Toronto (April 12, 2006) - Today, The Honourable David Caplan, Ontario's Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal, announced the Province's commitment to the redevelopment of Toronto Rehabilitation Institute's University Centre. The announcement is a major boost to rehabilitation services in Ontario.

"This government investment will give Ontarians better access to a range of specialized rehabilitation services while supporting the continued growth of the hospital's unique and vital research program," says Caplan. "By expanding the Institute's rehabilitation facilities, we're giving people more opportunities to enhance their quality of life."

"The Province's investment in the revitalization and expansion of Toronto Rehab's University Centre is a clear demonstration of the government's vision to build a better health care system for all Ontarians," says David Thring, Chair of Toronto Rehab's Board of Directors. "It also demonstrates the Provinces confidence in this organization's ability to make a tangible difference not only in terms of the care we provide, but also when it comes to training a whole new generation of rehabilitation specialists and discovering new and effective treatments and assistive devices to enhance recovery and quality of life."

The extensive redevelopment and expansion of 550 University Avenue will provide new and modernized facilities with 176 inpatient rehabilitation beds, increased ambulatory care capabilities and new state-of-the-art research facilities. The project will also enhance the hospital's education role, creating one of the world's most interdisciplinary and interactive training sites for discovery and learning.

The provincial commitment also means that the hospital will be able to close its Hillcrest site at the corner of Bathurst St. and Davenport Rd. and move its Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Program to its rejuvenated downtown site.

Toronto Rehab's University Centre expansion includes:

  • Patient Care : A new 12-storey tower added to the southwest corner of the existing building that will allow for increased outpatient capacity, more spacious and private inpatient rooms, on-unit therapy spaces and facilities that are more conducive to rehabilitation and recovery;
  • Research : New research laboratories and testing facilities to accommodate teams of scientists recruited from across Canada and internationally. This will result in 54,000 square feet for Toronto Rehab's growing research program;
  • Education: Dedicated education space to accommodate the increasing number of students who come to Toronto Rehab to complete their clinical training in a variety of health care disciplines; and the ongoing professional development and education provided for practitioners from across the country.

The expansion of Toronto Rehab's University Centre will proceed as an initiative of the Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP) project. As part of ReNewOntario, the government's five-year $30 billion infrastructure plan, the modernization of more than 100 hospitals across the province will be started or completed over the next five years.

Today's announcement is a major contribution to Toronto Rehab's capital redevelopment and renewal. Fundraising to secure the remaining dollars required to complete the expansion is now underway.

"This is a far-sighted investment in rehabilitation services that will benefit people in all parts of Ontario and others well beyond this province's borders," says Barbara Stymiest, Chair of Everything Humanly Possible: The Campaign for Toronto Rehab. "It recognizes the crucial role that rehabilitation plays in our health care system."

The expansion and renewal of the University Centre is the final phase of the hospital's redevelopment. Late last year, an extensive renovation project began at the hospital's Lyndhurst Centre that will enhance patient care and research. The expanded facilities are scheduled to be completed by winter 2007. In addition, Toronto Rehab's redevelopment includes other major infrastructure upgrades and the creation of five endowed research chairs.

About Toronto Rehabilitation Institute

The Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (Toronto Rehab) is at the forefront of one of the most important and emerging frontiers in health care today - rehabilitation science. As a fully affiliated teaching and research hospital of the University of Toronto, Toronto Rehab is Canada's largest provider of adult rehabilitation services, complex continuing care, and long-term care. Toronto Rehab is advancing rehabilitation knowledge and practice through research, education and patient care.

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Phone: 416 340 4636

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