From left to right, John Rafferty, President and CEO of CNIB, Eyre Purkin Bien, Senior advisor, Philanthropy, three members of the Nanji Family, Garry Nenson Vice President of Philanthropy for CNIB, and Shane Silver, Vice President of Social Enterprises for CNIB. The group stands together in front of the new Nanji Family Foundation CNIB SmartLife Centre.

CNIB unveils new, interactive retail experience: The Nanji Family Foundation CNIB SmartLife Centre

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TORONTO, September 16, 2020: The CNIB Foundation, Canada's largest non-profit serving people with sight loss, celebrated the grand opening of their state-of-the-art Nanji Family Foundation CNIB SmartLife Centre in Toronto on September 15, 2020. 

CNIB Smartlife is an interactive retail experience that gives people with disabilities hands-on access to the latest breakthroughs in assistive technologies from industry leaders such as Bose, Eschenbach, eSight, Google, HumanWare, IrisVision, Samsung, and Vispero, along with other assistive technology innovators. The opening of the flagship CNIB SmartLife Centre at 1929 Bayview Ave. in Toronto was made possible by a generous donation from the Nanji Family Foundation.

“We're incredibly proud to announce the launch of the CNIB SmartLife Centre today,” says Shane Silver, Vice President of Social Enterprises at the CNIB Foundation. “This wouldn't have been possible without the transformational donation made by the Nanji family. Thanks to them, we'll be able to empower Canadians with disabilities to take full advantage of these life-changing products and technologies.”

“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.” 

While the Toronto location is the first CNIB Smartlife Centre to open, the organization plans to build and update locations across the country so Canadians with disabilities nationwide can benefit from trying and selecting the best products for them. Until then, people from coast to coast can visit to order products from the comfort of their home.

About CNIB

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 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

About the Nanji Family Foundation

Gulshan and Pyarali Nanji were born in Uganda and fled to Canada with their four children in 1972 in the face of persecution. Respected and admired within and beyond their Ismaili community, the Nanji family's legacy of philanthropy is truly remarkable.

Motivated by a desire to give back to their adopted country of Canada, the Nanji family has donated millions of dollars to causes that are closest to their hearts.

For more information, please contact:

Alison Byczok, Director, Marketing and Communications

416-272-0464 |

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