Around 1909, Joseph Kilgour established one of the first country estates on Bayview, when he bought the two-hundred-acre Pabst farm and named it Sunnybrook Farms. Bayview was still a country lane and the bridge north of Eglinton flooded frequently, so the Sunnybrook followed what is now Sutherland Drive. Joseph was President of the Canada Paper Company Limited, but he was devoted to his farming and his fine horses. Sunnybrook house was large and rambling. The oak panelling, open gallery, beamed ceilings, and hunting trophies created the flavour of an English country manor.
As the Kilgours had no children, his widow donated Sunnybrook Farm to the city to be used as a park. The Kilgour barns, which are still standing, were preserved at the centre of the large park, have served as a riding school and stabling for the Metropolitan Police. The Kilgour fields are now used for sports and recreation. In 1946, The Sunnybrook Military Hospital, was opened with the approval the Kilgour trustees. It has since grown to become Sunnybrook Health Science Centre. The C.N.I.B. and Bloorview MacMillan Centre now occupy the part of the former Kilgour estate south of Burke Brook . (For more about Sunnybrook Farm and the Kilgours, see “The Estates of Old Toronto” by Liz Lundell).
Sunnybrook Hospital or Sunnybrook Health. Science Centre as it is now known, opened in 1948 as a military hospital to care for the many wounded and invalid veterans from the last two wars. In the 1960s it responded to the need for acute care in the general populace by becoming the first university teaching complex in Ontario. Today, it is a 1,300 bed hospital caring for acute and long term care patients. Located on 96 acres of parkland, Sunnybrook’s once- isolated site is now in the center of Metro Toronto.
In 1998, Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre was created by the amalgamation of three formerly separate hospitals: Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, Women’s College Hospital, and Orthopaedic and Arthritic Hospital. Inpatient services were consolidation at Sunnybrook and Women’s College was entitled the Women’s College Hospital Ambulatory Care Centre. The amalgamation lasted until 2005, when a new government decided that Women’s College Hospital would again become a self-governed health-care facility.