Our sales team and specialized convening staff work with our clients to ensure a flawless service experience is achieved.

Designing Meetings that Accelerate Collaboration

Based on his experience as co-founder of Boston Scientific, a pioneer in the disruptive field of less invasive medicine, Kingbridge owner John Abele knows that authentic and productive communication and collaboration are essential enablers to organizational innovation and performance.

When teams come together to address business issues they often need to engage in complex conversations where strong opinions and emotions surface. Participating in these meetings involves much more than an exchange of knowledge and expertise to produce results. It has to do with relating, empathizing, and most importantly sensing and emoting in ways that promote collaboration and relating constructively with each other.

Designing meetings that accelerate collaboration so organizations can do great work together is important to John which is why he designed Kingbridge to be a place where leaders and their teams come to continuously learn and achieve outstanding results by leveraging the collective intelligence of their people.

Most leaders have the technical proficiency to solve problems but how many leaders have strong relational proficiency and what is the cost to an organization if this is lacking within a team. Kingbridge offers an ideal environment and provides a selection of proven programs and tools for understanding and developing the social and emotional skills critical to managerial and executive functioning.

The Kingbridge Centre’s Products and Services

Built in 1989 by Murray Koffler – founder of the Shopper’s Drug Mart and co-founder of The Four Seasons Hotels – as Canada’s first world class spa facility.

In 1992 CIBC, under the leadership of Chairman Al Flood, converted the property into a private state-of-the-art training facility for their leaders.

Purchased in 2001 by John Abele – John’s interests are in science, literacy for children, education and the process by which new technology is invented, developed and introduced to society. John’s continued involvement in these interests inspired him to envision a different kind of place: a living learning lab that exists for individuals, families, institutions and communities coming together for transformational cultural change. In 2001, this inspiration led to the creation of the Kingbridge Conference Centre and Institute.

man directing for conference

“I want to thank all the Kingbridge staff for your much appreciated assistance that helped to make our retreat the success that it was.  The great way all of you do YOUR work enables us to do OUR work!”
Linda Mountford, McKesson Canada 

“Excellent facility, the whole place had a ‘resort feel’ but with a ‘business focus’ and we would strongly recommend this facility to others”
Giesecke & Devrient Systems Canada Inc. 

“Kingbridge provides a great environment to come to focus on the tasks at hand, whether a learning program or an important meeting, the open space and beautiful surroundings allows for personal reflection and growth!.”
Nancy Edgar, Bayer, Inc 

“Everyone I had any dealings with was extremely accommodating and efficient. This is why our Board Retreat has taken place at your facility every year. As a planner and EA you make my job so much easier.”
Pam Porter- Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences

“Kingbridge is the best venue we found for our training sessions so far.  You always provide a terrific environment for our work – thank you!”
Halyna Honchar – JTI Macdonald Corp.

“Everyone from the Sales team to the conference event planners was a tremendous help and I would recommend Kingbridge Centre to anyone who is looking for a venue for their organization.  Thanks Kingbridge!”
Ann Galloway – Markel Insurance Company of Canada

“As a meeting planner, I value attention to detail, proactive actions and excellent customer service.  These same qualities can be found at the Kingbridge Conference Centre.  From my initial site visit to the completion of our meeting, the Kingbridge staff were extremely attentive and addressed our needs very professionally and promptly.  The venue itself is a true conference centre with meeting rooms equipped with all the tools necessary to host successful business meetings.  The hotel accommodations and food are also excellent.  We look forward to our next meeting at  Kingbridge!”
Bergeron, Monia, Johnson & Johnson

“On behalf of Molly Maid and all of our delegates, who attend our conference at Kingbridge, we would like to thank you for making our event such a success.  Apart from the beautiful centre and grounds, we were most impressed by the efforts made by all departments at Kingbridge to go above and beyond expectations to ensure that our event went as smoothly and enjoyable as possible. Being in the service industry, we take notice of service that exceeds expectations and we would like to thank everyone at Kingbridge for ensuring that everyone involved in our conference left the event raving.”
Jeanette Lamb – Director of Adminstration, Molly Maid International

“Thank you for an absolutely amazing weekend.  Everyone was ‘blown away’ with the facility, the service and the amenities.  We decided yesterday that Kingbridge will be ‘our place’ to meet.”
Carrie Weiler – Vice President, Vertility Corporation

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank you and your team for making our board retreat such a memorable and worthwhile experience. The strategic planning session in the Decision Support Room was the best I have ever attended, and we walked away with a plan that we can work with over the next three years.”
Leslie Wright – Executive Director, Meeting Professionals International Toronto Chapter

“I want to let you know that our meeting this week was a resounding success.  It was so, primarily, due to the effort and attitude of the entire Kingbridge Team.  Without exception, every interaction my colleagues had with any of the Kingbridge staff was handled professionally, with warmth and efficiency.”
Nestor Plawiuk – President, Multivac Canada Inc.

