Mount Sinai Hospital History

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In August of 1913, four immigrant women from Toronto’s Jewish community started knocking on neighbourhood doors to raise money for a hospital. The Jewish immigrant population in Toronto was burgeoning; most of the new immigrants didn’t speak English and were afraid of large institutions.  And, sadly, not a hospital in the city would give Jewish doctors a place to practice.

It took them nine years, but by 1922, the Mrs. Cohn, Miller, Spiegel and Adler had raised $12,000, enough to buy a building at 100 Yorkville. In 1923, The Hebrew Maternity and Convalescent Hospital opened its doors. Much has changed about that hospital since it opened. The name became Mount Sinai Hospital and it moved locations several times.

It grew from 30 beds to 472 and it became, in very short order, one of North America’s pre-eminent medical, teaching and research institutions. It also developed a world-wide reputation for excellence in genetic research, women’s and infants’ health, surgical oncology, gastrointestinal diseases, diabetes, general psychiatry, critical care and cardiology. And it became so culturally inclusive that there are now interpreters for Mount Sinai patients in over 45 languages.

Yet much has also remained the same. The vision, determination and selfless concern for the well-being of the community that characterized Mount Sinai’s beginnings still drive the hospital today.

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