Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre

Cardiac rehabilitation aims to optimize and maintain the cardiovascular health of our participants by focusing on their physical, psychosocial, and nutritional health. This is achieved through individualized assessment and identification of risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Our team uses this information to develop a personalized program for you that will teach you how to lower your risk of developing or advancing heart disease. We help you set personal goals and develop an action plan that is focused on making changes to your lifestyle and developing healthy habits that will improve your overall health and well-being. We consider you a part of the team and are here to provide guidance, support, and encouragement during your rehabilitation. By the time you graduate from the program, we want you to feel empowered and motivated to continue living a healthy and active lifestyle.

The Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre (CRC) is staffed by a team that includes a cardiologist, a registered nurse, registered physiotherapists, a registered dietitian, and a registered social worker. This team helps you work towards achieving your best cardiovascular health based on your individual risk factors for heart disease and how to manage them.

What are the Benefits of Participating in Cardiac Rehabilitation?

Some of the potential benefits include: 


  • Blood pressure management
  • Cholesterol levels
  • Symptom management
  • Heart function (in heart failure patients)
  • Diabetes prevention and management
  • Energy levels
  • Physical fitness and exercise capacity
  • Muscle strength and flexibility
  • Overall health and quality of life
  • Readiness to return to work and social activities
  • Self confidence
  • Memory and cognition
  • Coping skills to manage stress and optimize your mental health  
  • Eating habits
  • Weight management strategies
  • Understanding and awareness of healthy behaviours


  • Risk of heart disease progression (for those diagnosed with heart disease)
  • Risk of developing heart disease
  • Frequency and severity of angina
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lowers risk of early death
  • Hospitalizations and emergency room visits
Who is Eligible to Participate in Cardiac Rehabilitation?

Cardiac rehabilitation is available to individuals with any of the following medical issues*:

  • Post cardiac surgery (bypass surgery, valve surgery, heart transplant, etc.)
  • Post angioplasty and stenting
  • Post heart attack
  • Stable coronary artery disease (stable angina)
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Other cardiac conditions: heart failure, cardiomyopathy, coronary artery dissection

 As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the status of our current waiting list, the Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre is not currently accepting referrals for the following:

  • Other vascular conditions (stroke, peripheral arterial disease)
  • Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (3 or more risk factors)

*We do not treat patients with unstable angina or untreated aortic valve disease.

Admission Information and Process

After we receive your referral to the Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre (CRC):

  • You will be put on our waiting list.
  • A letter will be mailed to you with some information about our assessment process and what to do while you wait for us to call you to schedule appointments.
  • Our secretary will call you to book appointments for a treadmill stress test and an initial assessment with the CRC team. The treadmill test will be completed prior to your initial assessment.  
  • Our nurse will call you to set up an appointment for blood work which needs to be completed prior to your initial assessment.
  • You will come to CRC at your scheduled time for assessments with our cardiologist, nurse, and a physiotherapist.
  • The cardiologist will determine, through assessment and consultation with the nurse and physiotherapist, whether you are a candidate and will be offered admission to the program.
What to do While You Are Waiting for Your Appointment

There are several things that we encourage you to do while you are waiting for your appointment:

Attend the Education Sessions

There are lots of things you can be learning about before you start the program. The education sessions offered by the cardiac rehab team provide you with an opportunity to learn from, have questions answered, and meet many of our team members.


In the meantime, we recommend that you take some time to look at the 2 websites listed below.

There are a variety of educational materials available to you including videos, webinars and information pertaining to your cardiovascular health and a healthy lifestyle.



Get Moving!

Being active is an essential part of managing your cardiovascular health. If you are not walking regularly, we encourage you to start a daily walking program. Please click on the link below for instructions about how to start a walking program:


Canceling Appointments

*Please leave a phone message with your name, phone number, and the appointment you need to cancel if you are unable to speak with us directly over the phone.

Blood Work

If you are unable to get your blood work completed on any of the dates provided by our nurse, please call us at (613) 544-3400 extension 3123. The blood work needs to be completed prior to meeting the team. If you are unable to complete your blood work in the timeline provided by our nurse, your other appointments will need to be rebooked by our secretary.

Treadmill Stress Test

If you are unable to attend your treadmill stress test appointment on the date that was scheduled by our secretary, please call us at (613) 544-3400 extension 3123 as soon as possible. Advanced notice is appreciated to allow for someone else to be booked in that time slot. The secretary will need to notify staff in another department who will also be affected by the cancellation. Our secretary will schedule a new appointment for you. Please note that the stress tests are extremely difficult to rebook due to high demand.

Initial Assessment (Assessments with the Cardiologist, Nurse, and Physiotherapist)

If you need to cancel your initial assessment, please call our secretary at (613) 544-3400 extension 3123 as soon as you are able. Advanced notification is appreciated so we can offer this time to someone else who is on our waiting list. Due to having clinics booked weeks in advance, you may have to wait several weeks before we are able to book you into the next available date.