“On behalf of ITW Construction Products, we want to express our gratitude and appreciation to the staff of The Kingbridge Conference Centre for the exceptional service during our sales meeting.  From the meeting rooms to the food and team events, the feedback from all our attendees was very complimentary. The quality and variety of the food was especially good with everyone looking forward to the meals. The games room provided welcome repose from busy schedules and allowed everyone to relax and enjoy themselves in a comfortable setting. The wine tasting and boat building exercise also provided excellent occasions for team bonding and education in an entertaining setting.”
David Henderson – Business Unit Manager, ITW Construction

“The Kingbridge Centre is the petri dish of experimental collaboration! From the moment your are welcomed by their stellar management and staff to the moment you leave the premises you are aware that there is an air of uniqueness at the Kingbridge Centre that will shift your concepts of what collaborative engagement means. The dynamically appointed, pristine, tranquil surroundings of the “Centre” provide an environment that will shift your concept of what distinguishes the good from the GREAT (Collins 2001) in corporate conference facilities. Lisa and her team welcome you home every time you have the opportunity to be there and if you are really lucky you will have an opportunity to have a one-on-one meeting with John Abele, an incredible thought leader of the 21st Century.”
Donna Hill, Former VP, Cosma / Magna International

“Having been involved in the learning/training industry for over 20 years, I have utilized numerous facilities for workshops over the years. I can honestly say that this was the most memorable and positive client service experience I have ever encountered. All of the staff at The Kingbridge Centre exceeded my expectations, which isn’t always an easy thing to do!”
Judy Gouveia – Agency Leadership & Bus Development Mgr, The Co-operators Group Limited

The conference industry is a large consumer of non-renewable resources. Kingbridge Conference Centre & Institute has chosen to put its green foot forward and be a leader in environmental practices within the industry.

We have already taken many steps toward environmental sustainability and we feel that our changes to reduce our carbon footprint will set us apart in the industry and usher change.

Our path to a greener facility always takes your needs, and the needs of Mother Nature, into consideration.

We believe in nurturing our community and supporting local farmers by providing our guests with fresh and delicious locally grown food.

Recently, our facility has had an eco-friendly facelift.  In an effort to reduce waste and harmful emissions, a new energy efficient sewage filtration system was installed, which has exceeded government standards. In addition, Kingbridge has been furnished with Canadian-made, 100% recycled chairs.

bridge over babbling brook
Portrait of John Abele, owner and founder of the Kingbridge Centre

“John Abele is a pioneer and leader in the field of less-invasive medicine, For more than four decades, John has devoted himself to innovation in health care, business and solving social problems.”

He is retired Founding Chairman of Boston Scientific Corporation. John holds numerous patents and has published and lectured extensively on the technology of various medical devices and on the technical, social, economic, and political trends and issues affecting healthcare.

His major interests are science literacy for children, education, and the process by which new technology is invented, developed, and introduced to society.

Current activities include Vice Chair of  FIRST Robotics which works with high school kids to make being science-literate cool and fun, and development of The Kingbridge Conference Centre and Institute, a conferencing institution whose mission is to research, develop, and teach improved methods for interactive conferencing: problem solving, conflict resolution, strategic planning, new methods for learning and generally help groups to become “Collectively intelligent.”

He lives with his wife and dog in Shelburne, Vermont.

To learn more about John, visit his website at

Portrait of Lisa Gilbert, General Manager of the Kingbridge Centre

Lisa Gilbert


As an executive leader with over 35 years in the hotel and conference centre industry working with worldwide hospitality companies all over North America, Lisa has extensive strategic knowledge and tactical hands-on experience in all aspects of the hospitality and conferencing business with a specialty in boutique properties. She has opened, transitioned and relaunched many hotels/conference centres and has been responsible for budgets ranging from $20 -2 million in top- line revenues.

As her true gift lies in harnessing human potential within an organization, she is known for designing and shaping high performing cultures that break down traditional barriers to engagement. She is a hands-on leader who works directly with all departments to create environments and conditions that allow individuals and teams to align their strengths to the organization’s vision so a more personalized, authentic, customized solutions approach to customer service is created.

Lisa’s background in systems thinking and lean sigma enables her to be proficient in leading teams responsible for implementing process improvement initiatives to maximize financial results, improve customer satisfaction and positively influence employee satisfaction and productivity.

Prior to entering the hotel and conference industry, Lisa was a part of Citibank’s U.S. Executive Leadership Training Department. There she was part of a training team that designed content, planned and executed leadership events, and trained Citibank worldwide senior and middle managers. In 1985 they designed and implemented the first leadership program which prepared new managers to have a deeper understanding of how to effectively function in cross disciplinary roles.

Lisa’s education is in liberal arts, hotel management and human performance. She is active in a number of associations related to her field and has presented to a variety of audiences, including academic programs.

Lisa’s contact information:

Phone – 905-833-6500

The Kingbridge logo is derived from the outline of a “Klein bottle”.

