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St. Michael's 125th



  • First graduating class from St. Michael's school of nursing, 1894.
    The first graduating class of the St. Michael's Hospital School of Nursing, 1894. (St. Michael's Hospital Archives)
    St. Michael's Hospital opens in what was once a Baptist Church on Bond Street.
  • St. Michael's Hospital opens the first Catholic Nursing School in Canada.


  • St. Michael's Nursing School graduates its first class of seven nurses.


  • Dr. Pearl Smith becomes the first woman intern at St. Michael's.


  • St. Michael's installs one of the first X-ray machines in Toronto.


  • Sister Mary Paul Biss was the founder and first director of the St. Michael's Hospital School for Medical Record Librarians. When the school opened here in 1936, it was the first of its kind in Canada. (St. Michael's Hospital Archives)
    St. Michael's installs one of the first electrocardiograph machines in Canada to detect and diagnosis heart abnormalities.


  • The hospital becomes one of the first in Toronto to use a spinal anaesthetic, introduced by Dr. Frank O'Leary.


  • St. Michael's becomes formally affiliated with the University of Toronto.


  • The first school for medical record librarians in Canada is established at the hospital.
  • St. Michael's becomes the first hospital in the country approved to train dietitians.


  • The first successful heart transplant in Canada was carried out by a team at St. Michael's in 1968. They were led by Dr. Clare Baker, pictured here. (St. Michael's Hospital Archives)
    Fenestration, an artificial opening made in the bony part of the inner ear so as to improve or restore hearing, is first performed in Canada at the hospital by Dr. Joseph Sullivan.


  • Catheterization laboratory opens at St. Michael's to allow doctors to diagnose and treat heart conditions using catheters instead of surgery.


  • St. Michael's becomes one of the first hospitals in Ontario to perform open heart surgery.


  • Toronto's first Haemodialysis Centre opens at the hospital.


  • Dr. Clare Baker leads to a cardiac team of 30 specialists to perform the first successful heart transplant in Canada. Recipient Charles Perrin Johnston lived six years, the longest time for any heart transplant recipient in the world at that time.


  • In 1976, the first muscle transplant in North America was performed at St. Michael's. (St. Michael's Hospital Archives)
    Renal transplantation begins at St. Michael's.


  • Dr. Leo Mahoney establishes the Breast Centre at St. Michael's to improve the quality of life and treatment for women with breast disease and breast cancer.


  • St. Michael's performs the first muscle transplant in North America.


  • Queen Elizabeth II visited St. Michael's Hospital during a Canadian tour in Oct. 1984. (St. Michael's Hospital Archives)
    The hospital performs its 100th kidney transplant.


  • The hospital becomes the first in Canada to use the ultrasound technique to see and treat the human embryo.


  • St. Michael's becomes the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)s investigational centre for pacemakers.
  • The hospital is designated to prepare the medical team for Pope John Paul II's visit.


  • St. Michael's neurosurgeon Dr. Alan Hudson and plastic surgeon Dr. Susan MacKinnon perform the world's first sciatic nerve transplant.


  • St. Michael's celebrates its 100th anniversary
  • Jeff Lozon is appointed president of St. Michael's


  • St. Michael's merges with the Wellesley Central Hospital in what is to be one of the most successful hospital mergers in Canadian history.
  • Dr. Marcus Burstein performs the first-ever Artificial Bowel Sphincter implantation procedure for fecal incontinence in Canada.
  • The Vascular Biology lab, part of the Terrence Donnelly Heart Centre, opens with state-of-the-art equipment for advanced cardiovascular research, including cardiac gene therapy.
  • St. Michael's opens a respirology unit, providing care for a diverse range of respiratory disorders, including highly-specialized expertise in cystic fibrosis and tuberculosis.


  • The Rotary Club of Toronto partners with the hospital to open the Transition Centre, a unique facility for Emergency department patients who are homeless or under housed.


