TORONTO, June 17, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Autism Speaks Canada, part of North America's largest autism science and advocacy organization is proud to announce that the Toronto Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada fundraising and awareness event will take place this Sunday, June 21, 2015 at Earl Bales Park. All event proceeds will support Autism Speaks' work, both locally and nationally, to increase awareness about autism spectrum disorder, fund autism research and family services, and advocate for the needs of individuals with autism and their families in Toronto and across all of Canada.

The Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada events are the signature fundraising events for Autism Speaks Canada, raising nearly $1.4 million in 2014 to support autism research, services, awareness and advocacy. In addition to its national efforts, the organization has provided funding to local services providers including iSAND, Autism Society of Ontario, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab Hopital and SickKids Hospital.

Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada is a unique fundraising event that offers a safe and fun day for families impacted by autism. The day includes a 3 km Walk and Community Resource Fair, sponsored by Neinstein and Associates Personal Injury Lawyers with 12 nonprofit organizations and small business owners ranging from educational sources, therapists, schools, recreational organizations, and creative child-friendly activities – a true "one-stop-shop" for families impacted by autism; 1 to 1 Therapy Services, WM+A AlphaBee, Speech Therapy Works, Shining Through Centre, CUPE Local 4400 - Toronto Education Workers, Ontario Association for Behaviour Analysis, Integrative Services for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders (ISAND), Monarch House, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Neinstein & Associates LLP Personal Injury Lawyers, Abram's Bed - Maker of the Safety Sleeper, Kerry's Place Autism Services, Speech Specialists Canada Inc.

"Thanks to tremendous community support and the work of our wonderful volunteers, our Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada event has made an enormous impact on the work that our organization is able to support each and every year" said Jill Farber, Executive Director. "In addition to raising funds and awareness, the Walk is a chance for families to come together, support each other, and make connections. Working together, we are making great strides toward improving the lives of people with autism and their families." Last year, more than 3,400 people gathered for Toronto's Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada where over $440,000 was raised.

"Thanks to the help of sponsors, walkers and generous donors, 2015 is gearing up to be a success," said Melanie Haydon, National Director Walks and Community Events, Autism Speaks Canada.

Toys"R"Us® and Babies"R"Us® proudly serve as National Presenting Sponsors of Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada. Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us will host a tented area at The Walk, serving as home base for the company's mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe. We are also excited to announce Neinstein & Associates as the Ontario Resource Fair sponsor as well as National Bank as a local sponsor.

For more information about the 2015 Toronto Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada, please visit www.walknowforautismspeaks.ca or contact your walk manager at onewalknow@autismspeakscan.ca.

CONTACT: Carrie Habert Director, Marketing Autism Speaks Canada carriehabert@autismspeakscan.ca

Source: Autism Speaks Canada