David Johnston helps break ground on the Waterloo Eye Institute

David Johnston helps break ground on the Waterloo Eye Institute

The University of Waterloo has broken ground on the Waterloo Eye Institute (WEI), the School of Optometry and Vision Science’s new centre of excellence in vision research, optometric education and patient care located between R+T Park and the University’s Main Campus

The Right Honourable David Johnston, former Governor General of Canada and President Emeritus of the University of Waterloo, returned to his namesake Research + Technology Park to help break ground on the forthcoming Waterloo Eye Institute at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry and Vision Science. Reflecting on the potential transformative impacts of the new Institute, Mr. Johnston noted the importance of the location at the gateway to R+T Park, helping to literally bridge the space between research and industry.

“Helping people see is crucial for individual quality of life as well as for productivity, equity and inclusion on a national level. The WEI will change vision care not only for patients in Waterloo region but also for the underserved communities that will benefit from the teleoptometry centre and the future patients who will benefit from the WEI’s research,” he continued.

With 68,000 square feet of new and renovated space, the WEI will extend its impact, providing essential services to patients of all ages. The need is widespread: in addition to the millions of adults in Canada living with eye disease, 60 per cent of children with reading difficulties have undetected or uncorrected vision problems. And with it, comes the opportunity for deep industry partnership and co-location in R+T Park.

“One in five Canadians is at risk of losing their sight due to eye disease. The Waterloo Eye Institute will help address this urgent problem by harnessing our research strengths to develop innovative solutions and by delivering expert care to patients in Waterloo and surrounding communities,” says Dr. Stanley Woo, director of the School.

The School of Optometry and Vision Science has raised $27.5 million of its $35 million goal. To learn more about the Waterloo Eye Institute and to contribute to the campaign, please contact: 

Kelsey Gagnon   
Associate Director, Advancement   
School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of Waterloo