Rick Mercer couldn't resist stopping traffic with a scooter, falling down stairs in red high heels, or playing virtual bumper cars. It's why he came to Toronto Rehab.

The well-known CBC personality spent a day at Toronto Rehab to film an episode of The Rick Mercer Report in the Challenging Environment Assessment Lab (CEAL).

CEAL sits four storeys below Toronto Rehab housing three large research pods: StairLab, WinterLab and StreetLab. Researchers conduct experiments in these simulation labs to help reduce or eliminate injury and problem solve mobility issues that many Canadians face.

Rick was assisted by Toronto Rehab researchers Dr. Geoff Fernie, Dr. Yue Li, Tilak Dutta, Susan Gorski, Dr. Alison Novak, Jennifer Hsu, and Varun Ohri in a variety of activities as he navigated the labs.

Rick's visit to CEAL confirmed that:

  • Walking up and down stairs in six-inch, red high heels can be treacherous (especially when the stairs start to move).
  • You can only truly appreciate the power of WinterLab's wind machine when dozens of multi-coloured ping pong balls are released.
  • We're thankful StreetLab is a simulated e​nvironment (after Rick's near misses with cars, pedestrians and curbs)

Susan Gorski, Chief CEAL Engineer, joked that after Rick left she had a few more grey hairs on her head. "I never thought there would be ping pong balls in StairLab or WinterLab, but in all honesty I expected it," says Susan. "I am a huge fan of the show and it's always amazing to showcase this research space with the public."

The Rick Mercer Report featuring CEAL at Toronto Rehab Institute aired Tuesday, March 5th.

View our "behind the scenes" photo gallery with Rick at:


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