Impact health here:
Making a global impact through innovation in Regenerative Health

Cluster Description

Did you know that stem cells were discovered in Toronto? Since then, the Toronto Region Human Health and Sciences Cluster has become a destination for the advancement of regenerative medicine and related health disciplines.

We are the largest health care market in Canada, with the largest concentration of academic research hospitals, health sciences employment and companies in Canada. Our cluster spans the development and delivery of healthcare, from medical technology and biopharmaceuticals, to health-focused venture capital funds, to academic research hospitals and universities. The HHS ecosystem is defined by a convergence of key stakeholders from academia, industry and government, what some theorists have called the ‘triple helix’ required to create and expand a successful cluster.

Toronto Region’s Human Health and Sciences cluster is central to the Life Sciences ecosystem in Ontario. The Life Sciences sector contributes $3.9 billion to the GDP of the province of Ontario, with exports of $8.6 billion. With nearly 50% of Ontario’s population and a representative percentage of the $5.9 billion healthcare spend, the Toronto Region is the largest healthcare market in Canada. It also has the largest concentration of research institutions, attracting the lion’s share of Ontario’s $7 billion spend on R&D. The Toronto Region is home to over 50+ head offices of multinational companies, homegrown businesses, and 1,000+ start-ups. Overall, the Region contributes over 10% of Canada’s total GDP output.

Why you should attend

  • Discover the opportunities within Canada’s largest health care market on this walking tour of the Toronto Region Health Cluster. 

  • Meet leaders in our cluster and learn how scientists, industry, and government are collaborating to move innovative research from laboratory bench to patient bedside. 

  • Get an up-close look at groundbreaking regenerative medicine research and commercialization programs.


08:30 AM
Gather in the Churchill Ballroom, meeting level, Chelsea Hotel Toronto. Meet your Health cluster immersion experience guides. 

08:45-09:00 AM
Walk to JLABS @ Toronto, the first Johnson and Johnson science incubator outside of the United States. 

09:00-09:50 AM
At JLABS, you will:

  • Look over the geographical proximity and density of the Cluster and hear about the opportunities this presents.

  • Learn about industry investment into the Toronto Region Human Health and Sciences Cluster and the impact it can have on an ecosystem.

JLABS @ Toronto is located in MaRS Discovery District, one of the world’s largest urban innovation hubs and a cornerstone of the Toronto Region Human Health and Sciences Cluster. Get a top-notch view of the cluster’s main artery on University Avenue in downtown Toronto! 

During your time in MaRS, you will:

  • Learn about Toronto Region Health Cluster and how industry, government, academic research hospitals, and universities work together to move research from bench to bedside.

  • Learn how Toronto’s discovery of stem cells has helped make the region a hub for regenerative medicine research.

  • See first-hand how the cluster is driving regenerative medicine research through the pipeline, from discovery to commercialization to clinical care.

09:50-10:50 AM
Head over to CCRM (Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine), a public-private consortium that helps move regenerative medicine-based therapies from the lab to the clinic to improve patient care.

At CCRM, you will:

  • Meet the leadership team and learn about the future of regenerative medicine.

  • Learn how the Toronto Region is commercializing its regenerative medicine discoveries.

  • Tour the CCRM labs and see the science and innovation underway.

10:50-12:00 PM
Head to the regenerative medicine research and development laboratories at the University Health Network (UHN), Canada’s largest academic research hospital.

At UHN, you will:

  • Learn about how academic research hospitals are driving a healthier, wealthier and smarter future.

  • Meet world-renowned scientists and see first-hand how their research is advancing regenerative medicine:

    • Accessing and repairing damaged donor organs to make them viable for transplant.

    • Repairing damaged cardiac tissue with stem cells.

    • Generating populations of pancreatic progenitors (pancreatic cells that can produce beta cells) using human pluripotent stem cells.

12:00-01:15 PM
Walk to ONRamp, a University of Toronto Entrepreneurship incubator, located in the historic Banting Building (where the insulin discovery was made by Banting and Best) for lunch and informal networking.

01:15-03:00 PM
Bus to Ryerson University for the mini-charrette. We'll be exploring each aspect of the health care innovation to commercialization journey, with sharing insights and best practices on:

  • How to close the gap between incubation and acceleration.

  • How the cluster ecosystem can help accelerate companies.

03:00-03:15 PM
Walk back to the Chelsea Hotel Toronto and Rotman School of Management

Dress Code

Please wear comfortable walking shoes and bring an umbrella in case it rains. 

Meet your Organizers

TO Health!  is an industry-led promotion cooperative focused on raising the profile of the Toronto region’s Human Health & Sciences (HHS) cluster. TO Health! actively promotes and builds profile for the entire Toronto region HHS cluster by highlighting its strengths and successes and recognizing industry leaders within the cluster. TO Health! also assists groups with their own promotional outreach through TO Health! brand affiliation and resources, which can be used to powerfully present the region as a highly attractive place to live, work and invest.

OBIO (Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization), founded in 2009, is a not-for-profit, membership based organization engaged in  strategy, programming, policy development and advocacy to further the commercialization of Ontario’s human health science companies, positioning Ontario as a leader in the international marketplace.  OBIO advances this goal through collaborative partnerships with  industry, the investment community, academia, patients, and  government.

Clinical Trials Ontario is an independent not-for-profit organization established with support from the Government of Ontario. Our mandate is to work collaboratively with the clinical trials community, the public and strategic partners to improve Ontario’s clinical trials environment and attract clinical trial investment to the province, while supporting the highest ethical and quality standards.

The Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario (CAHO) represents Ontario’s 23 research hospitals that play a unique and vital role in the province’s health care system. Collectively, we provide advanced patient care services, train the next generation of health care professionals, and conduct leading-edge research to discover tomorrow’s care today. On the foundation of this work, we generate the expertise and evidence to drive change as system leaders, building a healthier, wealthier, smarter Ontario.

Ryerson University is at the intersection of mind and action. What our students learn in the classroom is enhanced by real-world knowledge and experience. We champion diversity, entrepreneurship and innovation

The City of Toronto’s Sector Development Office is the City’s lead for supporting key sectors of Toronto. Its mission is to advance competitiveness and vitality in the key sectors, based on its strategic knowledge and expertise. Its team of economic development professionals is committed to collaborating with businesses and partners to maximize business growth and overcome the challenges businesses face. 

TAHSN (Toronto Academic Health Science Network) is a dynamic network of academic health organizations providing leading edge research, teaching and clinical care.  TAHSN serves as a leader in Canadian health care and is one of the largest, most productive academic health centres in North America as evidenced on a number of dimensions including academic standing, research activity/output, visionary collaboration and contribution to healthcare innovation. 

The City of Brampton's Economic Development Office provides one-one-one assistance to help guide investors and provide strategic advice in steering through the development approval process, whether you are looking for customized guidance, expert sector advice or access to funding programs. The City of Brampton has positioned itself as a global economic contender. Home to more than 8,000 businesses, Brampton enjoys a Triple ‘A’ credit rating by Standard & Poor’s. The City’s major business clusters include manufacturing, retail and wholesale trade. The manufacturing industry remains the largest employer. 


Image credit: ipopba, istockphoto