Propel Physiotherapy is getting set to open a clinic space in the city of Peterborough at the beginning of 2023. After three years of delivering physiotherapy to the people of Peterborough and the Kawarthas, Northumberland and Hastings Counties solely as a mobile, community-based service provider, our team of therapists will now be able to provide clients with a full spectrum of care options.

The new space is located at 1600 Lansdowne St. West, Units 8 & 9. It will feature four private treatment rooms and an open gym area with more treatment tables and lots of specialized equipment. “My team is really excited to be able to provide that full spectrum of care for our clients – from home to the clinic and out in the community,” says clinic manager David Friesen. “We now have more flexibility to tailor plans to meet the individual needs of our clients.”

“It has always been our goal to open a clinic in the Peterborough area. David has done a great job, over the past 3 years, of establishing himself and the brand in the region. We’ve now grown the business to the point that the next logical step was to create this central clinical hub,” says Propel Physiotherapy managing director Hoong Phang.

Hoong Phang sat down with David Friesen to discuss his journey to this point, what opening a physical clinic space means to him after being on the road for three years, and the direction for the new clinic.

Watch the full interview video above or read the complete transcript below.

[00:00:04] – Hoong Phang
Hey, Dave. How’s it going?
[00:00:07] – David Friesen

Good. How are you doing?

[00:00:08] – Hoong Phang

Good. Thanks for joining me today for a little bit of an impromptu discussion. We’ve got some exciting news. For those of you who aren’t aware, Propel Physiotherapy is opening up a new location in Peterborough and it’s headed by our registered physiotherapist extraordinaire, David Friesen.

So, Dave, let’s kind of cut to the chase. I know it’s exciting news and I’m obviously very excited about it myself. Your transition to Peterborough was a bittersweet pill for us at Propel Etobicoke to swallow. We knew you would be going on to awesome things. We didn’t know it would transpire into something like this. Can you kind of give us the Coles Notes version of how Propel Peterborough came to be? And did you ever think this day would come?

[00:01:05] – David Friesen

Yeah, I think I always had it in the back of my mind, at the very least. It was a big leap, leaving Toronto, leaving the clinic that I’d been at for about ten years and making my way up to Peterborough with my family. So we moved here about three years ago now.

[00:01:25] – Hoong Phang

Wow, three years?

[00:01:27] – David Friesen

Yeah. It is crazy. Yeah, exactly. When we moved, the game plan was just to start treating people in the community. Seeing where we could take that, building our presence and our community outreach up here, and kind of see how that goes. I’d never done that full time before, so it was a bit of an interesting concept. But it seemed to work well and lots of people around here needed the in home and in community physiotherapy. So we grew it up and now there are four of us out in the community working away.

[00:02:09] – Hoong Phang


[00:02:10] – David Friesen

And yeah, excited to have an actual clinical space to be kind of the hub of that community centre.

[00:02:16] – Hoong Phang

Right, I’m going to backtrack us just a couple of seconds here. But you started when you transitioned to Peterborough. It was also just the beginning of COVID-19 and the pandemic, and clinics and clinicians were kind of struggling to figure out the system. Did you have a sense of where the community physiotherapy would take off? Or did you think, like, oh, my goodness, what’s going on here? Or was it somewhere in between? Did you see a possibility but it had to come to fruition through hard work? How did it go?

[00:02:51] – David Friesen

Yeah, I think once we started things up, the referrals started coming in pretty regularly. And then with that, I kind of realized that there was a big need for it. And just looking in and around Peterborough, there weren’t too many other companies, if at all, that were offering this service. Once you see that gap in care, you’re going to try to fill that gap with what you can do. It came pretty steadily right from the beginning and just kind of grown more and more since that time.

[00:03:30] – Hoong Phang

All right, so, Dave, what are you looking forward to the most? Once our brick and mortars are up and running and you can open the door and do your assessments and treatments within a clinical space, what are you looking forward to the most?

[00:03:44] – David Friesen

Yeah, it’s going to be a great day to have the clinic finally up and running. It’s been a long time in the making, so it will be awesome. Just looking forward to spending time with colleagues. I’ve been on the road in my car on my own traveling to my clients. So it’ll be nice to have other colleagues around in that space, be able to work with other people, problem-solving, all the things that we do as physio to try to get the best care for our clients.

And the other thing is to have the actual set up of equipment that I don’t get to bring into clients’ homes, such as a NuStep or treadmill we don’t have access to that all the time. So you have the set up, the colleagues, and lack of driving. The five-minute walk from my house is going to be great.

[00:04:39] – Hoong Phang

I was going to say the classic water cooler talk is probably one of the things that I missed a lot when I was doing a lot of community physiotherapy. And on the days that I was heavily on the road, it was like, oh, man, I miss seeing my friend or my colleague right next to me. And we can kind of shoot the breeze a little bit and compare maybe treatment techniques or just talk about something random like, “did you see the show on Netflix?” kind of thing and go on with their day.

