Victoria Hospital (London, Ontario)
|South West Local Health Integration Network|
|Location||800 Commissioners Road East
London, Ontario, Canada
|Affiliated university||The University of Western Ontario|
|Helipad||TC LID: CPW2|
Victoria Hospital, in London, Ontario, Canada, is a large teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Western Ontario. Along with University Hospital it is part of London Health Sciences Centre. The dedication of Victoria Hospital occurred November 16, 1899. At that time, it replaced the London General Hospital which had been created in 1875.
The first hospital on the grounds of Victoria Park was part of a military barracks. "The Framed Hospital" built in 1838 eventually became Victoria Hospital which today is one of the oldest and largest teaching hospitals in Canada.
London General Hospital
Victoria Hospital traces its origins to the London General Hospital, constructed to replace an aging log cabin hospital operating in Victoria Park. The site of the London General Hospital, located on Ottoway Avenue (now South Street), was dedicated in 1874. The hospital opened the next year, with 56 beds on two floors.
In 1881, the Western University in London sought to create a Faculty of Medicine but lacked an appropriate facility. The following spring, the university purchased a cottage on St. James Street near the university campus to be renovated for a classroom facility. The medical school entered into an agreement with City Council to use the hospital for medical training, in exchange for an annual fee of $5.00 per student. The first class of sixteen students began instruction on October 1, 1882.:30 The hospital itself opened a training program for nurses the following year, making London the third city in Canada with such a program.:38
Growth of the city led to hospital overcrowding in the late nineteenth century. The hospital added a small expansion in 1890, however it was clear that the building would not be adequate for the city's long-term needs.:53
As Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee passed in 1897, the English monarch requested that all memorials of the event be dedicated to humanitarian purposes. The Queen's request and popularity presented an opportunity for the City to justify the cost of expanding the hospital. Throughout 1897-8, the City Council, local doctors, and public groups debated plans for construction of an expansion to the London General Hospital, or construction of a new hospital, and whether to expand on the current site or obtain land for a new hospital. In June 1898, after an election and much debate, City Council approved construction of a new 140-bed facility on the same site, at a cost of $70,000, with a plan to convert the existing hospital to a nurses' residence.:55-64
Victoria Hospital officially opened on November 16, 1899. Rooms in the new hospital's private ward were furnished by local benefactors, while public wards were furnished by a last-minute bulk purchase by the Hospital Trust from local factories. Due to lack of funds, the conversion of the old hospital was postponed indefinitely.:63-64
- Martin, Chip (January 23, 2013). "Demolition of antiquated South St. Victoria Hospital campus begins in February". The London Free Press. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
- Ball, Norman R.; Sullivan, John Robert (1985). Growing to Serve: A History of Victoria Hospital, London, Ontario. London, Ontario: Victoria Hospital Corporation.