college wing

A view of College Street and the Toronto General Hospital in the early 20th century.

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Toronto General Hospital

TGH at a Glance

The History of Toronto General Hospital

For more than 165 years, the Toronto General Hospital has provided acute care patient services to the surrounding community.

Located in downtown Toronto, TGH has numerous medical and surgical program specialties including heart disease, kidney disease, transplantation, eating disorders clinic, tropical disease, women's health, nephrology, immunodeficiency clinic and psychiatry. A busy Emergency Department at TGH treats more than 30,000 patients each year.

Several firsts were developed at the TGH, including:

Image: Nurse in 1881
TGH nursing staff member, 1881.

A Brief History
A small shed that was built in York in 1812 was used as a military hospital during the war against the United States. A group of citizens, known as the Loyal and Patriotic Society, tried to provide comfort to soldiers and their families. When the war was over, the Society decided to award gold and silver medals for gallantry.

Image: Operating Room at TGH
TGH operating room on Gerrard Street East, 1905-1913.



Those medals were never given out and the Society decided to melt down the medals in order to build a civilian hospital. That hospital, known as York General, opened at Simcoe and King streets in 1829. Subsequently named Toronto General Hospital, it expanded first to Gerrard and Sumach in 1856. In 1913, the hospital moved to the College Street site and subsequently expanded south to fill the block bounded by College and Gerrard streets, University Avenue and Elizabeth Street.

New addition blends technology and comfort

Image: Clinical Services Building
Artist's rendering of the rebuilt TGH Clinical Services Building. [more]

The 12-story Clinical Services Building is entirely devoted to patient care, with such features as centralized registration areas, optimum use of space, and soothing colours and natural light. The building houses diagnostic imaging, a comprehensive transplant centre, a four-storey patient court, and the welcoming Robert R. McEwen Centre Atrium. The CSB is also home to the most sophisticated surgical suites in North America.

UHN moves to the forefront of telemedicine with its technologically advanced audio-visual system, that can provide two-way communication between rooms within the hospital, as well as to health-care teams worldwide.

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