Experiences that challenge and inspire you, offering new approaches
to learning and living. The Legacy Center's onsite personal and professional development experiences allow you to relax, renew, and reperspective – all in a small-group setting, surrounded by a one-of-a-kind natural landscape.
The Legacy Center is a place for reflecting, creating, and connecting with yourself, others, and nature. We bring together a big-picture perspective, drawing on the best ideas of today's top thinkers, with the inspiration nature at its best can nurture.
The Legacy Project's work at the Legacy Center builds on and enhances the education children receive in school, and provides personal and professional development opportunities for adults. New approaches to lifelong learning that look
at the big picture foster more real, lasting solutions – and more hope. Learning is the means through which we fulfill our greatest hopes and personal potential, make connections and contributions to our families and communities, and leave a meaningful legacy for generations to come.
The Legacy Center offers custom, interactive learning experiences for
all ages – children, teens, adults, and elders. Individuals, couples, families, and small groups are welcome.
Unfold Your Potential, Dream Bigger – Make Your Story a Legacy Project, and Legacy Leaders are our main onsite programs, in addition to our un-caregiving workshop. You can also schedule a visit to experience the transformative Legacy Labyrinth, take a thought-provoking guided Tree of Life Walk, develop your creativity through Be The Tree, or tour the trans/multi-generational design features of the building.
The Legacy Center is located just north of Toronto, Canada, a 40-minute drive from both the downtown core and the airport. For those travelling from out of town, we have special accommodation rates available with a local hotel. For half-day and full-day workshops at the Legacy Center, a gourmet lunch featuring local foods is included.
Find out more about learning experiences at the Legacy Center:
Unfold Your Potential… Featuring the Legacy Labyrinth
Tree of Life Walks
Be The Tree
Dream Bigger – Make Your Story a Legacy Project
Un-Caregiving: How to Survive & Thrive as a Caregiver
Unfold Your Potential…
Featuring the Legacy Labyrinth
You have 30,000 days or so walking this planet. How are you going to Unfold Your Potential?
Maybe you're looking for the inspiration that can come from nature. Maybe you want to reenergize your work or family life. Maybe you've set a new goal. Maybe you're facing a life challenge, like an illness. Or maybe you're asking some questions about your life and how you're living it.
That wonderful word "maybe" is full of potential – and that's the potential we help you fulfill at the Legacy Center.
Unfold Your Potential, drawing on research in the natural and social sciences, helps you create, connect, change – your life in the context of the people and world around you. It features the Legacy Labyrinth. Walking the Legacy Labyrinth, the only one of its kind in North America, is transformative. It offers an opportunity for reflection and insight, and a deeper connection to yourself and nature.
a long history, dating back to ancient times. There are labyrinths in cultures throughout the world.
They are a
symbol related to wholeness.
People often confuse a labyrinth with a maze. A maze has misleading paths and dead ends; you need to find your way through it. A maze creates chaos. A labyrinth, on the other hand, orders chaos. It has one well-defined path that eventually leads to the center and then back out again (symbolizing a journey to our own personal center and then back out into the world again, connecting both self and the world). The path is not visible or predictable, reflecting the journey of life. We know there is an end, but we don't know what we'll find on the path along the way.
Walking a labyrinth, particularly one as distinctive as the Legacy Labyrinth, is a unique experience for each person. Children tend to run and jump through the labyrinth, with a sense of discovery and joy. Adults generally walk the labyrinth more contemplatively. The Legacy Labyrinth includes contemplation stops along the path.
Research shows walking a labyrinth enhances right brain activity, and can prompt both physiological and spiritual transformation. You can walk a labyrinth for relaxation, to explore specific answers to challenges in your life, or simply to open your mind and senses.
The Legacy Labyrinth at the Legacy Center is a unique, custom design that incorporates two elements. The first element is the Classical Seven Circuit labyrinth pattern. As shown, you enter through the single opening at the bottom and then walk the paths or circuits. The goal is in the center of the labyrinth. When you reach it, you've gone half the distance. You then need to turn around and walk back out. This classical pattern connotes a seed and also the human brain, both of which speak to the Legacy Center's site and goals.
