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Canadian Tire Corporation makes long-term donation of smartphones for people who are blind

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TORONTO, October 13, 2020 – The CNIB Foundation has announced a new ongoing commitment from Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC) to support Canadians with sight loss through its Phone It Forward program. CTC's generous, long-term donation will help Canadians who are blind or partially sighted access the life-changing technology that smartphones offer.

The Phone It Forward program takes modern, gently used smartphones, refurbishes them, outfits them with accessible apps, and puts them directly into the hands of Canadians who are living with sight loss. Recipients are also provided with training on how to use their refurbished phones with confidence.

“From being able to recognize the faces of loved ones, to accessing emergency assistance from sighted volunteers, to being able to travel safely and independently using accessible navigation apps, modern smartphones can be truly life-changing for people with sight loss,” said John M. Rafferty, President and CEO of the CNIB Foundation.

CTC, which has supported a wide variety of CNIB Foundation programs and initiatives since the early 2000s, has pledged to provide an ongoing donation of corporate smartphones. 

“CTC has long supported the CNIB Foundation through programs that empower Canadians living with blindness and tear down barriers to inclusion. We are committed to being there for Canadians and contributing to the communities in which we live and work, and are proud to contribute to the Phone It Forward program,” said Mahes Wickramasinghe, Executive Vice-President, Canadian Tire Corporation, President, Canadian Tire Financial Services, and President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Tire Bank.

“The support that CTC has generously provided in the past has been absolutely integral in helping us advance on our mission of changing what it is to be blind. We are so thrilled that they have decided to renew their long-term support though this incredible donation,” added Rafferty.

Despite how life-changing smartphones can be for people with sight loss, forty-six per cent of Canadians who are blind don't own a smartphone – at least not one that’s advanced enough to help them in their daily lives. The Phone It Forward program helps get an all-in-one communications and accessibility solution into the hands of Canadians with sight loss, helping to reduce barriers and drive independence.

To learn more about the Phone It Forward program, and how to donate your gently used smartphone, visit

About Canadian Tire Corporation

Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited, (TSX: CTC.A) (TSX: CTC) or "CTC", is a family of businesses that includes a Retail segment, a Financial Services division and CT REIT. Our retail business is led by Canadian Tire, which was founded in 1922 and provides Canadians with products for life in Canada across its Living, Playing, Fixing, Automotive and Seasonal & Gardening divisions. Party City, PartSource and Gas+ are key parts of the Canadian Tire network. The Retail segment also includes Mark's, a leading source for casual and industrial wear; Pro Hockey Life, a hockey specialty store catering to elite players; and SportChek, Hockey Experts, Sports Experts, National Sports, Intersport and Atmosphere, which offer the best active wear brands. The more than 1,740 retail and gasoline outlets are supported and strengthened by CTC's Financial Services division and the tens of thousands of people employed across Canada and around the world by CTC and its local dealers, franchisees and petroleum retailers. In addition, CTC owns and operates Helly Hansen, a leading global brand in sportswear and workwear based in Oslo, Norway. For more information, visit

About the CNIB Foundation  

The CNIB Foundation is a non-profit organization driven to change what it is to be blind today. We deliver innovative programs and powerful advocacy that empower people impacted by blindness to live their dreams and tear down barriers to inclusion. Our work as a blind foundation is powered by a network of volunteers, donors and partners from coast to coast to coast. To learn more or get involved, visit



For more information, please contact:

Canadian Tire Corporation:

Joscelyn Dosanjh, Manager, Corporate Communications

416-845-8392 |

CNIB Foundation:

Alison Byczok, Director, Marketing and Communications

416-272-0464 |

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