Women's College Hospital

Women's College Hospital, or The New Women's College Hospital is a teaching hospital in downtown Toronto. It currently functions as an independent ambulatory care hospital. The Physician-in-chief is Dr. Jim Ruderman.

Women's College Hospital maintains a focus on women's health, research in women's health, and ambulatory care. It was given the distinction of being the only 'collaborating centre' in the Western Hemisphere designated by the World Health Organization.


The hospital was founded on October 1, 1883 as Women's Medical College, and was the first medical school in Toronto to admit women as students. It moved to its current location in Toronto in 1935, and became a teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto in 1961. Women's College Hospital merged with Sunnybrook Hospital and the Orthopedic and Arthritic Hospital in 1998 under the provisions of Ontario Bill 51, and became Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre. Women's College Hospital de-amalgamated in 2006 to become The New Women's College Hospital. In 2003, while still part of the erstwhile "Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre", the Women's College site housed the first ambulatory SARS clinic in Canada, (while the Sunnybrook site housed both the first in-patient SARS unit and Intensive Care Unit for SARS in Canada).

The hospital was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1995. A plaque was erected by Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada at the Women's College Hospital, Grenville St., Toronto.

There was a dark period when unwed mothers were not welcome at Women's College Hospital. It was believed that unwed mothers needed to be taught a lesson and should be punished by having their children taken from them, according to Dr. Marion Hilliard , Chief of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of Women’s College Hospital, in a Toronto Telegram article of November 1956:

This laid the foundation for the Unwed Mother Punishment Policy which was actively employed from the mid 1950's to the early 1980s. Other hospitals followed this policy shortly after this announcement.

Victims of this policy filed a formal complaint to the UN when Women's College Hospital refused to acknowledge that abuse had taken place.

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