NYGH celebrates its 50th anniversary

A message to our community

North York General (NYGH) is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018! 

As the old adage goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention” and this statement was never more true than when it comes to our hospital. A little over 50 years ago, a growing community of about 200,000 people in what was then called North York Township needed timely access to a local hospital. 

In fact, families had no choice but to make their way to downtown Toronto if they needed hospital care, and were sometimes added to a hospital waiting list for weeks at a time, or had to return home due to lack of beds. 

The rumble of dissatisfaction with the situation increased until talk turned to action. Community members, groups and leaders came together, to plan, raise funds and ultimately build a nine-story hospital on what was initially 13.4 acres of land north of Highway 401; when Leslie Street was still a dirt road and Sheppard Avenue was only two lanes. 

It didn't happen overnight though. It actually took eight years of a lot of work, deliberation, setbacks and collaboration for the dream to come to fruition. Finally, with major obstacles overcome and construction completed, Premier John Robarts came to North York in March 1968 to unveil a plaque to dedicate the hospital.

“This was created by partnerships at all levels,” he said. “There were 32 community groups and 13,000 private contributors as well as financial assistance from all levels of government.” 

Special recognition was also given to Colonel Clifford Sifton, a local community businessman who gave his leadership, time, effort, funds and credibility to the project for the entire eight years, to ensure families then and now have access to health care in their community.

A half century later, our community has evolved and grown and North York General Hospital has kept in step with these changes as it continues to serve our diverse communities by providing excellence in integrated patient-centred care through learning, innovation and partnerships. 

It is, and has been our privilege to serve this community, to provide essential care for you and your loved ones as one of Canada's leading academic hospitals. While we don't know all the future will bring, moving forward, we remain challenged to do our best as we develop strategies to expand and meet the needs of a growing population as well as an aging one.

Throughout the year we'll be sharing interesting stories and facts about NYGH and the amazing staff, physicians and volunteers who have served within our walls. We hope you will read these stories and join us as we celebrate making a world of difference since 1968.

Happy 50th anniversary NYGH! 


Tim Rutledge
President and CEO

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