​​​​​Image of Winter Lab
In partnership with Canadian apparel retailer Mark's, researchers in WinterLab at Toronto Rehab are aiming to develop a labelling system for winter footwear. Photo: UHN

Falling on ice is a big problem. It increases visits to Emergency, can keep elderly adults housebound during the winter and may also cause serious injuries – especially among older Canadians.

That's why four storeys below Toronto Rehab's University Centre is WinterLab – one of the simulated environments that is part of the iDAPT Centre for Rehabilitation Research. Year-round, researchers in WinterLab are dedicated to preventing  slips and falls in wintry conditions.

 Image of Winter Lab
Located four storeys below Toronto Rehab's University Centre, Winterlab is one of the simulated environments that comprise the iDAPT Centre for Rehabilitation Research. Photo: UHN​

The focus is testing winter footwear in order to determine the safest design that will keep Canadians upright in a range of cold conditions: wet ice, dry ice, snow-covered ice and ice on slopes. Through a partnership with Canadian apparel retailer Mark's, Dr. Geoff Fernie, Institute Director, Research, Toronto Rehab, and his team are aiming to develop a labelling system for winter footwear that can help inform consumers what product will help keep them safe.

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