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Black and white image of 11 nurses from the early 1900s above a 125 identifier reading, "celebrating 125, a journey of innovation and transformation."
Holland Bloorview launches yearlong celebration for 125 years of transformative care

Celebrating 125 years: A journey of innovation and transformation

In commemoration of 125 years of caring, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital (Holland Bloorview) is launching a yearlong anniversary celebration culminating on December 16, 2024, the hospital’s 125th anniversary. We invite everyone with a connection to Holland Bloorview to join us for this special anniversary as we move through the chapters of our story.

The festivities kick-off December 16, 2023, with the launch of an archival display case located on the main floor of the hospital, next to the Grocery Foundation Resource Centre. We encourage everyone to stop by and view the many physical artifacts representing decades of evolution and growth.

Over the next year, we will be dedicating each month to a specific theme and area of impact, curated to spotlight the different facets of our mission. In January, a gallery exhibit will adorn the hospital walls featuring images and history from our inception in 1899 to present day.  Themes will include spotlights on staff, client and family alumni, education, volunteers and research, among others. On December 16 2024, we’re celebrating our official anniversary in a big way, documenting the past 125 years through the burial of a time capsule on hospital grounds.

“We are thrilled to kick off our celebrations for 125 years of care and service to children with disabilities,” says Julia Hanigsberg, president and CEO of Holland Bloorview since 2015. “This celebration will honour the rich history and the incredible people that make up our legacy. While much has changed, I think the accomplishments and memories will demonstrate how we have progressed to where we are today -- our dedication to transformative care and an inclusive world. I hope that HB125 celebrations will give us a chance to reconnect with former staff, students, volunteers, clients and their families. I extend my deepest thanks to everyone who has made their mark on our organization and the lives of children, youth and families. Our work would not be possible without your compassion, dedication and support.”

In 1899, a group comprised of 22 women known as the “Ladies Committee”, gathered to discuss the need for a facility to provide support for children with disabilities and chronic illness. Many of these women had close ties to pediatric care and held great influence in the community. As a result, the committee established what was originally known as “the Home for Incurable Children” and in 1959 renamed, “Bloorview Hospital, Home and School” as a response to public pressure and to adapt an inclusive title. Since then, the hospital has undergone many changes and grew to be a leader in pediatric care, teaching and research, locally, nationally and internationally, providing exceptional care and support to children and youth with disabilities, and their families. 

“As a member of the Family Advisory Committee (FAC) and a parent of a client, I have experienced first hand the transformative impact Holland Bloorview has on clients and their families over the years. Authentic partnerships with children, youth and families – true client and family centred care -  is woven into the fabric of this hospital as staff and clinicians provide care, teach the next generation of clinicians and leaders and make ground-breaking discoveries,” says Meredith Sandles, a family leader and co-chair of the FAC since 2015. “I am thrilled to participate in this celebration and honour an organization my family and I are so grateful to be a part of.”

Visit the newly launched 125 website for an overview of what to expect throughout the year, a timeline of our history and details on upcoming events. Additionally, we will be gathering your memories of Holland Bloorview, which will contribute to a photo/story book at the end of next year. Visit the story submission portal for more details.

On behalf of the entire Holland Bloorview team, we look forward to celebrating together as we count down to 125.