Princess Margaret Hospital

PMH at a Glance

Princess Margaret Hospital, a teaching hospital of the University of Toronto, has achieved an international reputation as a global leader in the fight against cancer and is considered one of the top comprehensive cancer treatment and research centres in the world. Located in Toronto, Canada, Princess Margaret Hospital, together with its research institute the Ontario Cancer Institute, is a member of the University Health Network, which also includes the Toronto General Hospital and the Toronto Western Hospital. PMH is the only facility in Canada devoted exclusively to cancer research, treatment and education.

Image: Electron Microscope at PMH
Photograph celebrating the arrival of an Electron Microscope at Princess Margaret Hospital, 1967.

Established in 1952 by an Act of the Ontario Legislature, the Ontario Cancer Institute was officially opened by Her Royal Highness, Princess Margaret, on May 1, 1958. To mark the occasion, the Ontario government named the 87-bed facility at 500 Sherbourne Street in her honour.

On Nov. 13, 1995, Princess Margaret Hospital moved to its current location at 610 University Avenue, directly across the street from the Toronto General Division and into the heart of Canada's greatest concentration of teaching and research hospitals. Again, Princess Margaret was on hand to officially reopen the hospital on July 12, 1996.

Image: Original Hospital at Sherbourne Street
The original hospital at 500 Sherbourne Street.

As part of provincial hospital restructuring, the Health Services Restructuring Commission recommended the Toronto Hospital and Princess Margaret Hospital merge all oncology services. This became official when the Toronto Hospital Act was passed in the provincial legislature on Jan. 1, 1998.

The move was on. In the months that followed, staff from both hospitals prepared to relocate oncology services and programs from the Toronto General Hospital to their new home. The first step was renovating the Princess Margaret Hospital site to house these service and to ensure they were properly established to allow for a seamless flow of patient care. With the help of the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation, a $15-million renovation program was completed in the fall of 1998, creating several newcomprehensive treatment centres for specific cancers including breast, prostate, head and neck and brain tumours.

Image: Pioneer of Cobalt Therapy
During the 1960s, Dr. Harold Johns was a pioneer of cobalt therapy.

During the year, a surgical oncology program was also established at Princess Margaret Hospital, further solidifying this institution as a world leader in cancer care. While some major surgical procedures are still performed at the General, Princess Margaret Hospital now houses all facilities for our Oncology Priority Program. With a proven record in research, education, and patient care, it has truly become a world-class institution.

The 800,000-square-foot building accommodates 220 patient beds, 160,000 square feet of research space, and 17 radiation treatment machines in special concrete bunkers below grade, making PMH the largest radiation treatment centre in Canada and one of the largest treatment facilities in the world. The building's architectural characteristics and the manner in which the hospital delivers care mean that PMH can serve 10,000 new patients a year -- over 500 patients a day. PMH sees about 190,000 outpatients annually for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up.

PMH ranks among the top centers in the world for bone marrow transplantation, and has achieved a solid international reputation as having some of the longest surviving bone marrow transplant recipients in the world. The hospital's bone marrow transplant unit, established in 1971, was the first in Canada to perform allogeneic transplants -- transplants between unrelated donors. In 2002-2003, we completed 251 bone marrow transplants, of which 170 were autologous transplants and 81 were allogeneic transplants.

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