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April 25, 2018

$12.5-million donation from Peter and Diana Thomson launches $100-million Heart of the East Campaign to transform community healthcare in East Toronto

TORONTOApril 25, 2018 /CNW/ – Today, Michael Garron Hospital (MGH), Toronto East Health Network marked a major milestone in its history by breaking ground on the Ken and Marilyn Thomson Patient Care Centre and redevelopment of the hospital campus. Announced at today’s groundbreaking was a $12.5-million donation by the Thomson family to launch the $100-million Heart of the East fundraising campaign to transform care for one of Canada’s most diverse communities.

 “After 10 years of planning, I am thrilled to officially start construction on the modern and holistic healthcare centre that the east Toronto community expects and deserves. This historic milestone would not be possible without the tremendous support of our extended community, the Government of Ontario and donors like the Thomsons,” said Sarah Downey, President and CEO of Michael Garron Hospital to a group of 150 patients, staff members, physicians, neighbours, donors and partners at the ceremonial event held at the Hospital. The celebration also incorporated an Indigenous land blessing by community member, Elder Little Brown Bear.

The redevelopment will transform the 89-year-old campus for one of the most diverse and under-served communities in Toronto. Over 40 per cent of the population in the Hospital community is new to Canada, and a quarter is low-income. The project will see the replacement of 50 per cent of the hospital while continuing to deliver 100 per cent of the healthcare services throughout construction. Features of the project include:

  • The new eight-storey Ken and Marilyn Thomson Patient Care Centre will include 215 acute care inpatient beds – 80 per cent of which will be single-patient rooms with private washrooms
  • Modernized inpatient mental health service units with 46 adult-care beds and six for children and youth that offer home-like environments, bright, private rooms, shared spaces to come together for meals and healing, and access to a secured outdoor terrace with seating, gardens and a designated area for Indigenous smudging ceremonies.
  • Co-located chest, renal, and cardiac clinics so patients with multiple, chronic illnesses like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease, and diabetes – which affect East Toronto residents more than the city average – will be able to easily navigate multiple appointments
  • Faster, more precise diagnosis of a wider range of conditions with a new MRI and CT scanner located in a revitalized diagnostic imaging centre
  • New spaces to welcome the community in, including an outdoor event gathering space, children’s play area, and extensive gardens, and a multi-faith meditation and prayer space
  • Better accessibility with clear, intuitive signage, gender-inclusive washrooms, four levels of underground parking, and improved pedestrian access

Working in partnership with Infrastructure Ontario, MGH awarded the $411-million design, build and finance contract to EllisDon Infrastructure Healthcare after an open, fair and competitive process. The project is expected to be completed in 2024.

The Heart of the East is the Hospital’s $100-million fundraising effort in support of a healthier East Toronto – in particular, the transformation of the hospital campus. The Campaign will also accelerate community-based research at the hospital and ensure patients are treated with state-of-the-art medical equipment. The impact of donations to the Heart of the East Campaign will be doubled by the Garron Family, to a total of $25 million.

The $12.5-million donation by the Thomson Family follows a $5-million gift made in 2012 to establish the Ken and Marilyn Thomson Patient Care Centre, and will provide added support towards the transformation of the hospital campus.

“Diana and I are incredibly passionate about East Toronto – one of the most diverse and vibrant communities in Canada,” said Peter Thomson. “We can think of no better way to support our community than a gift to the hospital that ensures the health of our family and neighbours.”


“Michael Garron Hospital is at the heart of the East Toronto community. This hospital responds efficiently to all of the major challenges facing our community: poverty, mental health, helping newcomers adapt to their lives in Canada, and our aging population. Each one of us needs to take responsibility for the health of our community so we can all prosper – and philanthropic support of Michael Garron Hospital is the best way for those who care about East Toronto to make a difference.”

Eric Tripp, Board Chair, Michael Garron Hospital Foundation

“People in East Toronto expect and deserve the best care that our high-quality public healthcare system can offer. That’s why we’re supporting this major redevelopment to modernize the Michael Garron Hospital campus to expand and upgrade necessary services, as well as improve access to the excellent care its staff provides. Whether you visit the hospital once a year or once in a lifetime, people want to know they’ll get the right care when they need it. Our government is making significant new investments in hospitals and health care in Toronto and across the province — because care is the foundation for creating more fairness and opportunity in Ontario now and for future generations.”

 Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario

“Michael Garron Hospital has been providing first-class care to east Toronto for nearly 90 years. These renovations will enable the hospital to continue to deliver efficient, accessible, high-quality services to meet the changing needs of the local community.” 

Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“Infrastructure Ontario is proud to partner with Michael Garron Hospital and EllisDon Infrastructure Healthcare to help deliver the largest construction project in the hospital’s history. The project adds vital space, technology and modernized refurbishments that will benefit this core community hospital for many years to come.”

Ehren Cory, President and CEO, Infrastructure Ontario

About Michael Garron Hospital

Nestled in the heart of East Toronto, Michael Garron Hospital (MGH), Toronto East Health Network, is a vibrant community teaching hospital serving more than 400,000 people in 22 distinct neighbourhoods. For more than 89 years, MGH has delivered high-quality, patient-centred healthcare services to families along the continuum of care, from welcoming a new life to facing end-of-life. MGH has continually renewed its commitment to community by adapting its programs and services to meet the evolving needs of the diverse population it serves. MGH is a respected full-service hospital with strong community and research partners, including the University of Toronto.

About Michael Garron Hospital Foundation

Michael Garron Hospital Foundation engages our community and inspires investment in support of Michael Garron Hospital to make a lasting impact on the health and well-being of all in East Toronto. We believe that a healthy community is a strong community: because when people are healthy, they can contribute more fully to their families, community, and society. For more information, please visit mghf.ca.



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