Recreation Therapy is the practice of using purposeful and self-rewarding recreation activities and interventions to support development, health, and well-being.

St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph (SJHCG) offers 2 therapeutic disciplines: Recreation Therapy and Music Therapy.

Each program is led by a specially trained professional. After an assessment, a recreation therapist will recommend programs and services that best suit the person’s abilities and individual goals. This may include referral to music therapy, or a variety of community partnerships such as Pet Visiting.

Recreation Therapy

Recreation therapy programs are offered to long term care residents in a large group setting, small group setting, or one-on-one at the bedside, depending on the person’s needs. Many programs use Montessori principles, where recreational activities are purposeful, meaningful, and individually rewarding. These therapeutic interventions are designed to encourage meaningful participation while respecting each person’s interests and dignity.

Activities include, but are not limited to, trivia, bingo, multi-sensory environment sessions, music night, pet visits, gardening, and more.

Each month, there are a number of recreational events that are also open to family members, complex medical patients, and those accessing rehabilitation services.

Music Therapy

Music therapists use various techniques to support each person’s development and well-being. These techniques include singing, playing instruments, improvising, and listening to music. The Music Therapy Program is made possible by the St. Joseph’s Health Centre Foundation Guelph and the generous support of donors in our community.

Partnering with our Community

Our recreation therapy programs are enriched with the participation of community groups and students who visit regularly. The Guelph Civic Museum, the Guelph Public Library, and local schools bring new and interesting perspectives to our recreational programs. With a focus on bridging generations, SJHCG partners with local elementary and secondary schools, and local universities to bring children and youth to play music, sing, create, and participate in meaningful activities with clients. These partnerships are an integral way for clients to stay connected to the Guelph-Wellington community and beyond.


To learn more about recreation therapy and music therapy at SJHCG, contact the Recreation Therapy Department at 519-824-6000 ext. 4294, or email