The St. Michael's Story

drawing of the Bond Street entrance

In 1892, in an old Baptist church on Bond Street, the Sisters of St. Joseph operated Notre Dame des Anges, a boarding house for working women. Responding to the need to care for their own and the poor population in the south end of Toronto, the Sisters founded St. Michael's Hospital.

The hospital opened its doors with a bed capacity of 26 and a staff of six doctors and four graduate nurses. Within a year, accommodation was increased to include two large wards and an emergency department. By 1912, bed capacity reached 300, and a five-room operating suite was added.

As early as 1894, St. Michael's Hospital received medical students and, in 1920, negotiated a formal agreement with the faculty of medicine at the University of Toronto that continues to this day.

Between 1892 and 1974, St. Michael's school of nursing graduated 81 classes, totalling 5,177 graduates. The school was closed in 1974 when nursing education was moved into the province's community college system. Later, the hospital opened a school for medical record librarians, the first in Canada, and also participated in the preparation of dietitians and X-ray and laboratory technologists.

As Toronto grew and expanded, so did the hospital. Ongoing physical expansion, most prominent in the 1960s, increased the original 26 bed facility to a high of 900 beds.