Image: Child in poolImage: Daughter and mother looking at each other

Programs & Services

Community Programs & Services: Snoezelen

The word ‘Snoezelen’ is taken from two Dutch words: “snufflen” meaning to seek out or to explore, and “doezelen” meaning to relax or to be in a wonderful place. In therapeutic terms, Snoezelen rooms are designed primarily for those who have moderate to severe developmental disabilities, and who may have difficulty accessing and using traditional leisure facilities. Bloorview Kids Rehab offers two Snoezelen rooms, a mobile unit and a pool for clients.

The inpatient Snoezelen room, which opened in 1992, is considered to be the first of its kind in Canada. Clients who access it include short-term care, Complex Continuing Care and Respite. It is also used by Child Life and Therapeutic Recreation staff in providing clients with relief from what can be a stressful hospital environment.

Our mobile Snoezelen unit – donated by hockey player Mats Sundin in 2002 – is used primarily by Complex Continuing Care clients who are unable to leave the unit without nursing support. It’s also used by inpatients who might have pain issues, of which the sensory effects of Snoezelen can help.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Canada funded the community Snoezelen room in 1995, which is available for clients with a broad range of disabilities and ages. It is used for in-house therapeutic interventions and as a resource by schools and agencies that work with children and adults with special needs. It is fee-based and appointments are required.

In October 2002, North America’s first Snoezelen pool opened at Bloorview Kids Rehab. A foundation grant of $10,000 enabled the purchase and installation of specialized Snoezelen components. FlagHouse, the leading supplier of Snoezelen equipment in Canada, also donated two miniature bubble tubes, a fibre optic spray and a glow in-the-dark parachute. This pool also doubles as a therapy pool for Bloorview’s programs.

The Snoezelen pool creates a gently stimulating environment by combining the medicinal effects of a therapy pool with a variety of lights, sounds and textures. It is a unique experience and the safe, warm and comforting atmosphere helps clients to relax. The facility also features accessible change rooms and tables, ceiling and deck mounted lifts, and pool chairs which ease access for non-mobile clients. A fee-based community program operates three days a week.

Access to the Snoezelen pool is strictly one-on-one.

To see how Bloorview Kids Rehab is sharing Snoezelen with the world, check out World Wide Snoezelen.

Booking for Snoezelen Pool

Please contact Skye Gross at least two weeks in advance to book sessions.


$10.00 per client. Payment for all scheduled pool sessions must be made in advance.

If paying by cheque, please make it payable to “Bloorview Kids Rehab – Snoezelen Pool”. Individual sessions will be rescheduled only if a 48-hour cancellation notice is given.

Days & Times (School Year)

Sundays: 2:45 - 3:30 p.m.; 3:30 - 4:15 p.m.
Mondays: 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; 12:30 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.; 1:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Saturdays: 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; 12:30 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Please contact the Snoezelen Coordinator for summer hours (July/August).

Rules for Snoezelen Pool Access

Swimmers with bladder/bowel control issues must wear plastic pants or a liner that is impermeable and has snug leg gathers, under their bathing suit. Failure to do so may result in being turned away the day of the session. Please contact the Snoezelen Coordinator or Pool office at 416-425-6220, extension 3713 or 6259 for information on purchasing appropriate swimwear.

For safety reasons, access to the Snoezelen pool is strictly one-on-one (that is, parent or caregiver with their child or client). Exceptions will be made in cases where a second attendant is needed to facilitate client transfer in and out of the water, or to physically assist in the water.
We have a scent-free policy at Bloorview due to clients and staff with chemical sensitivities. Please refrain from wearing perfume in the pool and change room environment.

Anyone with hair longer than shoulder length is required to tie it up so that it is held above the shoulders.
No siblings are allowed.


Community Snoezelen Room & Snoezelen Pool:
Skye Gross, Snoezelen Coordinator
Tel: 416-425-6220, extension 3313
Fax: 416-422-7037
E-mail: sgross at bloorview dot ca *(see Note below)

Inpatient Snoezelen Room:
Breanne Mathers, Child Life Specialist
Tel: 416-425-6220, extension 6356
Fax: 416-753-2440 (24 hour client care)
E-mail: bmathers at bloorview dot ca *(see Note below)

Inpatient Snoezelen Cart:
Lyn Howlett, Early Childhood Specialist/Therapeutic Playroom
Tel: 416-425-6220, extension 6268
E-mail: lhowlett at bloorview dot ca *(see Note below)

*Note: Copy the above e-mail address into the To field of your e-mail message and reconstruct the e-mail address by removing the spaces and replacing the “at” and “dot” with the proper symbols (@ and .) respectively.

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