The iDAPT Centre for Rehabilitation Research - where aerospace technology meets rehabilitation research to help people living with the effects of aging and disabling injury and illness

Toronto (Nov. 16, 2011) - 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).

Core News Facts

  • Located in the heart of Canada's 'Discovery District' in downtown Toronto, iDAPT laboratories 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).
  • iDAPT, is an integrated network of 13 different state-of-the-art labs, workshops and other research spaces. Over 65,000 square feet of new and renovated facilities is home to scientists and research students from a broad range of engineering and clinical disciplines who all work collaboratively to develop new technologies for people living with disabling injury or illness.
  • iDAPT is the first to apply aerospace technology to a research lab giving scientists safe and controlled settings so they can recreate the kind of everyday environmental challenges experienced by people with disabilities.
  • iDAPT research will facilitate discovery and support a culture of inquiry — scientists and clinical experts working hand-in-hand – by using advanced technology to answer questions, solve problems and strive for breakthroughs that will help restore independence and quality of life and support recovery after injury or illness.
  • 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.
  • Toronto Rehab's growing research program is supported by the Toronto Rehab Foundation and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.


"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. This research will push the boundaries of rehabilitation science in Canada and beyond." - Dr. Geoff Fernie, Institute Director, Toronto Rehab/UHN

"Until now, our ability to study how people with disabilities and older people function in the real world has been limited. iDAPT allows us to do research in a way that we were never able to do before. We will be able to safely study the complex interactions between people with disabilities and their environments so we can provide better treatments and equip them with innovative and well-designed assistive devices that will help them overcome the everyday challenges they face." – Dr. Alex Mihaildis, Toronto Rehab researcher who holds the Barbara Stymiest Research Chair in Rehabilitation Technology

"Supporting people to stay in their homes will reduce the burden on the healthcare system. iDAPT research will allow people to live more comfortably in their homes." - Nancy Lefebre, Senior Vice President, Knowledge and Practice, Saint Elizabeth

"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 the 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." - 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. 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." - 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)


The Future of Rehab Research​

B-roll, Dr. Geoff Fernie​

Lab Profiles

One of North America's leading rehabilitation sciences centres, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (Toronto Rehab), part of the University Health Network (UHN), is revolutionizing rehabilitation by helping people overcome the challenges of disabling injury, illness or age related health conditions to live active, healthier more independent lives. Affiliated with the University of Toronto as a teaching and research hospital, Toronto Rehab integrates innovative patient care, groundbreaking research and diverse education to build healthier communities and advance the role of rehabilitation in the health system.

Media Contact

Phone: 416 340 4636

Back to Top