Exercise Classes

Our exercise classes are offered in a group format and will continue as scheduled whether or not you are able to attend a given date. We still request that you call us at (613) 544-3400 extension 3123 and let us know if you are unable to attend.

Please note that in accordance to current KHSC COVID-19 safety measures, the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program has been restructured. Class sizes are smaller to allow for social distancing. The dates of your exercise classes will be very specific, which will make rescheduling extremely difficult.

Appointments with the Dietitian or Social Worker

Please call our secretary at (613) 544-3400 extension 3123 if you are unable to attend your appointment(s) with the dietitian and/or social worker. We appreciate advanced notice so we can offer the time to someone else.

Services We Offer

All patients are assessed by our nurse, cardiologist and physiotherapist to determine their levels of risk. Information such as medical history and lifestyle factors are considered to help establish a plan of care for each individual.  Your medications will be reviewed and optimized as required based on the most recent scientific recommendations. 

We also offer

  • Education Sessions
  • Exercise Classes
  • Nutritional Counseling
  • Psychosocial Counselling with a Registered Social Worker

Click below to learn more about these services

Education Sessions

One of the goals of cardiac rehab is to provide you with the knowledge you need to improve and maintain your cardiovascular health. We offer a series of education sessions that are given in a lecture format in the Johnson 1 auditorium at Hotel Dieu Hospital, just down the hall from the Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre. The sessions are voluntary, but we encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to learn from health care professionals and ask any questions you may have.


Please check back periodically for updates about resumption of classes

In the meantime, we recommend that you take some time to look at the 2 websites listed below. There are a variety of educational materials available to you including videos, webinars and information pertaining to your cardiovascular health and a healthy lifestyle.

The Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre (CRC) education sessions give clients information on heart health and healthy living. The sessions are held in the Johnson 1 Auditorium and led by members of the CRC team.

To get the most benefit from the CRC program, it is important to attend each session. Participants may start coming to sessions at any time, as the schedule repeats throughout the year. Also, new clients should make use of the sessions while waiting for their start date. Handouts will be provided and clients may ask any questions they have. Friends and family are welcome to attend.

Please pre-register 24 hours in advance by calling:
Lori Hanson, Secretary
Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre
Kingston Health Sciences Centre -Hotel Dieu Hospital site
(613) 544-3400 ext 3123

You & Your Medications
This session covers common medications prescribed to clients of the CRC as well as selected over-the-counter medications and herbal products. The pharmacist will explain what they are used for and things to watch for while taking them. Feel free to bring your pills, and any questions you may have.

The Heart: Plumbing and Electrical
Come and learn about the heart and blood vessels. This session describes the normal functioning of the heart, what can go wrong, and how the body responds to heart disease.

Stress Education Sessions

Stress 1: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Stress is a normal part of life. This session teaches you how to recognize stress and its effects on your health. You will learn the difference between daily, acute and chronic stress and your body’s responses to them. Learn what triggers your stress and the importance of lifestyle factors such as sleep.

Stress 2: Inspiration for Change
In this session motivation and inspiration for creating change and strategies for stress reduction are discussed. You will learn about goal setting and possible challenges you may face in the process. Community resources such as urban poling are also introduced.

Stress 3: Breathing – AHHHHH 
Come and learn about how to reduce stress using guided imagery, relaxation and exercise. You will be led through deep breathing activities and learn ways to cope with daily challenges.

Nutrition Sessions

Fat-Friend or Foe? 
In this session the different types of fat and the effects they have on health are discussed. Learn about cholesterol and how you can improve your risk for heart disease with proper diet and lifestyle. Body weight, composition, and weight loss will also be discussed along with tools to achieve your ‘Best Weight’.
Making Sense of Sugar
Sugar? Sweeteners? Carbs? What are they and how do they impact heart health and body weight? Learn about which types of carbohydrates are best for activity, reducing your risk for diabetes, or managing current diabetes. We also discuss the current guidelines for alcohol, added sugars, and fibre intake. 
Salt & the Fine Art of Label Reading
Explore what salt is, its effect on blood pressure, and where it is hidden in food. Learn about label reading and simple switches in your diet to reduce salt. We will examine what drives our appetite, the risk for over eating and tips to maintain your healthy eating goals.

Exercise Sessions

Exercise 1
This first session explains the difference between activity and exercise. The risks and benefits of exercise will be examined. You will also learn to develop your own personal fitness plan using the FITT Principle.

Exercise 2
The second exercise sessions provides information on how to measure physical activity and the importance of rest. Important factors for exercising are discussed such as dressing for the weather, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep

Exercise Programs

These classes are delivered by our physiotherapists and nurse. A personalized program (exercise prescription) is developed for you that takes into account your medical history and current level of physical ability and fitness. You will learn all of the aspects of a well-rounded and safe exercise program:

  • Warm-up and cool-down
  • Aerobic exercise
  • Resistance (strength) training
  • Flexibility (stretching)
Nutritional Counseling

Healthy eating is not defined by a single practice or behavior; it is a pattern of eating that supports your best physical, mental, and emotional health. One-to-one appointments may be scheduled with our registered dietitian as recommended by our team or at your request.

