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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Sunnybrook pioneers the world's first breast cancer treatment that implants small beads of palladium, a low-dose radioactive material, in patients in a one-day outpatient technique.

A new system is set up for stroke patients in which ambulances bypass the local hospital to transport all patients judged to be eligible for the drug tPA (within three hours of onset of stroke) to Sunnybrook or one of the other two regional stroke centres.

Researchers report that patients treated with high-dose radiation for head and neck cancer in the morning have a lower risk of developing damage to the mouth and throat, than do patients who are treated in the afternoon, the first such study.

Scientists predict for the first time, using neuropsychological testing, which study participants will develop Alzheimer's disease within five or 10 years.

Sunnybrook research finds that premenopausal women with HER2-positive breast cancer have better survival and lower recurrence rates when treated with anthracycline-based chemotherapy.

Neuroimaging scientists discover the CT angiography "spot sign," the first practical imaging method to identify the highest-risk stroke patients with bleeding into the brain. The finding has been adopted worldwide and forms the basis of a new emergency treatment protocol for stroke patients.

Sunnybrook leads an international study that shows magnetic resonance imaging can improve the detection of hidden cancers in the opposite breast of women diagnosed with unilateral breast cancer.

Discovery: the expression of a certain gene predicts which prostate cancer patients are at highest risk and therefore most likely to benefit from treatment.

Sunnybrook launches the SHARE (Sexual Health and Rehabilitation) Clinic.

Sunnybrook brain scientists are the first in the world to find and identify the fundamental waveform of dreaming sleep, providing possible links to learning and memory, potentially important for conditions such as stroke.

The Canadian ALS Network becomes the first organized national network dedicated to developing and conducting clinical trials testing new ALS therapies. CALS continues under the direction of Sunnybrook Brain Sciences leaders.

Sunnybrook researchers through the Crolla Research Unit and the Canadian Brain Tumour Consortium network, lead the world's largest clinical trial testing the use of daily (metronomic) chemotherapy in relapsed brain cancer, establishing this therapy as the global standard for treatment.

Researchers provide the first evidence showing what the H1N1 virus looks like and that it hits younger and healthier people harder. This enables hospitals in Canada and around the world to prepare for and treat "high-risk" patients effectively.

Sunnybrook's Schulich Heart Centre is the first in Toronto to perform minimally invasive, beating-heart bypass surgery.

Sunnybrook leads research in circadian rhythms and "clock genes," illustrating that the timing of cancer treatment is important.

Sunnybrook brain scientists are able to increase dreaming sleep by stimulating the area of the brain responsible for P-waves, advancing research using deep-brain recordings and stimulation to understand sleep, cognition and neurodegenerative disorders better.

Sunnybrook launches the world's first dual-site-focused ultrasound surgery centre and tests the "scalpel-less" removal of uterine fibroids through high-intensity ultrasound, guided by MRI. Researchers in the centre will apply the technology, invented and commercialized by a Sunnybrook Research Institute scientist, to patients with breast, bone, head and neck, and rectal cancer.

Researchers discover that a commonly prescribed antidepressant, paroxetine, interferes with tamoxifen therapy in women with breast cancer, and that other antidepressants of the same class do not.

Drano for Arteries: Schulich Heart Centre leads the first small clinical trial of a new treatment (investigational drug MZ-004) for patients with blocked coronary arteries. The findings are poised to change the way patients are  treated, with a large multi-site, international clinical trial to begin later in 2013.

Canada-first Rapid Results Prostate Biopsy Clinic launches to provide men with prostate cancer diagnosis within 72 hours versus the standard two- to three-week wait.

Sunnybrook leads the first study comparing blood vessel functioning of teens with bipolar disorder and teens who are healthy, to better understand the link between bipolar disorder and heart disease.

Researchers, in collaboration with the University of Toronto, develop the first prostate cancer screening device that uses nanotechnology and prostate cancer-specific biomarkers to identify and distinguish between slow-growing and aggressive cancers.

Sunnybrook helps usher in a new era in advanced breast cancer treatment using a new way to attach chemotherapy directly to targeted therapy. The EMILIA global clinical trial of women with advanced HER2-positive breast cancer shows improved survival and significant reduced toxicity over standard treatment.

St. John's Rehab merges with Sunnybrook to build a comprehensive system of care, from acute care through to rehabilitation and recovery.

Stroke specialists complete a world-first clinical trial demonstrating that a new method of home-based heart monitoring improves detection and treatment of one of the biggest risk factors for stroke, atrial fibrillation — a finding that could prevent thousands of strokes annually.

Sunnybrook leads the Twin Birth Study, a nine-year international study, finding that delivering twins by planned vaginal birth is just as safe as delivering them by planned caesarean section, and that there is no significant difference in outcome between the two delivery methods.

Sunnybrook shows for the first time that ultrasound can be used to monitor response of tumours as early as one week into chemotherapy in patients with locally advanced breast cancer. Standard PET or CAT scans typically take several months to determine treatment results.

This content was produced by The Globe and Mail's advertising department, in consultation with Sunnybrook. The Globe's editorial department was not involved in its creation.

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