John Rafferty, President and CEO of CNIB stands behind by four members of the Nanji Family. On the left, Hale Mahon presents a certificate to the Nanji family on behalf of the MPP’s office in Barrie. The group poses for a photo inside the newly renovated Nanji Family Foundation CNIB SmartLife Centre in Barrie, Ontario.

CNIB announces opening of new SmartLife Centres across Canada

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BARRIE, ONT., August 16, 2021 – CNIB, Canada’s largest non-profit serving people with sight loss, celebrated the grand opening of the Nanji Family Foundation CNIB SmartLife Centre in Barrie on August 13, 2021.

CNIB SmartLife is an interactive retail experience that gives people with disabilities of all ages hands-on access to the latest breakthroughs in assistive technologies, as well as tried-and-true favourites. The opening of the Barrie CNIB SmartLife Centre, now the second location in the country, was made possible by a generous donation from the Nanji Family Foundation.

"The ultimate goal of SmartLife is to give our customers the skills and confidence they need to make the most out of assistive tools that can help them lead better lives,” says Gary Nenson, Vice President of Philanthropy for CNIB. “We’re incredibly grateful to the Nanji Family Foundation for this extraordinary gift. With their support, we'll be able to empower Canadians with disabilities to take full advantage of these life-changing products and technologies.”

Thanks to the transformational gift made by the Nanji Family Foundation, the organization will be opening an additional four SmartLife Centres across Canada over the next several months – including locations in Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, and Brampton.

“The sense of sight is something many of us take for granted,” says Pyarali Nanji. “So we wanted to find a way to give back by increasing access to innovative technology and training for Canadians with sight loss.”

As of today, consumers can access in-person support through the Toronto and Barrie locations, or visit to order products from the comfort of their home.


About CNIB

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

For more information, please contact:

Alison Byczok, Director, Marketing and Communications

416-272-0464 |

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