The second element in the Legacy Labyrinth
is that it incorporates the classical labyrinth pattern into the general shape of the stylized letter "g" in the Legacy Project logo, which symbolizes a winding path, question mark, and tree root. The whole idea behind the logo is that each of us is on the journey of life. We simultaneously must remain rooted while walking a path along which we ask questions and make choices; the answers we discover and the choices we make determine our life as we live it. As we walk our path, we leave a trail behind us for others to follow. Our legacy, therefore, is both ahead of us and behind us.
The Legacy Project is very much about helping young and old make their life mean something. The labyrinth helps visitors explore their meaning in a way that reenergizes you and lifts your body, mind, and spirit.
The Legacy Labyrinth is in a secluded area of the 15-acre Legacy Center site. Towering trees, including a White Pine that's over 100 years old, shelter the labyrinth. A gentle natural rise in the land to the side of the Legacy Labyrinth affords a lovely view of the design of the entire labyrinth. It also creates a natural amphitheater ideal for discussions and workshops.
Unfold Your Potential is led by Legacy Project Chair Susan V. Bosak, MA. Susan is an educator, researcher, bestselling author and popular speaker. She offers ideas and insights that enlighten and entertain, move and motivate.
The Unfold Your Potential experiences draw on the Legacy Project's three banner programs: LifeDreams (developing your personal potential to create your life); Across Generations (your connections with others, particularly between generations); and Our World (how you can learn from the natural world and positively change your community).
Come create, connect, change with us. There are three Unfold Your Potential
options from which you can choose…
2-Hour Guided Legacy Labyrinth Walk: A personalized outdoor labyrinth experience that includes an introduction to some of the fascinating trees in the 15-acre Legacy Center arboretum, each with its own story. $85/person.
Half Day: Includes an opportunity to interact with Susan one-on-one, and a light gourmet lunch. $145/person, in a scheduled group workshop.
Full Day: A multilayered learning experience that includes both interactive activities and self-reflection, with a light gourmet lunch. $220/person, in a scheduled group workshop. Custom workshop for an individual, tailored to your personal or professional development, is $1,200.
For more information about Unfold Your Potential and to schedule your visit to the Legacy Labyrinth, e-mail or call
Tree of Life Walks
Where do you think it's best to plant a young tree? Ecologists tell us that a young tree grows better when it's planted in an area with older trees. The reason, it seems, is that the roots of the young tree are able to follow the pathways created by former trees and implant themselves more deeply. Over time, the roots of many trees may actually graft themselves to one another, creating an intricate, interdependent foundation hidden under the ground. In this way, stronger trees share resources with weaker ones so that the whole forest becomes healthier. That's legacy: an interconnection across time, with a responsibility to both those who have come before us and those who come after us.
A guided Tree of Life Walk through the 15-acre Legacy Center arboretum connects you with nature, time, and ultimately yourself. A shaft of sunlight beams through the towering trees. The calls of birds echo as leaves rustle in the wind. You gain calm and clarity as you walk the site. Each tree tells a story. You learn how to listen to the stories the trees tell, and use those stories to gain insights into your own life.
The arboretum is a place for exploration and discovery. You'll understand trees in a whole new way, including how to care for your own trees. While some areas of the arboretum are groomed, others are natural. And the more you look, the more you see. The microcosm of the arboretum is filled with natural delights, from wildflowers to mushrooms to wild berries.
A guided Tree of Life Walk through the Legacy Center arboretum (2 hours), led by educator Susan V. Bosak and recreational arborist Brian Puppa, is $85/person. For more information and to schedule your Tree of Life Walk, e-mail or call 1-800-772-7765.
Be The Tree
In our hectic, over-scheduled world, sometimes the most difficult challenge is simply to enjoy the moment you're in. The Be The Tree experience at the Legacy Center is a chance to relax and connect with nature, and also learn how to enjoy the moment.
a creative expression experience appropriate for children and teens, and also fun for adults.
We start by taking you on a quick tour through the Legacy Center arboretum to introduce you to some of the fascinating trees. Each has its own story and history. Which trees are you drawn to? Why? How do they make you feel?
Then, you choose a tree on the site that "speaks" to you. You can choose a tree based on how it
looks, its symbolism, or its personal meaning to you. The idea is to become or engage with that tree in some expressive way.
We give you a mime lesson on using your face and body to make shapes and express emotions. Mime is one of the oldest art forms and represents the peak of human performance and statement.
