Kingston General Hospital

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Kingston General Hospital
Kingston General Hospital.JPG
Kingston General Hospital is located in Ontario
Kingston General Hospital
Location in Ontario
Location 25 King Street West, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Coordinates 44°13′27″N 76°29′35″W / 44.224167°N 76.493056°W / 44.224167; -76.493056Coordinates: 44°13′27″N 76°29′35″W / 44.224167°N 76.493056°W / 44.224167; -76.493056
Care system Public Medicare (OHIP)
Hospital type Acute care
Affiliated university Queen's School of Medicine
Emergency department Yes
Helipad TC LID: CPJ7
Founded 1832[citation needed]
Lists Hospitals in Canada

The Kingston General Hospital (KGH) is a teaching hospital affiliated with Queen's University located in Kingston, Ontario. The hospital is a partner within Kingston's university hospitals, delivering health care, conducting research and training health care professionals.

As the oldest public hospital in Canada still in operation, Kingston General was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1995.[1][2]


19th century[edit]

In 1832 an Act of Parliament named a commission to "superintend and manage the erection and completion of a hospital in or near the town of Kingston". In 1835 the first building was completed on the site where KGH stands today, on land purchased from Archdeacon George O'Kill Stuart. The building, designed to accommodate 120 patients, remained unoccupied until three years later when the city had the money to buy equipment and furnishings. In 1838 the hospital cared for its first patients, twenty wounded Americans taken prisoner in the Battle of the Windmill during the Rebellion of 1837.

KGH served as Canada's first Parliamentary building. Parliament met in the hospital from the time of the Union of the Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada from 1841 until 1844. The building returned to its original purpose and in 1845 began its part-time continuing operation as a hospital.

The hospital grounds also held the remains of 1,400 Irish immigrants who had died in Kingston in fever sheds along the waterfront, during the typhus epidemic of 1847, while fleeing the Great Famine. Their remains were re-interred to the city's St. Mary's Cemetery in 1966.[3]

A housekeeper-nurse had one helper, the Female Benevolent Society provided volunteers, and doctors took turns offering their services free-of-charge. The hospital cared mainly for the poor until the 20th century. The hospital's affiliation with the Queen's University Faculty of Medicine began in 1854. The Watkins Wing opened in January 1863 to treat patients with infectious diseases. Local businessman John Watkins donated funds for construction of the building. In 1886, the hospital launched a training program for nurses; the last graduating class was in 1974. The Nickle Wing (named after local businessman William Nickle) opened in April 1891. In 1894, the Doran Wing (then a women's hospital) began admitting patients. Its benefactor was foundry-owner Michael Doran. In 1886, KGH became the first Canadian hospital to purchase x-ray apparatus for medical use.[citation needed]

20th century[edit]

The KGH Women's Aid was founded in 1905 and within one year had 110 members. This organization, now known as the KGH Auxiliary, was one of the first of its kind in Ontario. In 1924, Kingston General Hospital suffered from a number of personnel and management problems. Based on the recommendation of Dr. Horace Brittain, the hospital's Board of Governors decided to appoint someone with an administrative rather than medical background to run the hospital. In March 1925, civil engineer R. Fraser Armstrong was appointed superintendent of KGH, a role he would keep until 1957.[4] During the Great Depression, Armstrong developed the Community Cooperative Group Hospital Plan, Ontario's first public health insurance plan.[4][5] In 1932, the entire hospital staff donated five percent of their salaries to the hospital to help offset rate reductions caused by the Depression.[6]


