Heart Wise
Exercise Program


Heart Wise Exercise was first launched in 2007 in Ottawa to help graduates from the University of Ottawa’s Heart Institute Cardiac Rehab Program, continue the lifestyle changes, including aerobic exercise, that were adopted while attending the hospital-based program.

To date, over 100 sites are now offering recognized exercise opportunities and three hundred plus exercise leaders have been trained to support clients living with cardiovascular disease including heart disease.

The Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada is pleased to announce that the Heart Wise Exercise Program will be in the greater Toronto area, thanks to an Ontario Trillium grant received in July, 2011.

The Heart Wise Exercise Program enables individuals with cardiovascular disease or at risk for developing cardiovascular disease to exercise in a safe environment with trained exercise leaders.

Heart Wise Exercise Program leaders know that everyone’s physical fitness level is different. That is why the Heart Wise Exercise Program allows us to work at an intensity that suits our needs.

Heart Wise Exercise is expanding throughout Toronto to locations that will be in our community and therefore, convenient for us to get to exercise regularly.

Please visit the website or enter an e-mail address for regular updates regarding Heart Wise Exercise Programs in our neighbourhoods!

Heart Wise Exercise is intended for participants who are interested or concerned about their cardiovascular health.

A Heart Wise Program meets the following six criteria:

  • encourages regular daily aerobic exercise,
  • incorporates and encourages warm-up, cool down and self-monitoring,
  • exercise sessions allow participants to exercise safely and has options to increase intensity of exercise,
  • accepts participants with a known history of cardiac disease - provided they have physician approval,
  • provides health screening,
  • has an emergency plan that is documented and known to all exercise leaders, including the requirement of current CPR certification, phone access to EMS and an on site AED.

Collaborative Partners for the Grant include The Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada, The University of Ottawa Heart Institute, The Toronto Rehab Institute, YMCA of Greater Toronto, Toronto Emergency Medical Services and the Mikey Network.

Sign up for regular updates regarding Heart Wise Exercise Programs in your neighbourhood.


Heart Wise Exercise Toronto
Training Program

Register for the Heart Wise Exercise Training Program June 10th 2015; Registration is 8:45 am; the Event runs from 9:00am until 12:30 noon.

Through the generosity of Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, we have arranged space at 750 Spadina Avenue on the corner of Bloor street. In addition to being on the subway line, Public parking is available about 200 feet north of Bloor Street on Spadina Road on the right hand side going north.

The meeting room is on the main floor in the West Aerobics studio. When you get there just ask at the desk for the location of the West Aerobics Studio.

Please scan and e-mail registration form to heartwise.john@cardiachealth.ca or fax to 416-730-0421

For more details please email John Sawdon and Tim Wong at:

Download The Necessary Forms to join the GTA Heart Wise Exercise Program Network


Download The Heart Wise Facility Posters

Congratulations to the Cardiac Health Foundation Of Canada for receiving an Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant to expand the Heart Wise Exercise program (developed by the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in 2007) in the GTA with a focus on the Chinese and First Nations Communities. Plaque presentation was made at Fitness that Fits fitness studio - The team that won the Heart Wise Exercise Challenge for fundraising at the Cardiac Health Foundation’s WALK OF LIFE in May. Pictured are: John Sawdon -Director of HWE GTA; , Barbara Kennedy - Executive Director Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada; Nadia Bender- Fitness That Fits CEO; Yvan Baker - MPP Etobicoke Centre ;Jeff Goreski - OTF volunteer grant presenter.

Congratulations to Nadia Bender, owner of Fitness that Fits and her team that won the Heart Wise Exercise Challenge set up by the Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada at their recent WALK OF LIFE. Special thanks to Pool People Ltd. for donating the prize of the Exercise Bike. Pictured are: John Sawdon - HWE GTA Director; Yvan Baker - MPP Etobicoke Centre; Barbara Kennedy- Executive Director, Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada; Nadia Bender- CEO Fitness that Fits; Salvatore Piccolo - Regional Sales Mgr. PPL Fitness and Health Spa Products; Tim Bown- Vice President PPL. Nadia’s team of 16 raised over $6,000 for prevention, education and cardiac rehabilitation!

Heart Wise Exercise
Designated Sites :

Click here to find Heart Wise Exercise designated facilities in the GTA

Click here to find Heart Wise Exercise designated facilities across the province of ONTARIO

The Cardiac Health Foundation Of Canada is pleased to announce a special two-year grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (an agency of the Government of Ontario) for $134,000 to launch “Heart Wise Exercise” in the greater Toronto area. This Project will build community capacity for physical activity suitable for individuals with cardiovascular disease and help individuals transition from short-term cardiac rehab programs to long-term sustainable community-based settings. Collaborative partners of this project include: the Cardiac Health Foundation Of Canada; the Ottawa Heart Institute, Toronto Rehab InstituteYMCA of Greater Toronto, Toronto EMS & the Mikey Network.

The Trillium grant presentation was made on July 28th by Ontario Trillium Foundation OTF grant review team volunteer member Norm King and congratulations were given by the Hon. Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario.

The announcement of the grant was made as part of the celebration of the Ride For Rehab by cyclists Alex Holton & Vanessa Parlette, at the cardiac department of the University Health Network’s Toronto Rehab. Other speakers included Dr. Paul Oh, Medical Director of the UHN-Toronto Rehab Cardiac Rehabilitation & Secondary Prevention Program, Natalie Cournoyea, Clinical Director for Toronto Rehab, Leo DelZotto, Pres. of the Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada, Barbara Kennedy, Executive Director of the Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada, Jane Brownrigg, Regional Manager for Heart Wise Exercise from the founding organization University of Ottawa Heart institute,and Dr. Terry Kavanagh, medical advisor for Cardiac Health Foundation Of Canada.

Exercise is the most powerful therapy when it comes to rebuilding damaged hearts,” says Dr. Paul Oh - Medical Director of TRI Cardiac Rehab & Secondary Prevention Program and Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada Medical Advisor.

“People who complete cardiac rehab are encouraged to continue regular daily exercise.

The Heart Wise Exercise Program steers people in the right direction by identifying safe, suitable and heart-friendly exercise programs in the community as they transition from a hospital to home.”