1. Celebrating 100 Years of PT with Rick Hansen
  2. Diane Gasner Graduate Scholarship
  3. Class of 1967 celebrates the P&OT program
  4. The Enid Graham Memorial Plaque

Celebrating 100 Years of Physical Therapy with Rick Hansen

The much anticipated 100th Year celebration of University of Toronto’s Department of Physical Therapy was recently held at the Fairmount Royal York Hotel, with special guests Rick Hansen and his wife, Amanda Hansen. Rick Hansen was only 15 years old when he was left with a spinal cord injury following an accident. He is now the Founder and CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation and is a strong advocate for people with disabilities in Canada. Not only is he a Paralympic athlete, he also completed his “Man in Motion” tour; a wheelchair trip around the world lasting two years. Rick and Amanda Hansen were joined by faculty members, past alumni, current students, clinicians, family and friends, all helping to celebrate the evening.

The Master of Ceremony, Dr. Darlene Reid, the Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy, paid tribute to the humble beginning of Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto, tracing it back to 1917 when the program was held at Hart House for many wounded veterans returning home from the First World War.

Rick and Amanda Hansen then spoke with Dr. Stephanie Nixon, a faculty member of the Department of Physical Therapy. Stephanie asked probing yet insightful questions about how Physical Therapy has impacted their lives. “My life has been dramatically impacted in a positive way by many physical therapists,” Rick Hansen said. He continued, “physical therapy is a vital discipline that improves physical function and enables individuals to maximize their potential’’. As Rick Hansen’s physical therapist for the Man in Motion tour, Amanda Hansen explained how the tour shaped her experience and gave her a new appreciation for the field.

Lastly, at the culmination of the event, the Rick Hansen Foundation and the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation jointly announced a generous donation to support spinal cord injury research at the University of Toronto by supporting a two-year post-doctoral fellowship. This donation was a memorable gift for the Department of Physical Therapy’s 100th year celebration.


Diane Gasner Graduate Scholarship

Diane Gasner

Our own PT and OT Alumni Association’s Communications Committee Chairperson Diane Gasner has made a very generous gift of a graduate scholarship to the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute at University of Toronto. Read all about it at


Celebrating the P &OT Program via the Landmark Project 

Alumni from P&OT 1967

A group of grateful alumni who graduated in 1967 from the combined P & OT Program found a very special way to commemorate that program as they celebrated their 50th graduation anniversary. They partnered with U of T’s Landmark Project by donating a bench placed in the heart of the St. George campus. Read the details at





Enid Graham Memorial Plaque

On September 27, 2017, an historic event was held to unveil a memorial plaque in honour of Enid Gordon Graham (nee Finley 1894 – 1974), who was a leading founder of physiotherapy in Toronto. Enid was named a “Person of National Historic Significance” in 2014.


The text of the plaque reads: “Graham was instrumental in establishing physiotherapy in Canada. Trained in massage and remedial gymnastics, she rehabilitated soldiers wounded in the First World War and taught at the Military School of Orthopaedic Surgery and Physiotherapy, here at Hart House. In 1929, she helped create a diploma program at the University of Toronto. Her advocacy ensured that accredited physiotherapists served as officers in the military and at convalescent hospitals during the Second War. The Enid Graham Memorial Lecture pays tribute to this founding member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.”


The plaque is located at the west entrance of Hart House at the University of Toronto.