September 17, 2013

SickKids towers over Bay with new Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning


  • On September 17, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) celebrates the official opening of the Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning. It is the new home for 2,000 researchers, trainees and staff, who are currently scattered throughout six buildings.
  • This $400-million tower, with 21 storeys of research space, was designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc. and constructed by EllisDon. It is believed to be the largest child health research tower in the world and demonstrates SickKids’ investment in advancing paediatric research.
  • SickKids Foundation has achieved the $200-million fundraising goal thanks to the generosity of more than 13,000 donors, including a transformational gift of $40 million from Peter Gilgan. This is the largest capital campaign in SickKids history.
  • From the state-of-the-art laboratories and learning facilities to multi-level interactive spaces (common areas), the entire building was designed to enhance collaboration. The tower is divided into research neighbourhoods where scientists and trainees from a variety of disciplines will now work side by side; generating new collaborations and out-of-the-box solutions.  
  • The Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning, located at the corner of Bay and Elm Streets, will not only change the face of the Discovery District, but will be a catalyst, sparking interactions that will fuel innovation and accelerate improvements in child health outcomes both locally and around the world.
  • The common “water cooler” areas provide scientists, clinicians and students with a space to gather and incubate new solutions to treating childhood diseases. This is critical for translating research discovery into clinical impact.
  • In line with SickKids’ vision, Healthier Children. A Better World., the development of the new building has been designed to be environmentally sustainable. The Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning aims to achieve LEED® Gold Certification and will set the standard for energy efficiency and sustainable infrastructure in Toronto’s Discovery District.
  • Funding and support for the Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning was provided by the Canada Foundation for Innovation; Government of Canada; Government of Ontario; City of Toronto; Peter Gilgan, lead donor and Founder and CEO of Mattamy Homes; more than 13,000 donors and corporate partners; SickKids Foundation; and long-term borrowing.


“The opening of the Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning is our bold and demonstrable commitment to the vital importance of research as the foundation to exemplary paediatric care.  This building, and the activities that will take place within these walls, symbolize our promise to continue the strong legacy of science, discovery, innovation and learning at SickKids.”
- Mary Jo Haddad, President and CEO, The Hospital for Sick Children

“Collaboration is at the heart of the Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning.  The neighbourhood concept will bring scientists, clinicians and educators together to address the many problems of child health in new ways by sparking creativity, driving discovery and translating new findings into improved outcomes. Discoveries made here will impact not just SickKids patients and families, but child health locally, nationally and around the world.”
- Dr. Janet Rossant, Chief of Research, SickKids Research Institute

“Learning has always been a part of the fabric of SickKids. The Gilgan Centre will provide a high-tech and innovative backdrop for learning and enhanced communication between scientists, clinicians and trainees, here at SickKids and internationally.”
- Dr. Jonathan Kronick, Chief of Education, SickKids Learning Institute  

“This campaign was fuelled by the generosity of the community who saw the potential of bringing child health researchers together under one roof. On behalf of everyone at SickKids, we extend our sincere gratitude to Tim Hockey, Campaign Chair, Peter Gilgan for his transformational gift, and the more than 13,000 donors who contributed. Their support has been inspirational and we can’t thank them enough.”
- Ted Garrard, President and CEO, SickKids Foundation

“This impressive building would not have been possible without the hard work and cooperation of many partners across different sectors. Our government is proud to have supported the Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning. This project will provide researchers with the cutting-edge tools they need to improve the health and quality of life of Canadians today and into the future.”
- The Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State (Science and Technology, and Federal  
 Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)

“Ontario is proud to help support the Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning. This new centre will emphasize collaboration and nurture our scientists’ ideas, helping them produce their best work – meaning better lives for children and their families, here in Ontario and around the world.”
- The Honourable Reza Moridi, Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation

“Bringing together scientists from different backgrounds in this high-tech facility will transform the current state of child health care. The Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning will generate new insights into the causes of illnesses, and new approaches to prevention and treatment for sick children.”  
- Dr. Gilles G. Patry, President and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation

About The Hospital for Sick Children
The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is recognized as one of the world’s foremost paediatric health-care institutions and is Canada’s leading centre dedicated to advancing children’s health through the integration of patient care, research and education. Founded in 1875 and affiliated with the University of Toronto, SickKids is one of Canada’s most research-intensive hospitals and has generated discoveries that have helped children globally.  Its mission is to provide the best in complex and specialized family-centred care; pioneer scientific and clinical advancements; share expertise; foster an academic environment that nurtures health-care professionals; and champion an accessible, comprehensive and sustainable child health system. SickKids is proud of its vision for Healthier Children. A Better World. For more information, please visit

About Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning
The Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning brings together researchers from different scientific disciplines and a variety of clinical perspectives, to accelerate discoveries, new knowledge and their application to child health — a different concept from traditional research building designs. The facility physically connects SickKids science, discovery and learning activities to its clinical operations. Designed by award-winning architects Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc. with a goal to achieve LEED® Gold Certification for sustainable design, the Gilgan Centre will create an architectural landmark as the eastern gateway to Toronto’s Discovery District. The Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning is funded by a grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Government of Ontario, philanthropist Peter Gilgan and community support.

About SickKids Foundation
Established in 1972, SickKids Foundation raises funds on behalf of The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and is the largest charitable funder of child health research, learning and care in Canada. Philanthropy is a critical source of funding for SickKids -- one of the world’s foremost paediatric health-care institutions. For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013, SickKids Foundation made an unprecedented investment of $92.6 million in children’s health, a direct result of generous community and corporate support. For more information, please visit

For more information, please contact:

Matet Nebres
The Hospital for Sick Children

Sandra Chiovitti
SickKids Foundation

See our commemorative video 

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