Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Sponsor Content

1948 - Sunnybrook Veterans’ Hospital opens as the largest veterans’ hospital in Canada, standing as a symbol of the nation’s gratitude to its war veterans.William Lyon Mackenzie King visits to open the building. (Supplied)

1948 - Sunnybrook Veterans’ Hospital opens as the largest veterans’ hospital in Canada, standing as a symbol of the nation’s gratitude to its war veterans.William Lyon Mackenzie King visits to open the building.


Past, Present & Future Add to ...

Rollover each image for additional content

Alice M. Kilgour donates the Sunnybrook Farm to the City of Toronto, for use as a public park.

St. John’s Convalescent Hospital, now known as St. John’s Rehab, opens its doors as the first Toronto-area facility to offer rehabilitative care.

With the consent of the Kilgour heirs, the parkland is transferred to the Government of Canada to build a hospital for veterans.

The Holland Orthopaedic & Arthritic Centre is founded as the Orthopaedic and Arthritic Hospital by Dr. James E. Bateman and Dr. Charles S. Wright II.

HRH Queen Elizabeth II visits Sunnybrook.

Sunnybrook becomes a fully affiliated University of Toronto teaching hospital, serving the general public as well as veterans.

The first Youth Psychiatry unit in Toronto is founded at Sunnybrook.

Canada’s first free standing Geriatric Day Hospital opens in H-wing.

In its former location at 76 Grenville Street, the Perinatal Intensive Care Unit is declared the Regional High-Risk Pregnancy Unit, the first of its kind in Canada.

The Toronto-Bayview Regional Cancer Centre (now known as the Odette Cancer Centre) opens as an arm of the Ontario Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation.

Early 1980s
Sunnybrook introduces the first Carotid Doppler Ultrasound service in Canada, to detect symptoms of carotid artery disease.

Sunnybrook establishes a regional cardiovascular surgery and angioplasty centre.

The hospital adds chronic care services to the community, building on the chronic and nursing home care provided to veterans.

Major research facilities open, to house the rapid growth of research on campus.

Early 1990s
The hospital is renamed Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, recognizing the importance of teaching and research excellence. This academic strength helps Sunnybrook provide the highest-quality patient care.

The first international Digital Mammography Development Group is formed, led by Sunnybrook scientists. The group will later lead dramatic advances in developing new technology to detect breast cancer.

The Peters-Boyd Academy of the University of Toronto is established, to provide a focus for undergraduate medical education, including community agencies and partner institutions.

The Canadian Stroke Consortium is born, with its national headquarters and first chairperson housed at Sunnybrook. It is a national network devoted to stroke research.

Launch of the Rapid Response Radiotherapy Program to provide timely pain and symptom management to patients with advanced cancers, a first in Canada.

Sunnybrook research provides the first proof that using a cell phone while driving increases the risk of a motor vehicle collision fourfold.

The Holland Orthopaedic & Arthritic Centre merges with Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

Imaging scientists develop the world's first method to image blood flow in the microscopic vessels of the muscle of the heart, in real time, a technique now used internationally to improve diagnosis of and treatment for heart attacks.

The Canadian Brain Tumour Consortium is organized to develop and conduct clinical trials testing new therapies. This national organization is based at Sunnybrook.

Sunnybrook researchers lead the first international multi-centre clinical trial to evaluate risks and benefits of caesarean and vaginal birth for breech pregnancies. The practice-changing results show C-sections for breech pregnancies offer benefits for mother and child.

Sunnybrook researchers discover, with collaborators at the University Health Network and Osaka University in Japan, a protein in human breast milk that stimulates the immune system of newborns.

The hospital becomes the Regional Stroke Centre for the North and East GTA region as part of the Ontario Stroke Strategy.

The world's first system to generate T cells – a vital part of the immune system – is created in a Petri dish.

St. John’s Rehab launches Canada’s only electrical injury rehab program.

Sunnybrook co-leads the practice-changing letrozole trial of postmenopausal women with breast cancer, which finds that this drug reduces the risk of recurrence of breast cancer by over 40 per cent for women who had taken the drug tamoxifen for five years.

In the first large, multi-centre clinical trial of its kind, researchers provide evidence to suggest that artery grafts from the forearm should be used in place of vein grafts from the leg in heart bypass surgery.

Single page

Follow us on Twitter: @Globe_Health