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Our history

The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), and the Department of Paediatrics share an exciting history which began shortly after the birth of our country. In the 1870s, Toronto was a city of approximately 68,000 citizens with Bloor Street as its northern border. Visitors and merchants upon entering the city were confronted by a toll-gate situated on Bloor Street which demanded 10 cents for a loaded cart and one cent for each goat, sheep, or pig. Downtown Toronto was the slum centre of the city and was comprised of decrepit shanties, lack of plumbing, but plenty of outdoor privies. Approximately 50 per cent of all recorded deaths were in children less than 10 years of age and were primarily the result of infectious diseases, diarrhea and malnutrition. There were no medical facilities designed for children and epidemics which killed countless children came with relentless frequency.

Early years at SickKids
Past paediatricians-in-chief
In recent years