The iDAPT Centre for Rehabilitation Research Opens Today

Aerospace technology meets rehabilitation research to help people living with the effects of aging and disabling injury and illness

TORONTO, Nov. 16, 2011 /CNW/ - There is nothing else like it in the world. A six-degree-of-freedom motion simulator located four storeys below ground that can recreate different environments, like winter blizzards and bustling streets, and outperform most flight training simulators. That is just one feature of what is the most technologically-advanced rehabilitation research centre in the world. And it is here in Canada.

The Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (Toronto Rehab), part of the University Health Network (UHN), today officially opened its $36-million-dollar research centre - iDAPT (Intelligent Design for Adaptation, Participation and Technology). Located in the heart of Canada's 'Discovery District' in downtown Toronto, iDAPT is approximately 65,000 square feet of new and renovated space.

Led by Dr. Geoff Fernie, Institute Director, Toronto Rehab/UHN, iDAPT laboratories will help "revolutionize rehabilitation science."

"iDAPT research will produce new knowledge, more practical technologies and innovative treatments that will reduce accidents and illness and help people overcome disability. We can help people live healthier, more active and more independent lives," said Dr. Fernie. "This research will push the boundaries of rehabilitation science in Canada and beyond."

Scientists and research students from a broad range of engineering and clinical disciplines all work collaboratively to develop solutions that will help restore independence and quality of life for people recovering from injury or illness. Falls are a major cause of injury and disability for older adults so researchers at iDAPT are studying how people walk up and down stairs, and how they walk on icy sidewalks in order to determine how to prevent falls.

"We are redefining rehabilitation. It is now about preventing you from having an illness, accident or injury in the first place," said Dr. Fernie. "And if you get sick or have an injury, rehabilitation is what will get you back home, back to work and back to the activities you enjoy doing."

The number of Canadians over the age of 65 will double in the next two decades. Globally we are facing a healthcare challenge: how to care for a rapidly aging population when long-term care is not an option.

"Our research includes a big focus on finding ways to help family members care for each other and remain in their own homes as they age," adds Dr. Fernie.

"Much of the work Toronto Rehab is doing here will help people remain in their homes longer. The HomeLab, for instance, is a living environment where new assistive devices and adaptive technologies are being developed to help people stay safely in their home for longer," said Nancy Lefebre, Senior Vice President, Knowledge and Practice, Saint Elizabeth. "Supporting people to stay in their homes will reduce the burden on the healthcare system."

"I know iDAPT research will have a remarkable impact on preventing injuries and disabilities.  I'm confident that this new centre will lead to advancements that will make a real difference for patients and their families. I'm excited to see how this research will enable Ontarians to thrive in their homes longer and live healthier lives," said Minister Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.

"Our government knows that investing in the people and ideas that will produce tomorrow's breakthroughs will keep Canada's economy growing," said Dr. Kellie Leitch, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology). "Researchers at this state-of-the-art facility will develop leading-edge treatments and assistive devices to help people with disabilities live healthier, more independent lives."

iDAPT's integrated network of 13 different state-of-the-art laboratories, workshops and other research spaces, are housed at the hospital's University Centre (550 University Ave., Toronto) and Lyndhurst Centre (520 Sutherland Dr., Toronto) and in the Rehabilitation Sciences building at the University of Toronto (500 University Ave., Toronto).

The iDAPT Centre is part of Toronto Rehab's multi-million dollar capital redevelopment of its University Ave. site. This project, funded by the Ontario government and Toronto Rehab Foundation involved the construction of a new patient care tower, with expanded inpatient and outpatient areas and renovations to the existing facility - the recent integration with University Health Network will mean that additional rehabilitation beds will be opened within the University Centre.  Infrastructure Ontario and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care supported this renovation and expansion and the hospital remains publicly owned, publicly controlled and publicly accountable.

iDAPT is funded by the federal government through the Canada Foundation for Innovation and by the Province of Ontario through the Ontario Innovation Trust and the Ministry of Research and Innovation. Local, national and international private sector partnerships provided in-kind contributions. The growing research program at Toronto Rehab is supported by the Toronto Rehab Foundation and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (Toronto Rehab), part of the University Health Network (UHN), is one of North America's leading academic rehabilitation sciences centres. It is a teaching and research hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto. For more information, visit

For more information, videos, and high-resolution photos, go to the iDAPT social media news release:

For broadcast quality video, download at:

Video with caption: "Video: The iDAPT Centre for Rehabilitation Research Opens Today. Toronto Rehab ushers in a new era in rehabilitation science.". Video available at:

Image with caption: "Toronto Rehab's six-degree-of-freedom motion simulator located four storeys below ground that can recreate different living environments (CNW Group/Toronto Rehabilitation Institute)". Image available at:

SOURCE Toronto Rehabilitation Institute

For further information:

To book an interview with our researchers, please contact:
Carolyn Lovas
Media Relations Specialist
Toronto Rehab
416 597 3422, ext. 3837

For more information on iDAPT facilities, please contact: 
Bruno Maruzzo
Commercialization Officer
416-597-3422 ext. 7898

Organization Profile

Toronto Rehabilitation Institute

More on this organization

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890