This too shall pass. As we are all challenged today by the COVID-19 virus, the Way Back Wednesday series will look back at past epidemics and health challenges, with a particular focus on those individuals who sought to aid the sick, and on how our landscape remembers those past times.
Apart but together, please help us capture the story of how COVID-19 pandemic has affected you here in Mississauga. Please share stories and images at [email protected] or https://www.facebook.com/HeritageMississauga
There was a time when residents of historic Mississauga had to travel to other places for hospital care. We have mention of babies being born at the Cooksville House hotel, where a doctor would attend, rather than have the expectant mother travel farther afield. In last week’s article, we made mention of the first hospital in Peel County, the Peel Memorial Hospital in Brampton, which opened in 1925. But what about Mississauga?
The first hospital in Mississauga, originally known as the South Peel Hospital, opened in 1958. But stepping back in time for our narrative, there was interest in establishing a hospital in historic Mississauga at least as far back as 1946. Interest, and resident pressure, had been growing leading up to 1952, when a 16-year-old student en-route to a Toronto hospital, tragically died. The prevailing sentiment was that the student may have lived if the hospital was closer. In 1952 the Port Credit Rotary Club and the Credit Valley Lions Club joined together to raise the initial funds for a 55-bed hospital, coining the name “South Peel Hospital”.
Residents voted in favour of building a hospital on December 12, 1953, and after a review, the Ontario Government approved the building of a larger 115-bed hospital in early 1954. In 1955 the Hospital Auxiliary formed with Augusta Adamson as its first President. A $2 membership fee drew 1,700 members and a sewing group formed, supplying all linens to the hospital.
The official sod-turning took place on Friday, April 13, 1956 at a farm field at Centre Road and Upper Middle Road (Hurontario Street and The Queensway). Some 44 students representing all the schools in South Peel participated in the sod turning. The cornerstone for the hospital was officially laid on May 30, 1957 by Lieutenant-Governor L.O. Breithaupt. The South Peel Hospital admitted its first patient, Ann Beatty, on May 19, 1958.
Over the years, the hospital has undergone several expansions and additions: 1964, 1968 and 1983, amongst others. On January 2, 1970 the hospital was officially renamed the Mississauga Hospital.
On April 1, 1998, The Mississauga Hospital and The Queensway General Hospital in Etobicoke merged, and on an interim basis, the new organization was called “The Mississauga-Queensway Hospital”.
At ceremonies on October 6, 1998, the hospital’s new name “Trillium Health Centre” was unveiled at events at both the Mississauga and the Etobicoke/Toronto locations. In 2011, the Trillium Health Centre merged with the Credit Valley Hospital to form the Trillium Health Partners, and the former South Peel Hospital is once again called the “Mississauga Hospital”.
Since 1958 the Mississauga Hospital has been on the front lines of health care in our city. We can look at the many challenges they have faced, including the Mississauga Train Derailment and evacuation in 1979, and, of course, the current COVID-19 crisis. The hospital has provided, and continues to provide, a beacon of light, hope, and care for countless patients and their families in their darkest hours.
NOTE: This story was previously published as part of the Way Back Wednesday series in Modern Mississauga by Heritage Mississauga.
It can be found on their website here: https://www.modernmississauga.com/main/2020/5/27/the-history-of-mississaugas-first-hospital
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