U of T revamped the curriculum for class of 2021 and it was a learning curve. However, I truly love it. We have a mix of lectures and small group learning. In the labs when learning/practicing hands on skills they provide it via a case study in order to stimulate our learning and get us thinking. We have numerous clinicians from the community to come in and be TAs. This serves two great purposes 1) making connections and 2) give "real world" advice. But, what I really love at U of T is the exam testing. We are no longer required to memorize small, pointless facts (like stress-strain curve). We only have one exam per unit and it is a clinical exam. For example, a question could be: "You are seeing Mr. X, he complains of xyz and has xyz. What are your top 3 priorities when treating Mr. X" and you have about 6 options to choose from. The longer answer focuses on a case and preparing a treatment plan for a patient as well as creating short and long term goals for the patient. This type of testing is so much more useful than what other schools currently do. As far as I am aware Western PT still has like 5 courses with 5 different midterms and exams (very similar to undergrad). Additionally, at U of T we now have ACE days. Thus, for each unit we are given one day off to go shadow for 3 hours. The program sets you up at a site and you attend that site every Thursday for 3 hours. It was super beneficial to be able to apply what we were learning at our ACE days. This is also helps the fact that we get clinical exposure early even though our first placement isn't until June. I was in the hospital shadowing my 3rd week being in PT school which is awesome.
How was U of T's response to COVID? I think it was great. We adapted an online curriculum quickly and we pushed ahead the content that we could learn (we were about to start neuro when schools shut down). We did all of the "theory" for neuro but when we couldn't get back to class they shifted another unit ahead that involved theory (Critical Thinking). We currently just started research as that can be done online. The plan is that once we come back we will do the lab portion of neuro and critical thinking. We have townhall meetings once a week for the program director to update us which has been great. She has said that no matter what, she wants to ensure that we get the same quality education as if we did not have COVID. This is a reason why we haven't switched to online labs. She doesn't want to compromise our learning experience. Thus, she is willing to extend the program and we won't be paying extra tuition. SSM (the program director) is such an amazing person. Everyone in our class loves her.
U of T is shifting to a PBL model as well. We still have lectures but we have small group sessions throughout the week to discuss a case and during the labs we are required to do the pre-work to review what we are doing. This was extremely frustrating at first because the faculty wouldn't just give us the answers. They would review how to do it after we all had a chance to try it and ask the TAs for help. However, that being said all PT schools in Canada do an amazing job of preparing you. As long as you're willing to put in the effort, you will be fine! Pick the school where you see yourself excelling the most (considering your own learning style, and the city). I picked U of T and I have 0 regrets. Living in Toronto is very expensive but there is always something to do. Such an amazing city to live in at this age and the amount of specialists in the area is amazing. Message me if you have anymore questions.
To add, U of T does not place any less emphasis on MSK than the other units. We do MSK from middle/end of September to middle of December. Cardioresp from January to early March and then neuro from mid-march to end of May. Thus, you can see the units are evenly spread out. I attached a schedule from MSK in October.