  • Surgeons at St. Michael's perform Ontario's first live-donor kidney retrieval using minimally-invasive surgery.
  • The Martin Family Arthritis Care and Research Centre opens - a "one-stop shop" to provide integrated care for arthritis patients and foster innovation in mobility research.
  • The hospital opens a brand-new, state-of-the-art Emergency department to meet the many needs of a growing city.


  • St. Michael's becomes the first hospital in Canada to perform an endoscopy procedure using a camera capsule.
  • A lithotripsy unit, used to treat kidney and lower ureteral stones, opens at St. Michael's. It is only one of two regional centres in Ontario.


  • St. Michael's Hospital hosts the First International Conference on Inner City Health Research


  • The hospital's helipad. built on the roof of the Cardinal Carter wing, opened in November 2003.
    The Centre for Global Health Research, led by Dr. Prabhat Jha, founding director of the centre and Canada Research Chair of Health and Development, University of Toronto, begins a prospective study of six million people in India of mortality from various causes in relation to smoking, alcohol use, indoor air pollution, water and sanitation and fertility. The study is the largest of its kind in the world and is funded by the US National Institute of Health (NIH).
  • St. Michael's cardiologist Dr. Michael Kutryk, implants the first antibody coated coronary stent at the University Hospital Rotterdam in Holland.
  • St. Michael's opens its rooftop helipad to allow critically ill or injured patients to be transferred quickly by air ambulance, maximizing their chance for survival.


  • The Fracture Clinic opens a one-stop shop for orthopedic care.


  • Patrick and Barbara Keenan stand outside the former Annex buildings, now the site of the Keenan Research Centre, in 2005.
    The Li Ka Shing (Canada) Foundation makes the single largest gift to St. Michael's to date - a $25 million donation to establish the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute. The state of the art facility, opened in 2011, houses the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Centre in Health Care Education.
  • Toronto businessman Patrick Keenan and his wife Barbara make a $13 million donation for the Keenan Research Centre. The Keenans have cumulatively donated more than $30 million to the hospital--a significant portion of which has gone to advancing health research.
  • St. Michael's develops a Canadian Institutes of Health Research training program in the trans-disciplinary approach to the Health of Marginalized Populations, a first in North America.
  • St. Michael's embarks on its first international surgical eye-care mission to the Philippines.
  • World first gene therapy trial for pulmonary hypertension begins.


  • St. Michael's Dr. Robert Chisholm performs a North American first by implanting an antibody coated stent into a cardiac patient. The stent was developed by Dr. Michael Kutryk of St. Michael's.
  • The Robert McRae Heart Health Centre - a state of the art cardiac care outpatient clinic, opens at the hospital
  • St. Michael's Hospital's Dr. Peter Vadas identifies key factors causing fatal reactions to peanut allergies.
  • St. Michael's Hospital welcomes the National Film Board of Canada and the Filmmaker in Residence project. A two year residency where experts in film and photography come together with frontline doctors, nurses and researchers of Canada's foremost inner city hospital to create media for social change.


  • Dr. Guylaine Lefebvre performs a myomectomy using the da Vinci System surgical robot. (Photo by Yuri Markarov)
    The hospital performs the first endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) procedure in Toronto to treat a potentially fatal aneurysm of both the chest and abdomen.
  • St. Michael's acquires an advanced robotics system to treat patients with prostate cancer and women with complex gynecologic conditions.


  • Dr. Guylaine Lefebvre performs the first myomectomy in Canada - the surgical removal of a uterine tumour - without damage to the uterus using a surgical robot.


  • St. Michael's Hospital enters into landmark agreement with King Saud University to provide research opportunities to help speed the transfer of medical discoveries from the laboratory bench to patient bedsides.
  • Jeff Lozon steps down as President and CEO of St. Michael's Hospital after more than 17 years. Dr. Robert Howard is subsequently named CEO of St. Michael's and becomes the first physician CEO to hold the post.
  • The Applied Health Research Centre opens at St. Michael's to improve patient care through clinical research.
  • Former president Jeff Lozon and Dr. James Orbinski are appointed to the Order of Canada.