Raising awareness, changing attitudes and removing barriers for people with disabilities in the built environment

Ontario Government: Investing in Critical Research to Transform Lives

Published: April 01 2014

Ontario Renews Support for Rick Hansen Foundation and Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation 

Ontario is providing continued support for people living with spinal cord and brain injuries by investing $15 million in the Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) and the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF). 

The province is investing $6 million in the RHF and $9 million in the ONF over three years. These investments will help researchers move innovative new discoveries from lab to clinic sooner while linking Ontario’s world-class researchers with others around the globe. 

Since 2003, Ontario has invested more than $3.8 billion in research and innovation and is home to one of North America’s leading concentrations of biomedical research and development. Investments in this area help position Ontario as one of the world’s top life science research centres, and help provide better services, improved health, and lower healthcare costs.

Building our knowledge economy is part of the government’s economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow. The comprehensive plan and its six priorities focus on Ontario’s greatest strengths – its people and strategic partnerships.


  • 86,000 people in Canada live with spinal cord injuries. There are 4,300 new cases each year.

  • RHF is a national organization with projects currently underway at 49 facilities in Ontario.

  • Since 1988, RHF has turned the $26 million raised during Rick Hansen's "Man In Motion Tour" into a $280 million investment in spinal cord research, accessibility projects and quality of life initiatives.

  • The ONF supports the research and prevention of neurotrauma injuries, and improves the quality of life for people in Ontario living with a spinal cord or acquired brain injury.

  • Over the past five years the ONF has invested in over 340 projects.


"By investing in spinal cord and acquired brain injury research, we are generating far-reaching impact – not only for Ontarians and our health care system, but for people around the world. Our province’s cutting-edge facilities, researchers and clinical expertise are expanding spinal cord and brain trauma research and driving new treatments. This will further solidify Ontario’s reputation as an innovative, global leader in spinal cord injury and acquired brain injury research, care and prevention."

Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation

“Thanks to the ongoing support of the Government of Ontario, RHF, in partnership with the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation, has galvanized Ontario’s best researchers, clinicians and scientists to accelerate the translation of the most promising research into practical solutions. This commitment enables the ongoing leveraging of federal, provincial and private sector funds to allow Canadian SCI researchers to embark on a national and global collective journey towards making a difference in the lives of people with spinal cord injury and other disabilities.”
— Rick Hansen, President and CEO, The Rick Hansen Foundation

“The Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation congratulates the Ontario government for their continued investment in improving the lives of Ontarians living with a neurotrauma injury. With the government’s support of ONF, and in our partnership funding with the Rick Hansen Foundation, we can develop best practices, and more importantly, implement these best practices to make a difference in the lives of those living with spinal cord and acquired brain injuries. Individuals living with a neurotrauma injury, their families, their communities and all Ontarians benefit.”

— Kent Bassett-Spiers, CEO, the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation


Rick Hansen Foundation
Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation
Ontario Health Innovation Council (OHIC)
Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities