A journey of innovation and transformation

Collage of photos of the history at Holland Bloorview
History of arts and music – Evolution of music and arts programming throughout history.

History of arts and music – Evolution of music and arts programming throughout history.

Holland Bloorview 125 identify - a journey of innovation and transformation

Holland Bloorview is celebrating 125 years of care and service to children and youth with disabilities and developmental differences. This celebration will honour the rich history and the incredible people that make up our legacy. Everything that we have worked towards for the last 125 years, our advancements, accomplishments and learnings, demonstrate how we have progressed to where we are today – an organization committed to transformative care and an inclusive world. The Holland Bloorview 125 celebrations provide us an opportunity to pause and reflect on the past, present and future. It is also an opportunity to reconnect with former staff, students, volunteers, clients and their families who have made their mark on our organization and the lives of children, youth and families.

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Click the button to hear an audio version of the panel.

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As we mark 125 years, we reaffirm our commitment to the most meaningful and healthy futures for children, youth and families.

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Our history

Our history reflects 125 years of service to children, youth and families with disabilities and immense growth and transformation. Since our establishment in 1899, the hospital has adapted to a number of location and name changes and medical and technological advancements. Today we are Canada’s largest pediatric rehabilitation hospital, with an embedded research institute, fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

Navigate through the timeline below for a snapshot of our history from 1899 to present day.

1899
An old building photo in black and white

Recognizing the need to provide a home for children with chronic illnesses and disabilities, a group of 22 women meet in Toronto to discuss the creation of a Home for incurable Children.

1907
A group of people containing adults in nursing uniform and children on wheelchairs

The children and staff move to a larger site that can accommodate 25 children at 152 Bloor Street East.

1959
Some text on an old paper with an illustration of a child

In response to public pressure and to adapt a more inclusive title, the Home for Incurable Children changes its name to Bloorview Hospital, Home and School.

1962
A building with a garden

The Ontario Crippled Children’s Centre opened as a separate facility at 350 Rumsey road, designed to care for children with disabilities.

1964
Some text and a logo on a paper scan

Bloorview Hospital, Home and School officially changes its name to Bloorview Children's Hospital.

1974
An ambulance in front of a building

Bloorview Children’s Hospital moves to their new custom-built facility on 25 Buchan Court.

1975
Two adults visiting a child lying on a bed. There is another adult sitting by the side of the child.

A fully accessible school with 10 classrooms, named Bloorview School, opens as an attachment on the new facility and begins accepting students.

1982
Two adults standing in front of a brick wall

Bloorview Children’s Hospital Foundation is established.

1984
Some people hanging around a garden

Spiral Garden, an integrated summer arts program for hospital and community children is established.

1985
An adult with his dress suit

Ontario Crippled Children’s Centre on Rumsey Road changes its name to Hugh MacMillan Medical Centre to honour its first assistant medical director.

1990
The Hugh MacMillan Rehabilitation Centre logo

OCCC undergoes another name change to Hugh MacMillan Rehabilitation Centre to reflect its focus on rehab for patients.

1996
Some cars parking in front of a building

Bloorview Children’s Hospital and Hugh MacMillan Rehabilitation Centre amalgamated at one site to become Bloorview MacMillan Centre.

2001
Bloorview MacMillan Children's Centre logo

Bloorview MacMillan Centre renames and becomes Bloorview MacMillan Children’s Centre.

2002
A group of adults standing in an indoor setting

Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital becomes a teaching hospital fully affiliated with University of Toronto.

2004
Two adults in a lab setting doing some testing

With funding from the Bloorview Children's Hospital Foundation, the Bloorview Research Institute is established, which formalizes and integrates research at Bloorview MacMillan Children’s Centre.

2006
A modern low-rise building in an evening

A new hospital site opens at 150 Kilgour – a six-storey, $101 million, state-of-the-art facility. At this time, the hospital is officially renamed Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.