It's time to Be The Tree! We'll take several photos that will become keepsakes for you from the experience.
This is a unique way to learn about the natural world and trees, and an interesting way to learn more about yourself. Can you let go and enjoy the moment? When you do, you'll start seeing and feeling the world around you in a whole new way.
Check out more photos from Be The Tree experiences in the Legacy Center arboretum.
The Be The Tree creative expression experience is for individuals and families, children and adults. Be The Tree (2 hours) is $95/person. For more information and to schedule your Be The Tree experience, e-mail or call
Dream Bigger –
Make Your Story a
You have your own dreams, and you have the power to turn those dreams into a positive legacy, your own unique gift to the world and to future generations. You can take action to create a living legacy.
Can you Dream Bigger… to Make Your Story… a Legacy Project? We'll guide you through a personal exploration and learning process that will help you take who you are and make it bigger and better.
Dreaming bigger means growing bigger thinking and action to not only make your life better, but to work toward a world that's more meaningful, equitable, and sustainable.
Your story is whatever you're about, what really matters to you. If you aren't quite sure what that is, we'll help you figure it out. Your story is unique, whoever you are – you might be younger or older, a student in school or a student of life, a teacher or a lifelong learner, a parent or a grandparent.
And a legacy project reframes and expands what matters to you to make it count now and for generations far into the future. What do legacy projects look like? That really depends on you. Legacy projects are as varied, creative, exciting, and powerful as the 7 billion people walking this planet.
This workshop is part of a new global initiative the Legacy Project is launching called YOU 177. Based on more than a decade of real-world research, the call to action is Dream Bigger – Make Your Story a Legacy Project.
You can be part of a global, cumulative transformation to a metaperspective of bigger, better, longer-term thinking and acting. It's the power of YOU – younger, older, and everyone in between – in the context of the world around you, this moment in history, and the potential of the future.
Each of us lives our own life story. But often we get stuck in little stories that fail to sustain us or effect real change. Every person's life, every family, every school, every community group, every organization and business, even every city can be reframed and expanded as a legacy project – looking to the big picture over the long term, especially when it comes to important choices. The idea is to translate who you are and what matters to you into a legacy project that multiplies what you're already doing and makes it better. Simple – and incredibly powerful.
We all have momentary glimpses of something bigger, of Big Time – and bigger thinking. It's not a transformation, but a starting point. You become more aware of new possibilities. But to effect real change we need to understand and act in the bigger picture consistently in every choice we make.
Legacy is the way to do that, a way to access a metaperspective. Legacy takes Big Time and makes it personal. Your legacy evolves through your lifetime, from childhood to older adulthood. Legacy is your lifetime connected to something bigger. We can touch, feel, and affect Big Time through legacies across generations. Legacy is a rich concept that speaks to time both in terms of the individual and the collective.
So, are you ready to
Dream Bigger to Make Your Story a Legacy Project?
This workshop is available onsite at the Legacy Center and can also be done off-site for groups across the country. It can be customized to any age. When offered at the Legacy Center, the 1-day custom workshop with light lunch is $1,200 for an individual; group rates are available. For more information, e-mail or call
The world changes all the time – sometimes for the better, sometimes not. But real transformation is something different. In the words of Mark Twain, it's the difference between a lightning bug and lightning. Politicians can't do it. Business people can't do it. All the experts out there can't do it. Only YOU can do it. That's how big transformational change happens – always has, always will.
Are you a Legacy Leader, someone interested in rippling out the power of the legacy concept in your community?
Our Legacy Leaders training is part of
a new global initiative the Legacy Project is launching called YOU 177. Based on more than a decade of real-world research, the YOU 177 call to action is Dream Bigger – Make Your Story a Legacy Project.
We'll train you in the multidimensional LegacyCubed concept, and how to help others explore and define their own life story in the context of creating a living legacy at the levels of personal potential, relationships, and community impact.
As a Legacy Leader, we'll show you how to do legacy work with students in school, families – parents and grandparents, community groups, and organizations. You can even be a local leader to involve your entire city as a YOU 177 Innovator City.
You'll be part of a global movement that builds bigger, better, longer-term thinking and acting – for the ultimate goal of a more meaningful, equitable, and sustainable world. YOU 177 challenges all ages to transform the world, to create a powerful living legacy. It's all about the meaning and connection in your own life – in the context of the world around you, this moment in history, and a hopeful future.
