The Sandbox Project Timeline


On June 6th, The Sandbox Project built a 150-foot pop-up sandbox on Ottawa’s Sparks Street to raise awareness of Canadian issues in child and youth health. An Ontario150 Community Celebration, Sandbox150 was a collaborative event that brought together children, Parliamentarians, kids’ health organizations, corporate Canada and media, embracing the culture of inclusion, innovation and opportunity that could improve health and wellbeing outcomes for generations to come.


May 2017

Youth Health Rights in Canada: Discussion Paper

The YCRH engaged the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics (JCB) to establish a research base that will inform subsequent phases of the Health Rights and Responsibilities Project.


The Sandbox Project and the Young Canadians Roundtable on Health travelled to Ottawa with AstraZeneca's Young Health Program to host a One Young World breakout session on the youth role in preventing non-communicable diseases. Learn more.


June 2016

5th annual World's Largest Sandbox

2016 World's Largest Sandbox

The EduTOX Video Challenge invited young people to make short videos that outline the links between hazardous substances and health. Visit the EduTOX Video Challenge website or learn more about the project


2016 Sandbox Project Conference

December 2015


The goal of this project, funded by the ESDC Labour Program, was to develop a continuum to measure and assess workplace interventions for youth occupational injury prevention.  

Led by Parachute, this collaborative project also included the CIHR Team for Child and Youth Injury Prevention, the Sunnybrook P.A.R.T.Y. Program and MySafeWork

Learn more about the research and access the final report here

2015 Pan Am Parapan Am Giant Sandbox

On July 8, together with our partners, The Sandbox Project built a giant sandbox at Earlscourt Park in Toronto as part of the Pan Am Torch Stop festivities.  We are delighted to announce that the Pan Am Parapan Am GIANT Sandbox event was a great success.  The sandbox was filled with families as well as children from local daycares, day camps, and the community.  

Learn more.


June 2015

2015 World's Largest Sandbox
2015 Sandbox Project Conference

December 2014


"The experts tell us that awareness is the first step towards behaviour change," said Christine Hampson, CEO and president. "As a sector, we need to speak more consistently and create the right conditions for this change. Creating awareness is a key way that we can support organizations that are running child an youty programs on the ground."

Download the full article.


The PEHE Forum built partnerships among 80-90 prenatal health practitioners, researchers, educators, policy makers and environmental health experts from across Canada and the U.S. to develop strategies for improving prenatal environmental health education. To our knowledge, it was the first-ever Canadian forum of this kind. Learn about the forum and access the final report here


October 2014


Led entirely by the Young Canadians Roundtable on Health, #WorkRightCA features useful young worker resources from across the country to provide young workers, employers and parents with more tools to help create healthy and safe work environments for young people in Canada.

Visit the site.


For this report, a subgroup of the Young Canadians Roundtable on Health reviewed and evaluated Canadian organizations and programs in the adolescent health space, with a particular focus on organizations that address non-communicable disease (NCD) prevention. Download the report.

2014 World's Largest Sandbox

Phase II of SYMHI focused on the evaluation of an electronic Personal Health Record for youth being assessed and treated for common mental disorders (depression, anxiety disorders, ADHD) in primary care.

Learn more.

WG - The Sandbox Project - Mental Health - Sandbox Youth Mental Health Initiative - Timeline
2014 Sandbox Project Conference

November 2013

Concussion Awareness Advocacy

The Sandbox Project Injury Prevention Working Group decided to focus on two priority projects – Concussion Awareness and Helmet Legislation Harmonization. To view the Concussion Awareness Advocacy policy brief, please click here. This document outlines the Concussion Awareness Advocacy across different jurisdictions and seeks to recruit potential partners to join the steering committee for this initiative. 


October 2013

YCRH Environmental Scan for Healthy Eating Programs

The Young Canadians Roundtable on Health compiled a preliminary environmental scan
of healthy eating programs across Canada and the United States.

Download here.


September 2013


Phase I (then called Youth Mental Health Engagement Network or Y-MHEN) was a study undertaken at the Lawson Health Research Institute. This project delivered and evaluated the usability and acceptability of assessment tools and electronic personal health records accessible on mobile devices in the mental health treatment of youth experiencing depressive symptoms. 