The Klein bottle is a four-dimensional mathematical construct of a continuous surface with only one side. In other words, there is no inside or outside but rather one boundless structure.  Like the Klein bottle, the Kingbridge environment offers boundless opportunity for learning through exploration and experimentation both inside and outside of the meeting room.

Here is an excerpt from a letter written by John Abele describing how the Kingbridge Klein bottle came to fruition.

“When I started the Kingbridge Center, it was based on some extraordinary medical educational meetings that enabled us to change the culture and practice of medicine with less invasive procedures.

The concept was based on creating a collaborative environment that was focused on “winning” by raising the bar rather than making your opponent lose.   I’m big on symbols and metaphors and chose the Klein bottle, a mathematical construct that is a volume or “bottle” in which the inside and the outside are contiguous.  In other words, a boundary-less environment.

Cliff Stohl, an astronomer and math geek, had a company called ACME Klein Bottle.  I bought some of his small bottles and asked him if he could make a big one.  He did (with some other glass experts), but it took several years to figure out how to keep them from breaking…a lot of them did. 

This bottle that he built was the biggest for many years and may still be.”

The Klein Bottle measurements are as follows:
1) The height of the bottle is: 41. 3/4" (inches). Or 1060.045mm.
2) The width of the bottle is: 24.1/2" (inches). Or 622.300mm.
3) The circumference of the bottle bulb is 64.3/8" (inches). Or 1635.252mm.

Click here to read the story on the making of the Kingbridge Klein Bottle.

Klien bottle and Kingbridge logo




Guest Rooms

Guest Rooms

Woodland Trails & Labyrinth

Woodland Trails & Labyrinth

Meeting Rooms

Meeting Rooms



Special Events

Special Events

Outdoors Spaces

Outdoors Spaces

Kingbridge Conference Centre

We welcome you to watch the two videos below of the Kingbridge Centre and what we have to offer.

The Kingbridge Institute Meeting Tool

Enable your team to see, read and hear what occurs in their business discussions.

The tool tracks, analyzes and displays variables that give coaches more information about individuals’ emotional states which can be used in combination with a person’s features or characteristic expressions and voice analytics to provide even sharper insights of what individuals feel while they are interacting with others.

The learning platform – a 360 degree camera is used to capture footage and audio of individuals presentations and meeting discussions which are stored on a secure server. The platform then uses advanced machine learning algorithm’s to identify and map individual users voices and faces and automatically tracks, records, and displays the emotional states of each individual on the basis of recognizing patterns of facial expressions and of voice-related variabilities (pitches, loudness, pitch range, loudness range, rhythm, articulateness) that identify the individuals emotional states. Individuals can see for themselves the kinds of interpersonal dynamics that their communications – or lack thereof – produce in other participants and they can be coached and briefed on the ways in which their ways of making statements, responding to questions and according or withholding attention from others contributes to the collabortiveness and effectiveness of business discussions. Click here to learn more about the Kingbridge Institute.

John Abele Speaks on Collaboration – 2009

Created by Marc Hodosh and Richard Saul Wurman, TEDMED celebrates conversations that demonstrate the intersection and connections between all things medical and healthcare related: from personal health to public health, devices to design and Hollywood to the hospital. Together, this encompasses more than twenty percent of our GNP in America while touching everyone’s life around the globe.

Entrepreneurship 101: Collaboration in the Meltdown – January 2009

In technology industries, breakthroughs increasingly demand the integration of multiple technical fields. Knowing how to achieve real collaboration will make the difference between success and failure. But many people are very skeptical of collaborations because few people have paid much attention to how to achieve it. John Abele discusses how to collaborate and why it’s so important to do right now.

Game Change – March 2007

Breaking the boundaries of immersive & experiential learning through emergent media. Emergent media is transforming the way people learn and convene. An extraordinary opportunity exists to lead the change and develop the framework surrounding this shift. The Game Change Summit was the convening of a community of interest including leading experts from academia, business and technology to accelerate the convergence of revolutionary technologies with the science of pedagogy.

John Abele: Search for the USS Grunion

The USS Grunion was a Gato-class submarine named for a small fish of the silversides family, indigenous to the western American coast. Under the command of Lieutenant Commander Mannert L. Abele, she launched on December 22nd, 1941 with 70 crew members aboard. On July 30, 1942, the submarine reported intensive antisubmarine activity and was ordered back to Dutch Harbor Naval Operating Base in the Aleutian Islands off of mainland Alaska. The Grunion was never heard from nor seen again.

Abele and his brothers launched a hunt for the Grunion and in August, 2006, armed with heavy duty side scan sonar, about a mile down in the Aleutian chain, the team located an object that appeared to be the right size and shape for the vessel. Then in August of 2007, armed with an ROV containing many cameras and lights they went back and on August 17 found the wreck of the Grunion at a depth of a little over 1000 meters.

The Passion of the Journey, Slide Show – June 2013


We’re more than a conference center and we want to help our clients navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by the exponentially changing environment.

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