Six decades ago, a surgeon’s dream for a specialized orthopaedic hospital was set in motion. These pictures chart its path from modest beginnings to the world-leading facility that is today’s Holland Orthopaedic & Arthritic Centre.
1. Dr. Charles Stewart Wright had big dreams. As an orthopaedic surgeon, he saw the need for a hospital that would provide treatment and care for patients with orthopaedic conditions. He worked tirelessly throughout his career toward this goal, but died before seeing it happen.
2. Dr. Wright’s son (left) of the same name and profession – continued to pursue his father’s dream with the assistance of orthopaedic surgeon Dr. James E. Bateman (right).
3. On April 13, 1955, their hard work was rewarded with the opening of the Toronto Orthopaedic Hospital, the first in Canada. It treated adults and children for various rheumatic diseases and fracture injuries, laying groundwork for many leading therapies used today. Dr. Bateman was its first Chief of Surgery and developed an artificial hip replacement that is still used today.
4. For years, the hospital was run in a former sanitorium on Wellesley Street. But with growing demand, Dr. Bateman led the charge to convert the building to full public hospital status.
5. Officials, including former Minister of Health Matthew Dymond, break ground on a full public hospital in 1962.
6. A building fund was established to replace the existing structure with a modern 100-bed facility, which was officially opened on September 22, 1964. An East Wing was added in 1974.
7. The following decades would see advances in the surgical, treatment and patient care techniques used to serve a growing population.
8. Advanced practice physiotherapist Suzanne Denis uses one of the many testing and training machines on patient Michael Schipper in the early 1990s. In 1998, the Orthopaedic & Arthritic Hospital merged with Sunnybrook.
9. In 2006, Sunnybrook’s Orthopaedic & Arthritic Institute was renamed the Holland Orthopaedic & Arthritic Centre to recognize Susanne and William Holland’s $20-million investment in the Holland MSK Program and the centre.
10. Dr. Stewart Wright, the third generation of Wright orthopaedic surgeons, currently works at the centre and continues the legacy of his father and grandfather. He is pictured here with Suzanne Denis and current patient Judythe Schnarr.
11. Construction is now underway to create a new highly specialized operating suite, rebuild two existing operating suites and fully upgrade another two suites to provide patients with state-of-the art surgical environments.