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Myron and his wife Berna Garron donated $10 million towards St. Joseph's Hospital's MRI unit.

Michelle Siu/The Globe and Mail

A $10-million donation to St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto’s west end is set to expand one of the busiest MRI centres in the city.

It is the latest donation by Myron Garron and his family, who have made several notable philanthropic contributions to Toronto hospitals. Mary MacLeod, vice-president of clinical services at St. Joseph’s, said the money will be used to replace the hospital’s MRI scanning machine, as well as add a second machine with the capability to conduct more thorough examinations.

“That one machine runs 24-hours a day, seven days a week,” she said, adding that the hospital does around 15,000 MRI scans a year. MRI scans are in high demand across the country. The Canadian Institute for Health Information estimates an average wait time of about three months for an MRI scan in Ontario. Across the country, wait times for the procedure have been steadily increasing since 2012.

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Mr. Garron, who made his fortune in car-parts manufacturing, said he had been impressed by how efficient the MRI centre at St. Joseph’s runs, and wanted to support their growth. He added his family’s donation is to emphasize the importance of community hospitals that are sometimes overlooked, and need new equipment to reflect technological advancements in medicine.

“The provincial government is so restrained these days, they really cannot put the full financing for the type of equipment that’s now available,” Mr. Garron said in an interview.

The hospital will now call its MRI unit the Garron Family Centre of Excellence in MRI. The Our Lady of Mercy Wing, which includes the hospital’s birthing centre, will also be renamed to include the Garron family name.

This is the family’s second donation to St. Joseph’s. The first, a $1-million donation at the end of 2016, is being used to build a second mammography suite for breast cancer screenings at the Geoffrey H. Wood Foundation Centre of Excellence in Breast Cancer Screening and Treatment.

In 2015, the Garrons gave an unprecedented $50-million to the Toronto East General Hospital, which was then renamed the Michael Garron Hospital to honour their son who died of cancer at 13 years old. They also donated $30-million to Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), where their son received treatment, and unveiled the Garron Family Cancer Centre for care, research and training at the children’s hospital.

St. Joseph’s has received several notable donations recently, including an $11.8-million donated by Hans Koehle for a new palliative care unit in June and $10-million donated by Mattamy Homes CEO Peter Gilgan in September of 2017.

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