Legacy Leaders training runs over 2 days at the Legacy Center, at a cost of $1,950/person, which includes light lunches. An annual fee of $295 gives you ongoing support, access to legacy resources, and the ability to use the YOU 177 Legacy Leader designation and the YOU 177 logo and branding. For more information, e-mail or call
Survive & Thrive
as a Caregiver
As more people live longer, there are greater needs for professional caregivers to help families deal with physical or cognitive limitations. At the same time, more family members are being called upon to serve as caregivers. Caregiving is an increasingly important intergenerational challenge.
to take care of and give back to someone – particularly someone you love like a parent or grandparent, a life partner, or a brother or sister – is a gift. All too often, though, it can also become a heavy burden. Many caregivers experience so much stress that they become physically and emotionally exhausted, are forced to give up their job and lose their friends, and ultimately sacrifice their health and financial security. When you're taking care of someone, someone also needs to take care of you.
From studies of caregivers over the last thirty years, the Rosalynn Carter Institute estimates that about a third of family caregivers decline in health and well-being and age prematurely. Another third adapt to the stresses with varying degrees of success. Many do learn new skills and become more empowered in all areas of their lives. And another third say their lives have been significantly enriched. The How to Survive & Thrive as a Caregiver workshop is about becoming part of that second or third group.
Based on a decade of research, the Legacy Project has developed an "un-caregiving" model for both professional and family caregivers that addresses psychosocial needs in a profound new way. It makes the caregiver experience more effective, more empowering, and more life-affirming for both the caregiver and the person needing assistance. It's about caregiving that speaks to the heart.
Un-caregiving is based on seven fundamental principles, including elders as teachers rather than dependents; moving away from a medical system to an extended "family" circle of care with a trio core; viewing dementia as an accessible shifted reality; the empathic compensatory brain; and the primacy of connection and meaning.
Our half-day and day-long un-caregiving workshops are customized to the participants, depending on whether you are a family caregiver or a professional caregiver. We cover practical "how to" topics in the context of insights on how to meet your emotional needs while meeting the needs of the person who needs assistance.
The workshop is led by educator, bestselling author, and Legacy Project Chair Susan V. Bosak. When Susan's father had a severe stroke in 2009, the professional suddenly became very personal for her. She had to make a decision about how to care for him, as well as her mother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2007. Susan has worked in the field of aging and intergenerational relationships for many years. She made the life-changing decision to move her parents into her home and become their primary caregiver. This personal experience has brought a rich new dimension to her professional work (read Susan's article Rethinking Eldercare).
Susan shares her personal and professional insights with warmth, humor, and inspiration. Topics covered in workshops can include:
Setting up an environment that works for everyone. You'll get a tour of the trans/multi-generational design features at the Legacy Center.
How to do the "practical stuff" WITH respect and dignity.
Changing your relationship with time for more effective planning and more enjoyable living.
Communication strategies for dealing with stressful care situations, particularly with people who have Alzheimer's and other dementias.
Meaningful activities for older adults who may be facing physical, cognitive, and other limitations.
Participants will also have an opportunity to walk the Legacy Labyrinth as a way to "recharge your batteries" and understand the learning principles in a dynamic, memorable way. Walking a labyrinth – which, unlike a maze, is a single, defined path – offers an opportunity for reflection, peace, and connection with nature. As Gail Sheehy describes in her book Passages in Caregiving, a caregiver's journey is very much like walking a labyrinth: at times you feel like you're going in circles, but there is a way in and a way out, and you can be enriched by the journey.
Un-caregiving workshops are $145/person for a half-day and $220/person for a full day (includes a light gourmet lunch) in a scheduled workshop; discounts are available for groups. For more information and
to find out about upcoming dates, e-mail or call
A visit to the Legacy Center is an experience you'll draw on for strength
and inspiration when you need it. In a busy, stressful world, the Legacy Center is a retreat that allows you to relax, renew, and reperspective.
In addition to the experiences listed above, the Legacy Center offers custom workshops and learning experiences for
children, teens, adults, and elders. Contact us for more information at
Get involved with the Legacy Project to support the Legacy Center's educational work onsite and online. For updates on the Legacy Center, sign up for our e-newsletter.