Sensory Friendly Spaces in Surrey
Sensory friendly spaces are calm and quiet areas designed to create a supportive environment for individuals who have autism spectrum disorder, anxiety or other sensory processing needs.
The City of Surrey has created many sensory friendly spaces and resources so that more people can recreate comfortably. We have both permanent and pop-up locations, plus free resources available for loan.
Sensory friendly spaces are calm and quiet areas designed to create a supportive environment for individuals who have autism spectrum disorder, anxiety or other sensory processing needs. The sensory friendly space allows individuals to feel safe and calm, allowing them to not only attend special events and programs but also feel supported throughout their experience. All of these spaces and resources are free, thanks to our partnership with the Canucks Autism Network.
A permanent sensory friendly space located on the second floor of the Grandview Heights Aquatics Centre will reopen once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. The Museum of Surrey offers Sensory Friendly Sundays on the first Sunday of each month resuming October 3, 2021.
When larger events resume, look for a welcoming tent designated as a sensory friendly space at City of Surrey special events. Supervised by staff and volunteers from the City of Surrey and the Canucks Autism Network, you will find fidget toys, stress balls, colouring books, bean bag chairs, puzzles and other supportive items including noise cancelling headphones available for loan.
Our recreation facilities have free sensory friendly kits available for loan. These small backpacks contain noise cancelling headphones, fidget toys and stress balls. Use them while attending programs and camps at the recreation centre to make the experience easy and enjoyable.
When normal operations resume, a sensory friendly space will be available at North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex during certain programs like skating lessons and Surrey Knights games, helping to expand the love of skating and hockey to as many community members as possible. We hope that the space allows families to feel confident coming to a game and participating in the excitement that is Canada’s favourite pastime.
The city works to create spaces and environments that are welcoming to all, regardless of age, ability, or background. We are committed to accessibility and universal design practices and are striving to meet the needs of our residents and visitors. Our staff partners with community organizations to help expand our services and understand the needs of Surrey’s diverse community members.
We hope that those with sensory processing needs will find our designated spaces and resources helpful in spaces based on the principles of Universal Design are inclusive and offer a rich variety of physical and creative play opportunities.