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Upopolis is a safe and secure online support network that connects Canada's kids and teens with hospital experience or chronic medical conditions with one another, with friends and with family members. Upopolis users also have access to Uknow, kid-friendly medical content designed to help them better understand their diagnoses, treatments and procedures, as well as provide important resources on everything from hospital tours to coping techniques. 

One of the most popular features of Upopolis is the opportunity to express individuality, be creative and participate as active content contributors to the site through the creation of “spaces”.  These spaces may feature personal blogs, public forums to discuss diagnoses and medical experiences, hospital specific information, as well as activities for fun and entertainment.   

Upopolis launched at McMaster Children’s Hospital in 2007 and today includes a total of 14 hospitals and treatment centres, providing hundreds of hospitalized youth with access to this therapeutic network. 

Upopolis sites 

Children’s Hospitals, Community Hospitals, Youth Treatment Centres and Nonprofit Partners using Upopolis as a therapeutic tool (for their patients/clients 10-18 years of age) include*:

Therapeutic Goals of Upopolis 

Upopolis is a therapeutic online network comprised of paediatric patients (youth) aged 10 - 18 years, youth mentors, child life specialists and health care professionals.  The goals of Upopolis are: 

  • to provide a safe and therapeutic online outlet for youth with a chronic illness or hospital experience to connect with one another 
  • to promote creativity for youth by allowing them to create their own spaces on Upopolis to share experiences and interests with other users 
  • to access trusted medical, health and wellness information provided by individual hospitals/clinics/centres that is vetted by health care professionals 
  • to express themselves through blogging, photos, live chats and online activities always with the support and supervision of mentors and health care staff who understand their unique struggles and experiences 
  • to enhance the experience of a social support platform to one that is therapeutic and unique in meeting the needs of youth with chronic illness and hospital experiences.

Interested in joining Upopolis? 

Click here if you’d like more information on how you or your organization can join Upopolis or email Upopolis Program Manager, Krista Naugler. 


Uknow is medical content that is provided to Upopolis users on a variety of topics ranging from explanations of diagnoses, unique hospital video tours, coping and distraction techniques and resources. Individual hospitals/centres are able to post their own content so information is applicable to what users may experience. Here’s an example of a recently completed Uknow video: Exploring the Operating Room.

Upopolis has really helped me get through a lot! Being able to connect with other kids and teens going through treatment has really opened my eyes. Always knowing I have support from all the Upopolis users and that I support everyone is a really great thing to be able to turn to during treatment.
— Maggie, 13 years old
Upopolis is awesome! I love how you can chat with people and email friends, but I think the best part has to be how you can create your own space about anything you want and then invite people to join! Upopolis is something that I go on almost every day! I love it and if I had one word to describe it, I would say FUN!
— Jessica, 11 years old
I like having the external user feature and being able to add my family and friends ‘cause it allows me to chat, email and share photos with my cousin from across the country. Plus, Upopolis is like Facebook in a way, but since my Mom wants me to be a little older before I get it, this is a way for me to share everything that’s going on with my family and friends!
— Tressa, 12 years old
I don’t have any other social media than Upopolis so I really like using it because it is kinda like Facebook but better, LOL. Also on Facebook, you can’t go to someone directly for advice because they could be someone you don’t want to meet but on Upopolis you can trust.
— Maria, 13 years old