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Our History
1913

1913

“We can’t have our old folks sleeping in the park. Go knock door-to-door. Tell the people what’s the matter and ask for donations!” Slova Greenberg, President, Ezras Noshem (“helping women”) Society

1918

1918

Thanks to Slova Greenberg, an active member of Ezras Noshem - a women's mutual benefit society, the Toronto Jewish Old Folks Home opens at 29 Cecil Street in Downtown Toronto.

1920s-1930s

1920s-1930s

The adjacent houses are purchased and the home now cares for 75 residents. Part of the building is designated as a hospital with medical care donated by Jewish doctors.

1948

1948

A 25-acre tract of land is purchased to build a new home for the aged and hospital on Bathurst Street.

1950

1950

Construction begins on the 25-acre piece of land that would one day become Baycrest.

1953

1953

The Atkinson Foundation provides a grant of $100,000 to design Canada’s first comprehensive geriatric medical program.

1954

1954

Residents move to a combined Jewish Home for the Aged and Baycrest Hospital on Bathurst Street – a first in Ontario. The new Mount Sinai Hospital begins a four-week intern rotation at Baycrest – the first geriatric rotation of its kind in Canada, and probably in North America. Dr. Charles Markson is Baycrest’s first Physician-in-Chief (1954-1964).

1955

1955

The Women's Auxiliary was formed with Dora Till – a volunteer since 1949 - as the founding president.

1956

1956

Sam Ruth, a pioneer in health-care administration, becomes Baycrest’s chief executive officer, a position he holds until 1980.

1959

1959

Baycrest Community Day Centre for Seniors is introduced – the first of its kind in Ontario.

1962

1962

Construction begins at the New Jewish Home for the Aged, c.1962.

1963

1963

Dr. Wulf Grobin embarks on a 30-year study showing diabetes and the need for anti-diabetic medication can be curtailed through diet, exercise and weight control.

1964

1964

Dr. Henry Himel – Physician-in-Chief (1964-1977)

1967

1967

The organization is officially incorporated as Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care.

1968

1968

The new Jewish Home for the Aged, Abe and Elsie Posluns Building opens and Baycrest Hospital occupies the old building.

Late 1960s

Late 1960s

“Traditionally, the continuum of care has been viewed as a straight line, starting in the community, proceeding through the general hospital and ending in the nursing home. To be fully developed, it must be viewed as a dynamic circle.” – Sam Ruth, Baycrest CEO, and Stephen Rudin, Hospital Administrator

1970

1970

An acute care unit opens – the first to be approved in a chronic care hospital.

1976

1976

The Terraces of Baycrest, an assisted living residence for seniors, is built on the Baycrest campus.

1977

1977

The Joseph E. and Minnie Wagman Centre, a recreational complex for seniors, opens next door to the Terraces.

1980

1980

The Baycrest Foundation is opened with the goal of raising funds for programs and seniors' care.

1983

1983

The first Behavioural Neurology Unit in Canada opens in Baycrest Hospital to serve patients with dementia. The Board of Directors identifies research and education in aging as part of Baycrest’s mandate.

1985

1985

The Baycrest cafeteria opens and begins serving Kosher food to residents, staff, volunteers, and visitors.

1986

1986

The new Baycrest Hospital, Ben and Hilda Katz Building, is the only geriatric hospital in Canada.

1987

1987

A new day program is established at the Samuel Lunenfeld Mountainview Club, offering respite to families caring for seniors with cognitive disorders.

1988

1988

Baycrest is a founding partner in Metro Toronto’s Regional Geriatric Program, an outreach service for older people living at home.

1989

1989

The new Rotman Research Institute recruits top scientists to collaborate on research into brain and behaviour changes in aging. Baycrest is formally affiliated as an academic centre of the University of Toronto.

1990

1990

The on-site Esther Exton Child Care Centre opens for staff and the community.

1991

1991

“The Rotman Research Institute promises to be one of the premier institutions in the world for the study of brain-behaviour connections.” — Dr. Jeffrey Cummings, University of California

1992

1992

Memory expert Dr. Endel Tulving joins the Rotman Research Institute to continue his groundbreaking work with a focus on aging and memory disorders. Rotman Research Institute scientist and 2005 Gairdner International Award winner

1993

1993

“The culture of Baycrest is one that embraces a shared vision, teamwork, effective communication, and a sincere commitment to quality. Client programs are innovative and there is documented evidence of exemplary care.” — The report of the Canadian Council on Health Facilities Accreditation

1994

1994

Rotman scientists use new Event-Related Potentials (ERP) technology to study neural activity in the brain.

1995

1995

The Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation Unit conducts long-term studies on health issues in aging and evaluates clinical programs.

1995

1995

The first Barrie 2 Baycrest (B2B) event is held, organized by Stan and Susan Feldman, Larry Saltsman, and Michelle Levine. Over the past 21 years, the B2B has raised more than $11 million for the therapeutic recreation programs at Baycrest.

1996

1996

The Ben and Hilda Katz Centre for Gerontological Social Work at Baycrest is the first university-affiliated social work research program located in a caregiving setting.