Learn more about SYMHI.


August 2013


The Sandbox Project Growing Healthy Bodies Working Group commends Toronto Public Health on not sending ‘Fat Letters’ and warns of negative repercussions of weighing kids. Read the letter from working group Co-Chair Dr. Leora Pinhas, Sandbox President & CEO Christine Hampson and the Growing Healthy Bodies working group.

The healthy body scorecard

This Mitacs-funded project began the development of a new health screening tool for children that is inclusive, easy to use and comprehensive, thereby addressing some of the noted limitations to the use of Body Mass Index (BMI).

Learn more.


Poster: An Examination of the Implementation and Effectiveness of a Digital Health Tool in Conjunction with and International Sporting Event

Download the poster by Michelle McClure (Ability Online), Scott Watson (The Sandbox Project), Nora Bertram-Romero (The City of Windsor)

As an in-kind sponsor of the Games, The Sandbox Project is brought its signature "World's Largest Sandbox" event to The International Children’s Games on August 16th, 2013. Read more about the project here

World's Largest Sandbox - The Sandbox Project

This article by André Picard featured the 2nd Annual World's Largest Sandbox event on Ottawa's Sparks Street:

"With the desk-banging, heckling and mock outrage that passes for debate in Question Period, the ham-fisted attempts to steal from the cookie jar that is the public treasury and the almost laughable denials of the obvious, the antics of Parliamentarians can, at times, seem childish.
So it is nice to see that someone has thought it fit to set up a big sandbox near Parliament Hill – complete with pails and shovels – and invite MPs and Senators alike to come play."

Download the full article.

2013 World's Largest Sandbox


Through a panel discussion and a letter addressed to The Honourable Deb Matthews, MPP, the Growing Healthy Bodies Working Group has responded with comments and recommendations for the implementation of Ontario's No Time to Wait: The Healthy Kids Strategy. 

To read the Healthy Kids Panel discussion document, please click here.

To read the letter to The Honourable Deb Matthews, MPP, please click here


February 2013

The Sandbox Project Environment Working Group calls for support for the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study

The Sandbox Project Environment Working Group called on the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health to support the continuation of the CHILD Study, a key tool for understanding the impact of the environment on children’s health, and the epidemic of asthma, allergy and many other chronic diseases of later childhood and adulthood in Canada. Read the letter.


The Young Canadians Roundtable on Health (YCRH) was created in response to the interest generated by the report Reaching for the Top: A Report by the Advisor on Healthy Children & YouthA youth-led advisory, the YCRH works to create meaningful change on wide-ranging issues related to the health and well-being of young people. 

Learn more.

2013 Sandbox Project Conference

November 2012


The Sandbox Project Environment Working Group held a CIHR-supported workshop in Kitchener, Ontario to obtain input from representatives from 41 of Canada’s leading children’s environment and health experts working in the areas of research, advocacy and policy, in order to identify and prioritize needs for improving children’s environmental health in the next 5 years. Learn more.

2012 World's Largest Sandbox - Justin Trudeau

The Sandbox Project white paper was named for its inaugural 2011 conference where more than 300 concerned stakeholders met to exchange ideas and best practices for achieving immediate and sustainable improvement in the health of Canada’s children and youth. The white paper outlines the scope of the organization and directs stakeholder efforts in its first year of operation. Learn more.


January 2012

Strengthening Communities for Canadian Children with Disabilities

Dr. Anne Snowdon's HRSDC-funded study engaged key stakeholders to examine the capacity for creating community environments that strengthen social development for children and youth who face significant challenges due to disability. To download Snowdon's full report, please click here

To read Anne-Marie Tobin's January 19, 2012 article on the report on Huffington Post Canada, please click here

2012 Sandbox Project Conference
The Sandbox Project Launch


The Sandbox Project was founded by Dr. Kellie Leitch to respond to the startling research findings of her report, Reaching for the Top: A Report by the Advisor on Healthy Children and Youth, conducted on behalf of the Government of Canada  in 2007/2008. 

Learn more.