that helps improve cardiovascular fitness and joint mobility while minimising stress on the joints, making it an excellent activity for individuals with arthritis.

Arthritis-Friendly Destinations

  1. British Columbia
    Victoria: Known for its mild climate and picturesque landscapes, Victoria offers numerous arthritis-friendly activities and attractions. Visitors can explore the beautiful Butchart Gardens, stroll along the scenic Inner Harbour, or enjoy a leisurely walk through Beacon Hill Park. Additionally, Victoria boasts a variety of arthritis-friendly dining options, including restaurants with accessible seating and menus featuring fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

  2. Ontario
    Niagara-on-the-Lake: Located in the heart of Ontario's wine country, Niagara-on-the-Lake is a charming destination known for its historic charm and scenic beauty. Visitors can take leisurely walks along the Niagara River, explore the town's quaint shops and galleries, or enjoy a scenic drive through the surrounding countryside. With its flat terrain and accessible amenities, Niagara-on-the-Lake is an ideal destination for individuals with arthritis looking to relax and unwind.

  3. Nova Scotia
    Halifax: As the capital city of Nova Scotia, Halifax offers a blend of urban sophistication and natural beauty. Visitors can explore the historic waterfront, take a leisurely stroll through the Halifax Public Gardens, or enjoy a scenic drive along the picturesque South Shore. With its mild climate and accessible attractions, Halifax provides plenty of opportunities for individuals with arthritis to enjoy the outdoors and experience the charm of Nova Scotia's capital city.


Living with osteoarthritis doesn’t mean giving up on life’s pleasures; it's about adapting and finding joy in new experiences. By exploring arthritis-friendly options across Canada, individuals with osteoarthritis can continue to enjoy delicious meals at restaurants and cafes, embark on scenic hikes and walks, and participate in activities that support their joint health and overall well-being. Whether it's practising yoga, swimming, or simply taking in the beauty of nature, there are countless ways to stay active and engaged while managing osteoarthritis. By prioritising self-care and seeking out supportive environments, individuals with osteoarthritis can live life to the fullest and embrace every moment with confidence and vitality. Remember, with the right resources and with a positive mindset, anything is possible, and osteoarthritis doesn’t have to stand in the way of living the best life in Canada.


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