[00:05:06] – David Friesen

It definitely makes sense for clients as well. Right? It’s nice to see other clients in a clinic setting. It’s nice to be able to provide in home care, but at the same time, they’re not seeing other people working away at their rehab. And I think that’s a huge part of what we offer.

[00:05:23] – Hoong Phang

Right. And I think that kind of bleeds into the next question. What makes Propel Peterborough unique to other clinics in the area? And you kind of touched on the full spectrum. Transitioning back from the hospital into home or something that’s really acute at home. Where they can’t come out for a variety of reasons, whether or not it’s arranging transportation or they just can’t get out at that moment.

You can go to them once they’re ready and once they’re prepared to step into the clinic, you have a space that you can say, “hey, look, you were at step A, now we can get to step B, and hopefully we can get you all the way down the alphabet,” so to speak. I think that’s really unique. Is there anything else that you can kind of see from Propel Peterborough?

[00:06:13] – David Friesen

Yeah, I’m looking forward to exactly what you’re saying. Offering that full rehab process and being able to stick with people right from step one until they’re back in the community. Some people maybe will jump right to the clinic if their transportation needs are met to be able to get to the clinic. And then we go out to a gym or a community setting afterwards too. It doesn’t have to be a set way.

So, yeah, I think we’ll be really flexible and offering that. I don’t think many other clinics in the area do that. And then just having some of the equipment and the kind of set up to treat neurological complex ortho like the above head harness that we’re going to have there the NuStep, just some different things that are key to treating clients with those injuries. Big Bobath style treatment bed, wider than it would usually be. All those things, I think, will make it quite unique.

[00:07:25] – Hoong Phang

Totally. No, that’s great, man. It sounds like a really exciting time for Peterborough. I was also thinking of the full spectrum of physiotherapy and continuity of care. When you see someone from their home, then in the clinic, you’re almost bringing them into, like, a lab setting or a clinical setting.

And then whatever you practice there, now that you’ve seen their home and you know exactly what they’re trying to say when they say, “Oh, my front porch steps, they’re okay to go up and down, but for whatever reason, my basement steps going up and down, I just can’t do it.”

Now you can literally say, I know exactly what you’re talking about, I’ve been there, I know those steps are different. They’re narrower, it’s darker. Maybe there’s a visual environment we need to address, but it’s really being just a couple of levels deeper in the discussion of their goals, I think.

And that will resonate for sure with some of the clients that you see from home bringing into the clinic, and then vice versa, as you said, which is really cool. That’s awesome.

If there a brick and mortar, as we call it, or a clinical setting, sometimes it can just be that. It can just be it’s a rectangle. We’ve got rooms, there’s equipment in there. We do our thing. Do you see Propel Peterborough as a clinic that does more than that within the community? Where do you see it in a couple of years? If you had, like, the vision kind of thing. Where do you see it in a couple of years?

[00:09:00] – David Friesen

Yeah. The world’s our oyster, right? We’re just starting out here. We’re just growing it. So I think we’re going to start off with about three or four physiotherapists. Hopefully add in some RMT, maybe OTs down the road. And then maybe some other professionals that we haven’t even considered yet.

But we’re looking to grow the team and make it very all encompassing and kind of treat our clients to the fullest so that’s in the clinic space itself. Then, just being more and more part of the community here will be great. I’ve made quite a few contacts with different clients, with different people in the community so far. The geriatric and neurological world of what’s going on up here in Peterborough. So continuing on with that and being part of the activity and wellness part of Peterborough, I think it’ll be great. Continue growing it that way and continue making contacts. It should be good.

[00:10:08] – Hoong Phang

I like the first sentence, “The world is your oyster”. It is, man. It is. That’s amazing. And I think that’s an appropriate approach to something that’s so new in the area. Uncharted territory. Lots of newness for us in Peterborough.

It sounds like the community has been really welcoming, which is really great. And it sounds like you guys have from your own lifestyle area, it sounds like you guys have got an awesome set up there. We can’t wait for you to be part of that brick and mortar, so to speak, and be around the corner from there.

It’s really nice to reflect back when we started together in Etobicoke or Toronto, and we were in a smaller space, so to speak. If you could tell yourself something, as the classic, if you could go back in time and tell yourself about what’s about to happen now, what are some words of wisdom you would tell yourself at that time?

[00:11:17] – David Friesen

Looking back on young Dave.

[00:11:21] – Hoong Phang

Grow the beard, Dave. Lean into the beard.

