History through the decades

History through the decades  was originally created as part of North York General Hospital's 50th anniversary celebration in 2018.  

1960s timeline

1959: The Don Mills Community Association, chaired by Thomas Dobson, forms the North Metropolitan General Hospital Association (NMGHA) and organizes a meeting of representatives of 22 service clubs and ratepayer organizations to explore building a 70-bed hospital. In November, the North Metropolitan General Hospital is incorporated and a provisional board of directors is organized in December. 

At the time, the Missionary Health Institute was planning a 135-bed hospital and the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire (IODE) was planning on rebuilding their Children's Hospital on Sheldrake Boulevard in Toronto. 

1960: The first meeting of the provisional directors is held and a bank loan is arranged on the personal guarantees of the directors.

1961: Colonel Clifford Sifton is elected Chairman of the NMGHA. He remained Chairman of the Board as the North Metropolitan General Hospital evolved and amalgamated with two other organizations to become North York General Hospital. 

Richard Rohmer, a distinguished veteran of the Second World War practising law in North York, was involved in the early stages of hospital planning and believes getting Colonel Clifford Sifton on the board “gave us some instant credibility.” 

1962: The Henry Farms,13.4 acres of land on Leslie Avenue near Sheppard Avenue, is secured for $95,000. North York Township voters give 70% support to an increase in the property tax mill rate for 10 years to fund the hospital. 


1963: North York General Hospital is formed when the three groups (North York Metropolitan General Hospital, Missionary Health Institute and IODE Children's Hospital) amalgamated their projects and financing and began planning a 600-bed active treatment hospital. Learn more about our founding partners.





A rendering of North York General Hospital
A rendering of the new North York General Hospital

 1965: Construction of the $8.2 million hospital begins 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. 
North York General Hospital purchases 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. 

1966: The Women's Auxiliary is formed.

newspaper article about NYGH under construction in 1966


1968: Premier John Robarts dedicates the hospital on March 15. The first patient is admitted on May 12 and three days later NYGH officially opens with 50 beds. By November 580 beds are operational.

Premier John Robarts dedicates North York General Hospital Hospital on March 15, 1968.
Ontario Premier John Robarts unveils a plaque to dedicate North York General Hospital Hospital on March 15, 1968





1968: The charter of Bethesda Hospital was assumed by North York General Hospital at its inception. This change in structure recognized that the hospital-based work of Missionary Health Institute could best be achieved through a partnership that allowed both institutions to pursue excellence in their respective specialties.

NYGH in the 1960s