Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, branded since November 2016 as Heart & Stroke, is a Canadian charity dedicated to advocacy, education, and the funding of research surrounding heart disease and stroke.[1]

Heart & Stroke
TypeNon-profit organization
Registration no.10684-6942 RR0001
FocusHeart disease and stroke
HeadquartersOttawa, Ontario, Canada
Key people
Yves Savoie, CEO
Formerly called
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (1952-2016)

In November 2016, the organization re-branded as Heart & Stroke and introduced a new logo; the new branding is meant to signify a more "personal" approach to its marketing, with a wider targeting of younger demographics and immigrants.[1]

In early February 2018, the Foundation released "Ms Understood," a report about how women's early warning signs of a heart attack are frequently missed.[2]


The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada has a number of annual fundraising events.

Big Bike

Big Bike is a fundraising event geared towards companies, community organizations, and groups. Twenty-nine riders power one big red bike for twenty minutes. The Big Bike event spreads awareness for heart disease and stroke and highlights the importance of raising funds for research. A portion of the money raised through Big Bike is used to fund research initiatives aimed at preventing heart disease and stroke, saving lives, and supporting survivors and their families.[3]

Jump Rope for Heart

Jump Rope for Heart is a fundraising event for students in elementary school.[4] The school-based event is a physical activity program based around skipping. Jump Rope for Heart celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2017, with close to 4,000 schools participating across Canada.

Ride for Heart

Heart & Stroke's Ride for Heart is a yearly summer event based in Toronto, Ontario, taking place on part of the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway, both of which are closed for the event. Ride for Heart originally started for cyclists but later opened up to runners and walkers. In 2017, Ride for Heart celebrated its 30th anniversary with 15,000 riders and 5,000 runners and walkers. Its title sponsor is Manulife Financial.[5][6]

Heart and Stroke Lottery

Proceeds from Heart & Stroke's annual lottery goes toward supporting grants for research at teaching hospitals and universities across the province of Ontario.[7][8]


The annual closure of the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway for Ride for Heart has been criticized for the amount of disruption it causes and its impact on traffic congestion. City Councillor Stephen Holyday has criticized the event and believes it should be relocated to city streets. According to Holyday, "I understand there is a coolness factor for closing down the highway, but, at what cost is that for mobility around the city?" This event also causes a complete shutdown of all GO bus service to Union GO Bus Terminal from 9am to 2:30pm on the day the event is held and significant delays to Toronto Transit Commission bus and streetcar service.

According to Charity Intelligence, the Heart & Stroke Foundation only spent 52.7% of revenues on charitable programs in 2017, below the average of 75%. The remainder was spent on fundraising and administrative expenses.

See also


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