2009
A seminar setting with a spoke-person standing with some audiences sitting in a conference room

The Teaching and Learning Institute officially launches at Holland Bloorview.

2010
An adult standing on the left, and a child sitting on a wheelchair on the right, in front of a big screen showing the Holland Bloorview new logo

Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital renamed to become Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, honouring the $26.2 million from Bill and Susanne Holland.

2023
A modern building named "Jason Smith Research Tower"

Holland Bloorview celebrates the completion of its historic Bloorview Research Institute (BRI) expansion with the unveiling of its newly constructed, 11,000 square foot research tower.

Land acknowledgement

As we celebrate our hospital’s 125th anniversary, Holland Bloorview acknowledges the sacred land on which our organization is located, land that has been occupied by Indigenous peoples for over 15,000 years. This land, Mother Earth, our Earth Mother, is the territory of the Huron-Wendat First Nation, the Seneca as part of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Mississaugas of the Credit River and the Mississauga of Scugog Island First Nation. We are grateful to have the opportunity to work, learn and provide care for the many children of Turtle Island, including those from First Nations, Métis and Inuit on this land. Holland Bloorview is committed to walking alongside Indigenous peoples on a healing path to truth and reconciliation based on listening, learning, collaboration and deep respect.

Our impact

As we approach 125 years of service on December 16, 2024, we want to celebrate Holland Bloorview’s major areas of impact. We’re dedicating each month to a specific impact area and diving into the past, sharing the present and looking ahead to future aspirations and goals. Below, we’ve included an overview of what to expect in the coming months.

Check back for more details as we launch new stories each month.

As we approach 125 years of service on December 16, 2024, we want to celebrate Holland Bloorview’s major areas of impact. We’re dedicating each month to a specific impact area and diving into the past, sharing the present and looking ahead to future aspirations and goals. Below, we’ve included an overview of what to expect in the coming months.

Check back for more details as we launch new stories each month.

A spokeperson standing on the left, while some audiences sitting and listening to the right

July

Impact of philanthropy

Impact and appreciation of major donors and partners.

A family with a child sitting on a wheelchair in the middle

August

Evolution of advocacy

Promoting and celebrating disability inclusion.

An adult is holding a child in the middle with a walker and to their right there is another adult, all with smiling face

September

Celebrating clients and families

Appreciation for past and present clients and families.

An adult sitting to the right of a child on wheelchair, playing a game

October

A world of possibility

Celebrating all alumni success, from first jobs to Paralympians.

An adult on the left is helping a teen on a wheelchair with a hearing machine on. Another adult standing to the right.

November

Evolution of research & innovation

The evolution of science, technology and research.

An adult is sitting beside of a teen on a wheelchair

December

The past, the present & the future

The unveiling of our time capsule contents, to be opened in 75 years.

Exhibition

Our art and photo exhibition presents our history through artifacts and images, installed at the hospital and online. On December 16th, 2023 we invite you to visit an archival display case featuring select memorabilia from our past. Items include a wheelchair from the early 1900s, the first annual report and more!

The display case is located on the main floor of the hospital, next to the Grocery Foundation Resource Centre.

In January 2024, we launched the first of 12 panels as part of a large photo-history exhibit.

Every month, we release a new panel focused on one area of impact, featuring images and insight into our history related to each theme. Join us as we travel back in time and move through the many chapters of our evolution.

The exhibit is located on the main floor, in the corridor across from the pool.

An antique wheelchair with a smaller framed photo, with a background of another photo of some Victorian style dress adults
Play button

Click the button to hear an audio version of the panel.

An antique wheelchair with a smaller framed photo, with a background of another photo of some Victorian style dress adults

Our art and photo exhibition presents our history through artifacts and images, installed at the hospital and online. On December 16th, 2023 we invite you to visit an archival display case featuring select memorabilia from our past. Items include a wheelchair from the early 1900s, the first annual report and more!
The display case is located on the main floor of the hospital, next to the Grocery Foundation Resource Centre.

