Redefining Possibility

Impact Report 2020-2021

Play Video

Message from our leaders

To say the last year was challenging is an understatement. But, we cannot emphasize enough that it was also a year marked by tenacity, nimbleness, and a clear commitment by our hospital staff, students, volunteers and community to redefine possibility for children and youth with disabilities.

Navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, the stressful days and unpredictable weeks, meant looking at and reshaping how things were done without compromising access, quality, and safety. When we could, we moved care virtually, opening up healthcare to children and families that desperately needed it. And, wherever possible, we asked staff to work from home to keep us all safe. We even pivoted our hallmark campaigns and events, including An Evening of Possibility, Capes for Kids and Dear Everybody, virtually with astounding success.

Because succeed we did—and we could not have done it without you.

We’re grateful to our donors who, against all odds, helped us have a record-breaking fundraising year of $14.3 million. We are also grateful for the countless donations of meals, gifts, and personal protective equipment for our kids, families, and staff. 

Because none of this would be possible without the generosity from you: our community of donors and supporters


This past year showed us how much we all need to come together, to be each other’s sources of strength, hope, and compassion. And together, we reshaped how things can be done. Together we proved that no challenge is too big, especially not with a team and community this resilient. 


We know we are all tired, we are all still staying afloat, so from the bottom of our hearts thank you. Thank you to the dreamers, the system shakers, the advocates, the innovators, who all rallied when our kids, youth, and families needed you most. 


Thank you for helping us redefine a world of possibility.

Julia signature

Julia Hanigsberg
President and CEO,
Holland Bloorview Kids
Rehabilitation Hospital

Sandra signature

Sandra Hawken
President and CEO,
Holland Bloorview Kids
Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation

Marg signature

Marg Rappolt
Chair, Board of Trustees
Holland Bloorview Kids
Rehabilitation Hospital

Neil signature

Neil Selfe
Chair, Board of Directors
Holland Bloorview Kids
Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation

Here is a snapshot of our year together

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced COVID-19 as a global pandemic.
This is how we responded.

Working hard to keep our hospital safe
nurses wearing masks on inpatient floor
With a host of safety measures in place like screening, masking and physical distancing, we continued to provide safe, high quality care. Many staff were redeployed to support other areas of the hospital where needed.

Read how we're keeping families safe
Taskforce established to promote inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility (IDEA)
stamp for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) Holland Bloorview formed the IDEA Taskforce to promote anti-racism and ensure an equitable, inclusive, and diverse environment for all our clients, staff, and families.

Read about the IDEA Taskforce
Supporting families financially during COVID-19
client and family relations staff Thanks to the generosity of our donors and community, we rallied to ensure financial relief was available to families when they needed it the most.

Read about the Family Support Fund
Launching Canada’s first child-friendly, immersive and accessible research MRI suite
Thanks to our many donors, our new research MRI will allow us to expand disability research. We can now analyze the brain as it develops over time in children and youth, especially those with autism, cerebral palsy and acquired brain injury.

Read about the research MRI
Making friends thanks to virtual programming
client and family leader For many kids with disabilities or medical complexities, social isolation was the best way to stay safe from COVID-19. But thanks to a generous donation, our hospital ensured they still had the means to virtually “meet” with friends and stay connected.

Read about virtual programming
Advocating for the needs of the youth and families throughout the pandemic
kids in the art studio
For many kids and youth, especially those with disabilities, the toll of the pandemic has been far-reaching. Throughout the pandemic, we’ve worked with families and other advocates in the children’s health sector to amplify the voices of those we serve.

Read about our advocacy
Empowering the leaders of tomorrow through Teaching & Learning
students and trainees
Four of our recent students shared their personal experiences at Holland Bloorview, which set them up for success in their field of paediatric study within and beyond the hospital’s walls—even during a pandemic.

Read about their experiences

Stories of Impact

client playing Sumo Bootle

Brain activity converted into electrical signals creates accessible gaming opportunities.

Dear Everybody campaign material

After only four years, Holland Bloorview’s Dear Everybody campaign has seen huge success in advocating for increased representation of people with disabilities—because everybody deserves to be seen.

client in the accessible playground

Our accessible playground features fully accessible swings and slides, including a wheel chair swing — ensuring all children are included and can play

Access Storage with boxes

When the world went on lockdown, Access Storage opened up their doors and stepped up for the Holland Bloorview community.

client playing with blocks

Our free, five-day virtual Autism Summit event brought more than 3,500 people from around the world for in-depth conversations about autism.

Zoom call with clients

Caregivers and parents experience benefits of music on mental health.

Make a difference for kids with disabilities today.

Stories like this are possible because of you!

Make a difference for kids with disabilities today.

Stories like this are possible because of you!


Holland Bloorview continues to earn industry accolades across a number of dimensions as noted below.

Greater Toronto's Top Employers 2021


Canada's Top Employers for Young People 2021


Canada's Research Hospital 2020


Waterstone Canada's Most Admired Corporate Cultures 2019-2020