Saturday, March 22, 2014

Toronto hospitals have fascinating history

As the race for Toronto’s coveted mayor’s chair starts to take shape, as does the jockeying for the 44 other city council positions, suddenly we start hearing about all the bad things that have befallen our hometown.

Things like pothole infected streets, choked expressways, below standard housing, sidewalks and boulevards littered with trash, badly overcrowded transit vehicles and so on.

What a place, eh?

You know, the more I listen to these candidates the more downhearted I become. And we’ve still got another seven months to listen to what’s wrong with Toronto and just how these people plan to turn the city around.

So what is it you want to hear?

Give them time and I’m sure every one of the contenders will have an answer that’s exactly what they want you to hear. Now whether they can accomplish what they spew forth, that’s a question future generations will have to decide.

But wait citizens, before you become too depressed with it all. Our city has a lot of good points to consider. For instance, we have a fabulous free library system plus nightlife and live theatres and shopping to please everyone.

Then there are the schools and the teachers that try their very best. And religious places of worship to cover every eventuality.

And hospitals that, until you really need them, seldom get a second thought.

They include such remarkable institutions as the friendly Holland Orthopedic Hospital on Wellesley St., Sunnybrook Heath Sciences Centre on Bayview Ave., in itself a sprawling city of healing and the Toronto Grace Health Centre on Church, where in an earlier version of this venerable facility, the one that was located further west along Bloor St. my mother introduced me to my father and, after a brief and nourishing lunch, to this great city. I mention these three facilities in particular having used their services although the latter one was someone else’s’ choice.

Each of our many city hospitals has a fascinating history. Some have just a few decades worth; others span more than a century. And another is just waiting to get started on its journey through history. Here are two of the better-known and a third soon to be introduced.


A mini Book Review by Yarmila Filey, an avid reader of mystery books:

People generally read mystery books for entertainment, and it’s always compelling trying to figure out whodunnit. Charlotte Gray’s The Massey Murders is a mystery book folded into a history book and totally fascinating. It has the unique twist of telling you right away who did do it, but leaving the reader to figure out why and whether or not the murderer would hang or simply rot in prison. Ms. Gray’s commentary on Toronto society in 1915 is revealing and brings to life the names embedded in our city’s history.

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