Variety Village: Inclusive Sports & Fitness for Greater Toronto Area - Cure Medical

cure nation logoAs the Director of Access and Awareness for Variety Village, Archie Allison can be found bouncing from event to event across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). His contagious smile and positive attitude leave everyone in his circle feeling proud to know him and grateful for inclusion in the Variety Village world. We’re sharing a little more about Variety Village and Archie Allison as part of our Canadian expansion.

“It’s great to have companies that reach out and participate in their communities on more than just a sales basis,” Archie says. “Having a place like the CURE NATION to share the triumphs of each other really highlights how Cure Medical is doing just that.”


Scarborough, Ontario’s Variety Village is a truly unique space, filled with equipment and activities built specifically so that everyone can participate.  Whether it’s sports, fitness programs, summer camps, skills training, or coaching for competitive and Paralympics athletes, Variety Village really has it all!

camps are held at variety village for kids with disabilities

Variety Village is one of the premiere accessible, inclusive facilities in North America.

Not only is the space accessible, but it’s inclusive as well. It is clear from the moment you enter that everyone is welcome and that everyone can fully participate in their chosen activities.  No one person is singled out, everyone belongs.

Archie says, “people are finding themselves through sport and physical activity.  They’re feeling happier, more content, more satisfied with their own lives through participating with their families, friends, and peers.”

archie allison directs variety village in ontarioSTRENGTHENING tORONTO THROUGH VARIETY VILLAGE

The Cure Medical team met Archie Allison for the first time at the Toronto Abilities Expo. It was evident how much the entire community rallies around both him and Variety Village.

Not only did it seem that Archie knew every one of the thousands of people at the Expo but the stories we heard about events and activities at Variety Village were almost uncountable.

It seems that everyone in the Greater Toronto Area disability community has some connection to Archie or Variety Village as a whole.  Stories were told, photos taken, and plans for upcoming events were shared between Archie and Expo attendees.


“Talking about Variety Village doesn’t have the same impact as when you come in and experience the Village in person,” Archie explains.


Archie attended high school across the street from Variety Village and had intended to pursue art therapy at Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) after graduation.  In Archie’s senior year, his Guidance Counsellor and Physical Education teacher, Stefan Tipold, suggested that he complete a placement at Variety Village – and the rest is history.

Archie is a driving force at Variety Village and is often found behind the scenes (or in this case, behind the camera) at Variety Village’s many events.

Archie is a driving force at Variety Village and is often found behind the scenes (or in this case, behind the camera) at Variety Village’s many events.

“It was my second week here that I fell in love with what Variety Village is and what it does both as a facility and as a mandate.”  Archie has been with the organization for 36 years and will happily tell everyone how excited he still is to come to work each and every day.

“I think every place should be like Variety Village,” Archie says with a smile.


One of the many ways that Variety Village includes people of all abilities is through their recent acquisition of Volt Hockey chairs.  In Volt Hockey, players transfer from their everyday powerchair to Volt chairs in order to play, ensuring that they won’t damage their everyday wheelchairs while playing the sport.

Volt Hockey is popular in Scandinavia (with over 50 teams competing) and is now available in Ontario!  The Volt Hockey program has been initially introduced to London and Markham (with “give it a go” days) and there is a possibility of expanding the program to Newmarket and Barrie soon.

You never know who you’re going to meet while playing Volt Hockey at Variety Village.

Not only has Nicklas Charlton, a Danish Volt Hockey Champion, been to the Village to play, but Toronto Maple Leaf’s Coach Mike Babcock and players Brad Boyes, Byron Froese, and James van Riemsdyk have come out to try it out as well!


None of Variety Village’s programs happen without the support of countless staff, volunteers, and donors.  Variety Village has several fundraising events throughout the calendar year and many Ontarians are familiar with the “That’s Amore Pizza Day”.  It is held in partnership with Pizza Nova in a tradition that has spanned over 30 years.

This is a one-day fundraiser held each spring where $1 from each Medium Pepperoni pizza purchased by walk-in at Pizza Nova is donated directly to Variety Village.VARGIETY VILLAGE THAT'S AMORE PIZZA FUNDRAISER

In 2018, That’s Amore Pizza Day raised a staggering $118,602 to support the programs at Variety Village.

Pizza and a donation to a great charity?  Win-win!


In recent years, Variety Village has been reaching beyond their physical location in Scarborough and developing programs in locations across Ontario.  They are working with leaders in sport to develop programs that reach people where they live.  This includes working with MLSE, regional municipalities, and the YMCA. Thanks to Variety Village, adaptive sports offerings now exist in Toronto, Vaughan, Markham, and London.

Looking to create more of these opportunities in the future, they are developing programs in Beeton, Peel and other areas in the province.  Variety Village and its staff are a place that people can reach out to “talk about ideas and different adaptations to make sure that everyone is involved.”

The expansion to more local areas gives all Ontarians, regardless of physical challenges, the chance to feel welcomed and included within their communities.


Variety Village is a place for every person to feel welcomed and to learn from each other. We strive to offer the same experience through the CURE NATION as well!

That’s why Archie expressed his excitement with the understanding that “this blog can educate about what’s available. A lot of times it’s hard to find resources and information and this is a valuable learning initiative for individuals and families.”

sports are fun for all at variety village

Sports are fun for all at Variety Village!

“Not only does CURE give us a place to come together online, but the company also gives back to the community by engaging in advocacy events and donating a portion of their proceeds to medical research,” Archie concludes.

For more information on all that Variety Village offers and how you can get involved, visit their website at


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Founded by a quadriplegic, Cure Medical supports medical research programs in pursuit of a cure for urinary retention, paralysis, spinal cord injury and central nervous system disorders.

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