[00:11:25] – David Friesen

Listening to every word Kyle spoke. It’s hard to say. I think every physio really has to go through a bit of a journey to just gain experience and kind of forge their own path and decide what they really want to get into more because there are just so many different areas as a physio that you can really focus on. So, yeah, I’m glad how a lot of the things went for me in my past. Like taking some of the early Bobath courses on how to treat neurological rehab I think we’re huge. So definitely stay on that path. I think things have gone pretty well overall. I think growing with Propel has been great. And so I would have just told myself just to stick with that.

[00:12:23] – Hoong Phang

Continue is what you would have said. That’s awesome. Okay, so the last question here is…

(We won’t do the whole sneak peek thing because I think Nikki’s got a couple of things up her sleeve that we can share — a couple of photographs and videos along the way)

… As we prepare to open in Peterborough, are there any verbal descriptions on how you see the clinical space looking or feeling? Or what the vibe is you want to give some of the potential clients or the clients that you’re already seeing as they come in. What is the feeling or the vibe that you want to give them?

[00:13:05] – David Friesen

That’s a good question. Hopefully, it’s super welcoming to all clients, all different types of people, no matter what their impairment may be. I just want to make it as comfortable and welcoming for everybody to feel good in that space.

We kind of offer two different sides of the clinic as it’s going to be set up. There’s going to be four private treatment rooms for those clients that need that privacy or would benefit more from those quieter spaces. And then the other side is a nice, bright, open gym area with three or four physio treatment beds and lots of equipment to work on. It’ll be kind of a more up tempo and exercise part of the clinic, so I’ll be maybe a little bit louder and more upbeat. So you’re going to have the two different sides of things going on.

[00:14:06] – Hoong Phang

Get the speakers going.

[00:14:10] – David Friesen

Yeah. You just bought those new speakers we’re excited to get.

[00:14:14] – Hoong Phang

I got to figure out how to make them work now. Yeah, that’s awesome. That’s a good sneak peek. I can envision it even better now, so that’s great. Dave, thanks so much for taking some time out of your day. Are there any last words that you want to leave the potential Peterborough clients with or anything you want to leave us as a parting message?

[00:14:39] – David Friesen

Yeah, just excited for all those clients that I’ve been working with over the years. If they can make it into the clinic to see it when it is up and running, I’m really excited to kind of show it off. I’ve been talking it up a lot, so hopefully come January, we can show it off a little bit and get all those clients in there to have a look at least.

[00:15:00] – Hoong Phang

That’s awesome. All right, man, thanks so much for your time, and we’ll chat with you soon.

[00:15:05] – David Friesen

All right, thanks as well.

[00:15: 06] – Hoong Phang

All right, bye.

Clinic Opening Date

David and the rest of the management team are working overtime to manage the renovations and equipping the clinic for the opening at the beginning of 2023. Stay tuned to our website and socials for the latest news and updates on the renovations and clinic opening date.

This is Propel Physiotherapy’s third clinic in Ontario. The flagship location is in Etobicoke at Hwy. 427 & Eva Rd. The second location in Pickering near Hwy. 401 and Kingston Rd. opened in 2018.

Propel Physiotherapy provides personal and professional treatment for people of all ages across a wide spectrum of injuries and conditions. Whether you have suffered a stroke or brain injury; hurt yourself in a workplace accident; sustained a sports injury; or you are recovering from childbirth, an illness, or a simple sprain, we can help you maximize your mobility and improve your performance in your daily activities.

Written by

Propel Physiotherapy
Propel PhysiotherapyIntegrated Healthcare Team
A special thanks to our coop student Deanna Jackson from the University of Toronto’s Physical Therapy program for helping us put together this blog post as part of his placement.



1 Eva Rd., Suite 107
Etobicoke, ON, M9C 4Z5


Monday 8:00 – 7:00
Tuesday 8:00 – 7:00
Wednesday 8:00 – 7:00
Thursday 8:00 – 7:00
Friday 8:00 – 7:00
Saturday 8:00 – 12:30

visit the Propel Physiotherapy Etobicoke location page for more info


1099 Kingston Rd., Suite 5A
Pickering, ON, L1V 1B5


Monday 8:30 – 7:00
Tuesday 8:30 – 7:00
Wednesday 9:00 – 6:00
Thursday 8:30 – 7:00
Friday 8:30 – 7:00
Saturday 8:00 – 12:30

visit the Propel Physiotherapy Pickering location page for more info


1600 Lansdowne St. W., Unit 9,
Peterborough, Ontario, K9J 7C7

mobile services for Peterborough & surrounding areas


Monday 8:00 – 7:00
Tuesday 8:00 – 7:00
Wednesday 8:00 – 7:00
Thursday 8:00 – 7:00
Friday 8:00 – 7:00
Saturday 9:00 – 1:00

visit the Propel Physiotherapy Peterborough location page for more info