North York General Hospital has been serving our community since 1968 and has four founding partners:
- Friends of North York General Hospital (later to become the North York General Hospital Foundation)
- The IODE, a Canadian women's charitable organization
- Missionary Health Institute
- Volunteer Services
With 45 years of providing health care services to the community, numerous milestones have marked North York General's growth over the years.
In 1960, a group of local citizens established the North Metropolitan Hospital Association to explore building a hospital to serve the growing area of North York. Under the leadership of Col. Clifford Sifton, plans were made and funds raised for a 70-bed community hospital on the corner of Leslie and Sheppard. By November 1962, land on the Leslie site was obtained.
At the same time, two other organizations were making similar plans. The 24-bed Bethesda Hospital at Bathurst and Sheppard was operated by the Missionary Health Institute (MHI), and the organization was planning to build a new 135-bed hospital and develop a teaching program for nursing assistants. Also, the Board of the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire (IODE) was planning to rebuild their Children's Hospital.
In 1963, North York General Hospital was formed when the three groups determined that the community would be best served by an amalgamation of their ideas and resources. Planning began for a 600-bed active treatment hospital. Construction of the $8.2 million facility began in March 1965. Funding for the hospital came from government grants, a public fundraising campaign led by Bill Kay, and a portion of the 1 mill tax levy paid by residents of North York. The Women's Auxiliary was established on November 15, 1966. Today, Volunteer Services includes 1,000 adult and student volunteers who give time and significant financial support.
On March 15, 1968, Premier John Robarts officially dedicated North York General Hospital. It included the IODE Children's Centre which was developed from the support and interest of the IODE Childen's Hospital. On May 12, 1968, the first patient was admitted, and on May 15 the hospital officially opened with 50 beds. By November, all 580 beds were open.
Today, North York General encompasses multiple sites. In addition to the General site, our largest on Leslie Street, the hospital includes the Branson Ambulatory Care Centre, Seniors' Health Centre and the Reactivation Care Centre, which is a Central LHIN Hospitals Collaborative.
In 1965, North York General Hospital purchased the Phillips House and 13 acres. Located just north of Sheppard at 10 Buchan Court, it was the former home of Colonel William Eric Phillips (1893-1964) who had served in the British army during the First World War and had subsequently become a wealthy business man and philanthropist.
Phillips House was used for various purposes by the hospital during the next 30 years, and until 2007, as a children's communication centre. The Phillips House is being redeveloped into a one-of-a-kind setting for ambulatory and transitional mental health services for children, adolescents, women and their families.
Hospital growth during 1990s
In July 1997, the final report of the Health Services Restructuring Commission directed North York General Hospital to assume management of North York Branson Hospital (near Bathurst and Finch), redistribute its inpatient services, and develop and operate an ambulatory care centre there. North York General Hospital was also directed to become a regional paediatric centre and a partner in the new Child Health Network of the Greater Toronto Area.
North York General Hospital and North York Branson Hospital became one organization on May 1, 1998. As a result of restructuring, an increased level of service was required at our General site on Leslie Street. To meet the needs of our community, a major redevelopment was launched in 1999 to increase the size of the building by 30%. The official opening of the new Southeast Tower at the General site was held on October 16, 2003.
On March 1, 2017 President and CEO Tim Rutledge announced that the hospital would not be renewing its lease at the Branson Ambulatory Care Centre in 2019, and would begin to transition services from that site.
Seniors' Health Centre
The Seniors' Health Centre opened on October 10, 1985. The Seniors' Health Centre is the hub of services for seniors at North York General. It includes a 192-bed long-term care home.
Reactivation Care Centre: A Central LHIN Hospitals Collaborative
North York General Hospital began serving patients at the Reactivation Care Centre on December 10, 2017. The Reactivation Care Centre is an innovative approach designed to help patients who no longer need acute care services, but often find themselves waiting for an alternate care facility, such as convalescent and long-term care.