About Portage


Brave teams stretch their mental and physicial limits during the first annual Hit the Bricks Urban Adventure Race and Festival – Proceeds support youth with addiction and mental health issues

Toronto (Ontario) April 28, 2013 – Have you ever wondered what the view looks like 65 feet in the air atop of a challenge tower? Participants in the Hit the Bricks Urban Adventure Race and Festival will be able to answer that question, likely with bated breath. Today marks the inaugural event hosted by Portage Ontario and Outward Bound Canada at Toronto’s Evergreen Brick Works. Proceeds from the event will help youth overcome addiction and mental health issues.

“Both the Hit the Bricks Urban Adventure Race and Festival and Portage Ontario’s programs help participants learn new skills together and experience personal growth” says Neil King, Event Chair and Portage Ontario Board Member. “We at Portage Ontario have already helped over 4,000 youth suffering from addiction-related issues and with the proceeds from this event we look forward to helping even more to gain control over their lives.”

The event begins with a two hour urban adventure race that puts minds, bodies, and souls to the test.

Teams of two and eight will race around the Evergreen Brick Works, completing adrenaline-pumping, team-building challenges. Each team will have a wide selection of challenges to choose from including a 65 foot challenge tower climb, high tower rappelling, climbing wall, ropes course and many others.

“We are proud to partner with Portage Ontario on this important new initiative and enjoyed creating a race course designed to compel participants to challenge themselves and find new strength and confidence within,” says Sarah Wiley, Executive Director, Outward Bound Canada.

After the two-hour urban adventure race there will be a community festival offering food and entertainment for families along with an opportunity to try the adventure obstacle course and exciting challenges.

Fun Facts about the Hit the Bricks Urban Adventure Race and Festival:

  • Participants will need to find and uncover materials and supplies to build a small, working canoe.
  • Teams will be turned upside down while navigating the boulder rock, a horizontal climbing challenge test.
  • A 65 foot challenge tower is not for the faint of heart and will test participant’s climbing and rappelling skills.
  • The bow drill fire challenge is the one time participants will be asked to play with fire as teams attempt to start a flame that can bake bannock.
  • Proceeds from the event support the Portage–Outward Bound program.
  • A total of 205 youth have already participated in more than 25 Portage-Outward Bound expeditions, which have included activities such as camping, hiking, canoeing, dog sledding, rock climbing and high ropes challenges.

About Portage Ontario

Portage is a national not-for-profit organization established in 1970. Today Portage operates substance abuse-related programs in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia. Portage programs help people suffering from drug and alcohol abuse-related problems to overcome their dependencies and live healthy, happy and productive lives. It includes programs for adolescents, adults, mothers and children, and for people who are struggling with concurrent disorders. Portage Ontario established a residential substance abuse rehabilitation centre for adolescents in Elora, Ontario in 1985 in cooperation with the Government of Ontario. Since its establishment, the centre has treated more than 4,000 youth from every region of Ontario.

About Outward Bound Canada

Outward Bound Canada’s mission is to cultivate resilience, leadership, connections and compassion through inspiring and challenging journeys of self-discovery in the natural world. We partner with schools and community groups, such as Portage Ontario, as well as universities, government agencies, corporate groups and learning institutes across Canada to provide a wide range of services that enhance capacity and leadership.

We are proud to be an organization that has consistently been at the forefront of educational and social innovation. For close to 50 years, we have adapted and renewed our model to meet the critical needs of our times ensuring that our programs maintain their social relevance, are increasingly accessible, and continue to be the standard of excellence in the field.

To learn more about the event visit www.hitthebricks.ca.

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