These sessions may focus on a variety of topics depending on what is important to you. View the list of topics.

Please note that in accordance to current KHSC COVID-19 safety measures, our Registered Dietitian can provide supportive counselling services in person, by phone or via secure video platform.   Learn about virtual care at KHSC.

If you are eager to learn more about nutrition and healthy eating, we recommend the following websites for credible information (and some great recipes!):

Psycosocial Counseling

Services from a Registered Social Worker are available to support both your physical and psychosocial recovery. These services include individual meetings aimed at addressing specific goals or concerns as well as group education sessions (link to education session info) focused on recognition, management and adaptation to stressful events.

Social work support is available throughout your time in the program. This service is voluntary and may be recommended by our multidisciplinary team or at your request. 

Some of the themes of psychosocial recovery include:

  • Behaviour changes and finding intrinsic motivation  
  • Personalized goal setting
  • Focusing on strengths, priorities and values within your recovery
  • Creating an individual stress management plan
  • Navigating emotions related to illness adjustment and disease progression
  • Mood and mental health concerns
  • Building supports and personal resiliency
  • Information and support in navigating community resources
  • Healthy lifestyle including sleep hygiene practices
  • Smoking cessation supports
  • Return to work strategies and defining personal balance
  • Accessing specialized community mental health and addition support

Please note that in accordance with current KHSC COVID-19 safety measures, the Social Worker can provide supportive counselling services in person, by phone or via secure video platform. Learn more about Virtual Care Visits with KHSC.

Our team aims to promote your overall health and mental wellness. Below are some evidence-based online resources that you may find helpful (please note that links may be updated periodically through the following community organizations).

Canadian Mental Health Organization:

Government of Ontario, Health and Wellness resources:

10 Free Mental Health Resources in Canada (compiled by Twentytwenty Arts in partnership with Canadian Mental Health Association Toronto):

If you are coming to the Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre, please remember to bring the following:

  • Your appointment slip which includes the time and date of your appointment
  • Your Health Card, also known as your OHIP card
  • A complete and up-to-date list of your current medications provided to you by your pharmacist, or all of the medications you are currently taking, in their original drugstore container. This includes insulin, inhalers, any prescribed creams or eye drops as well as any non-prescription medications or supplements such as herbals and vitamins

Please visit the Visitor and Family Presence page to see the latest information about visitors. This information can change frequently so please check before each visit.

If you need to check your appointment time, re-schedule your appointment or cancel your appointment time, please call us using the number on your appointment slip.

If you have lost your appointment slip, please call 613-548-2342, or our toll-free number at 1-855-851-3490.

Save time and avoid lineups with the KHSC mobile screening tool

  • If you are coming for an in-person visit, please use the mobile screening tool a maximum of four hours before your appointment to reduce lineups.
  • The mobile screening tool, available in English and French, only takes a few minutes to complete and patients will receive an email with confirmation to bring with them, along with their appointment slip, to the hospital in printed form or on their mobile device.
  • Screening staff will scan the code embedded in the email confirmation at entry and the patient will be able to go directly to their scheduled appointment.

Learn about virtual visits

Directions to the Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic hospital guidelines, all patients are required to enter the through the main entrance at Hotel Dieu Hospital on Brock Street. All patients are required to wear a mask to their appointments.

You will be required to go through screening upon entry to the hospital, so please allow an extra 15 to 20 minutes in advance of your scheduled appointment time.

From the front lobby, you will turn RIGHT down the Brock 1 hallway and take the first LEFT at the Eye Clinic (Mary Alice 1). Walk up the ramp and through the Eye Clinic until you reach the hallway (you will see a sign straight ahead on the wall directing you to cardiac rehab). Turn left and continue down the hallway following the signs for the Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre.

You can do your COVID-19 screening for your upcoming outpatient appointment online with the mobile screening tool.

  • The mobile screening tool, available in English and French, only takes a few minutes to complete and patients will receive an email with confirmation to bring with them, along with their appointment slip, to the hospital in printed form or on their mobile device.
  • Screening staff will validate the confirmation at entry and you will be able to go directly to your appointment.
  • This mobile screening must be completed a maximum of four hours before your appointment. If the screening confirmation expires, you will need to re-do the mobile screening or be screened in person (by a screener) when you arrive.
  • With the exception of caregivers for children, this mobile screening tool is for patients only and does not give family members or caregivers an option to pre-screen because we must continue to restrict family presence for outpatients at KHSC in order to maintain physical distancing.
  • To complete the mobile-screening in English, click here.
  • To compete the mobile screening in French, click here.

All referrals must be submitted by a doctor. Please direct referrals to:

Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre
Phone: 613-544-3400 Ext. 3123 Fax: 613-544-4749

Click here to download a referral form

Patients will be screened by a multidisciplinary team to determine their suitability for the program.