1997

1997

The Rotman Research Institute is ranked among the top five brain research centres in the world by an internationally recognized panel of scientists.

1998

1998

The joint Baycrest/University of Toronto Max and Gianna Glassman Chair in Neuropsychology is created.

1999

1999

A study by Rotman scientist Dr. Randy McIntosh shows older adults perform just as well as young adults on visual, short-term memory tests, but that older adults use different parts of the brain.

2000

2000

The new 472-bed Apotex Centre, Jewish Home for the Aged and opens its doors.

2001

2001

Seniors move into the Reuben Cipin Healthy Living Community (2 Neptune Dr.), a condominium-style life lease building. Rotman scientists discover link between high-fat diets and poorer brain health.

2002

2002

An Internet-based support program is developed for isolated seniors caring for spouses with dementia

2003

2003

Baycrest is a partner in Canada’s first Centre for Stroke Recovery, a virtual centre spearheaded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. The Sam and Ida Ross Memory Clinic, an out-patient service for seniors with memory disorders, is established with a record $10-million gift.

2003

2003

The Memory Link program trains people with amnesia to use hand-held electronic organizers to remain independent. The Rotman Research Institute is “a premier international centre for the study of human brain function. Rotman researchers have provided pioneering insights into the mechanisms of normal aging and neurological and psychiatric disease.” — Report of an international team of scientists following a review of the RRI

2004

2004

The innovative Brain Health Centre Clinics provides out-patient care for mood, memory and stroke disorders. A partnership with Sunnybrook and St. John’s Rehab creates the Neuroscience Alliance project, a continuum of care for victims of stroke. Baycrest is the first long-term care facility in Canada to adopt Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) technology.

2004

2004

Baycrest On-Line Documentation (BOLD), an electronic health record system, is introduced. Caring for Aging Holocaust Survivors: A Practice Manual for health-care professionals, support staff and families is published. An external review of the Kunin-Lunenfeld Applied Research Unit finds it “a unique centre in Canada and perhaps in North America”

2005

2005

A new state-of-the-art MRI scanner is added to other on-site brain imaging technology to permit cutting edge research of the human brain thanks to donor funding.

2006

2006

Baycrest leads an international project to develop the world’s first functional, virtual brain. The fully renovated Shirley and Philip Granovsky Palliative Care Unit admits its first patients.

2006

2006

The Baycrest Foundation hosts the first Scotiabank Pro-Am for Alzheimer's Hockey Tournament. Since its inception, the hockey tournament has raised more than $30 million.

2007

2007

The Elkie Adler MS Clinic opens. A landmark Rotman study shows bilingualism has a protective effect in delaying the onset of dementia.

2008

2008

The Centre for Brain Fitness is created to develop products to improve brain health. “Our government is proud to support Baycrest and its invaluable work, which is already leading to the discovery of important new tools and approaches to treating brain diseases associated with aging.” — Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation John Wilkinson on announcing $10 million in funding for the Centre for Brain Fitness

2009

2009

Baycrest and MaRS launch the for-profit company, Cogniciti, to develop and market brain fitness products.

2010

2010

Scientists find more evidence in support of bilingualism delaying symptoms of alzheimer's disease.

2010

2010

Additional funding for The Virtual Brain project from the U.S.-based James S. McDonnell Foundation brings the total to $13.8 million. The innovative BRAVO research study examines if volunteering can boost brain health for retirees.

2011

2011

The Next Generation of Baycrest is an ambitious new plan to achieve Baycrest’s goal of becoming the global centre of excellence in brain health and aging.

2012

2012

May 9 - His Excellency Shimon Peres, President of Israel, attends Brain Research Roundtable, hosted by Baycrest Health Sciences.

2012

2012

Baycrest releases the world's first science-based cookbook, Mindfull, to maintain brain health during aging.

2013

2013

The Jacob Family Theatre opens at the Posluns Auditorium as a tribute to Ellis Jacob’s family members who have a long history with Baycrest and a deep love of film.

2014

2014

Baycrest Global Solutions Inc. (BGS), the commercial arm of Baycrest Health Sciences, signs its first major contract with a Chinese Business partner to help the world’s most populated country build high quality seniors’ housing and skills capacity in geriatric care.

2015

2015

The Governments of Canada and Ontario officially announce $123.5 million for the new Baycrest Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation (C-ABHI), a national hub and network bringing together science, healthcare, and industry partners dedicated to the development, validation, commercialization, dissemination, and adoption of brain health and seniors care products and services.

2015

2015

Baycrest is awarded Accreditation with Exemplary Standing, the top honour of Accreditation Canada, for its quality, client outcomes, and health system performance.

2016

2016

Baycrest launches The TELUS Health Brain Project, a large-scale outdoor exhibit that brings brain health, art, and imagination to the streets of Toronto, to raise funds, start a public conversation about brain health and bring awareness to diseases like Alzheimer’s. Co-chaired by Erica & Noah Godfrey, and Ben & Jessica Mulroney. Actress Sarah Rafferty was also involved as the project's Global Ambassador.

2017

2017

Baycrest Health Sciences is recognized by the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project as one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People.

2018

2018

Baycrest celebrates its centennial year.