In 1914, the Empire Wing opened with the hospital's first patient rooms designed for private accommodation, an indication that KGH was beginning to care for all members of its community, not just the poor. The Douglas Wing officially opened in October 1925. In 1947, the Victory Wing was completed. Patients from Veterans Affairs Canada were treated here. Victory also housed clinical facilities for the Ontario Cancer Foundation. The Angada Children's Hospital opened in 1953. The hospital chose the name Angada - an Arabic word meaning "to bring help unto you"- in recognition of the support of the Shriners. In 1960, the hospital built the Walter T. Connell Wing, named after the longtime head of the Department of Medicine at KGH and Queen's University. Two more floors were added to the Connell Wing in 1970. The Fraser Armstrong Patient Centre, which offers a range of outpatient clinics, opened its doors in 1975. KGH opened its Emergency Department in 1976. In 1977, the Ronald C. Burr Wing opened with facilities for regional rehabilitation. In 1981, the T. Ashmore Kidd Wing opened with a new operating room, medical records and radiology facilities. Three years later, renovations made way for new facilities including laboratories, ophthalmology, prosthetics, endoscopy, renal unit and a pulmonary function lab; space for the KGH Auxiliary was also added. Named after a prominent Kingston couple known for their contributions to the community (and beyond), the Syl and Molly Apps Medical Research Centre opened in 1987. The Kidd/Davies Patient Tower and new main entrance made their debut in 1989. Among the services available in the new wing were a neonatal intensive-care unit, a renal unit and cardiac services. New magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment was installed at KGH in 1994, making Kingston one of Ontario's regional diagnostic imaging centres. Major renovations to floors 9 and 10 of the hospital's Connell Wing were completed in 1995. The Same Day Admission Centre was built on Dietary 2 in 1997. Major renovations to the Emergency Services area were completed in 1998.

21st century[edit]

Major renovations to the Syl and Molly Apps wing were undertaken in 2002. Sections D&E of the emergency department were renovated and opened in 2003. The Kingston Regional Cancer Centre integrated with KGH and became the Cancer Care South East at KGH in 2004. The Centre for Advanced Urological Research opened at 62 Barrie Street in 2005. A replacement MRI machine was installed in 2005. As of 2009, two new floors are being added to the Kidd wing, and a major expansion of the cancer centre in the Burr wing is being undertaken.

Launched in 2010, the Kingston General Hospital Research Institute (KGHRI)] has a mission to create and advance knowledge that brings evidence into practice for the benefit and empowerment of patients, families and the medical community.[7] The institute is affiliated with a number of other Kingston-based hospitals and the Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen's University, which together receive over $80 million per year in external research funding.[8]

The Research Institute is currently developing the W.J. Henderson Centre, a new 12,000 square foot clinical research space to house a multi-disciplinary hub that brings together scientists, treatment teams, patients and families.[9] The centre will feature modular labs that can be shared by several research teams, as well as patient-friendly observation areas for overnight studies and clinical trials.[10]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kingston General Hospital, Directory of Designations of National Historic Significance of Canada
  2. ^ Kingston General Hospital. Canadian Register of Historic Places.
  3. ^ "The Typhus Epidemic 1847". Ontario's Historical Plaques. Archaeological and Historic Sites Board of Ontario. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "R. Fraser Armstrong fonds". Archeion. Archives Association of Ontatio. Retrieved January 24, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Fraser Armstrong: Fire Victim Was Former Hospital Executive". The Whig - Standard. October 14, 1922. 
  6. ^ Jones, Lyndon (January 14, 1987). "1932: Entire KGH Staff Donates Part of Salaries to Hospital Fund". The Whig - Standard. 
  7. ^ "Feature- In recovery". Kingston Life. Retrieved 26 February 2015. 
  8. ^ "Welcome to Research at Kingston General Hospital". Kingston General Hospital. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  9. ^ "$1 million donation will help fund new Centre for Patient-Oriented Research at Kingston General Hospital". Kingston General Hospital. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  10. ^ "The Centre for Patient-Oriented Research at KGH". University Hospitals Kingston Foundation. Retrieved 26 February 2015. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Site of the Legislative Assembly of the United Provinces of Canada
Succeeded by
St. Anne's Market (Marche Sainte-Anne) - now Place d'Youville, Montreal