*include image of display for reference

In January 2024, the first of 12 panels will launch as part of a large photo-history exhibit.

Every month, we’ll release a new panel focused on one area of impact, featuring images and insight into our history related to each theme. Join us as we travel back in time and move through the many chapters of our evolution.

The exhibit will be located on the main floor, in the corridor across from the pool.

Three children holding glasses pretending to cheer

Events

Join us in person and be part of our celebrations throughout the year! This calendar will be revised as details of each event become available. Follow us on social media or keep checking back for updates!

Events

Three children holding glasses pretending to cheer

Join us in person and be part of our celebrations throughout the year! This calendar will be revised as details of each event become available. Follow us on social media or keep checking back for updates!

May

Spiral Garden gathering

Welcome spring with this outdoor gathering featuring special speakers, visits from past alumni, food, entertainment and more! Details to follow.

November

BRI symposium

Help celebrate 20 years of research innovation with the BRI during the annual BRI symposium featuring a 125th twist. Details to follow.

December

Time capsule
Cap off the year and Holland Bloorview’s official 125th anniversary as we bury a time capsule. Details to follow.
Play button

Click the button to hear an audio version of the panel.

Play button

Click the button to hear an audio version of the panel.

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Share your memory

Do you have a special memory connected to Holland Bloorview? Whether you’re a past or present client or staff member, a Holland Bloorview parent or family member, a volunteer, a student, a donor or a health care partner, we want to hear from you!

At the end of the year, we’ll collect all memories and stories and compile them into a hard-copy book available for purchase to spotlight the people and experiences that make up our legacy and the heart of our story. We look forward to reading and sharing your unique memories!

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Share your memory

Do you have a special memory connected to Holland Bloorview? Whether you’re a past or present client or staff member, a Holland Bloorview parent or family member, a volunteer, a student, a donor or a health care partner, we want to hear from you!

At the end of the year, we’ll collect all memories and stories and compile them into a hard-copy book available for purchase to spotlight the people and experiences that make up our legacy and the heart of our story. We look forward to reading and sharing your unique memories!

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Two photos: left photo shows a young child sitting on a wheelchair, along with an adult. Right photo shows an adult on a wheelchair with another adult to the right.

Media coverage

Holland Bloorview kicked-off its 125 anniversary celebrations by taking staff, students, volunteers and clients and families on a journey of “rehabilitation reimagined.” CBC News Toronto, CBC Metro Morning, Global News Toronto and CTV News Toronto visited the hospital for a look at some artifacts from our past as well as a conversation with Emily Chan, a former inpatient turned Holland Bloorview social worker and Jorge Santos, the nurse who cared for her nearly 30 years ago.

A married couple in a workshop setting

Holland Bloorview staff members Will Goessaert and Elizabeth Dunphy met at the hospital just before the pandemic, fell in love and were married at the Enoch Turner schoolhouse on May 4. In a truly full-circle moment, the couple returned to the hospital on May 10 dressed in their wedding attire to re-create some aspects of their “I do” moment. CP24.com was there to capture the heartwarming moment that Will and Elizabeth are celebrating during Holland Bloorview’s milestone 125th anniversary. 

Get in touch

Questions on how to get involved, upcoming events or portal submissions?

For all 125-related inquiries, please email 125@hollandbloorview.ca.

Follow us on social media and help us spread the word!

Some Victorian style dress adults taking group photo

Get in touch

Questions on how to get involved, upcoming events or portal submissions?

For all 125-related inquiries, please email 125@hollandbloorview.ca.

Follow us on social media and help us spread the word!

Some Victorian style dress adults taking group photo

Get in touch

Some Victorian style dress adults taking group photo

Questions on how to get involved, upcoming events or portal submissions?

For all 125-related inquiries, please email 125@hollandbloorview.ca.

Follow us on social media and help us spread the word!

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