Toronto East General now Michael Garron Hospital after family's $50M gift

Michael Garron's mother promised her dying son he would never be forgotten. Today, she was assured he never would be after her family donated $50 million to the Toronto hospital where he was born.

Historic donation will improve patient care, hospital officials say

Michael Garron, whose arm was amputated during his battle with cancer, smiles in a family Christmas photo. Today, his family gifted $50 million to the Toronto East General Hospital. (Garron family)

Before he died, Michael Garron's mother promised the 13-year-old he would never be forgotten. Today, the Garron family was assured he never would be, after they donated $50 million to the Toronto East General Hospital which will be renamed after their son.

Myron and Berna Garron wanted to honour their late son, who was born at the hospital and died at age 13 after battling a rare soft tissue cancer for seven years. 

In recognition, the hospital will be called the Michael Garron Hospital from this day forward. The donation is the largest gift ever to a teaching hospital in Canada, the chair of the hospital's board Michael Burns said.

"We will make you proud to have trusted us with your son's name," Burns told the Garrons at a news conference on Wednesday.

Hospital officials called the donation an "unprecedented gift" in a release. The money will help the facility buy a new CT scanner and other new medical equipment, and also attract more talented doctors and researchers.

Previously, the Garron family gave $30 million to the Hospital for Sick Children, which is also in Toronto, and millions to hospitals in Nova Scotia as well. 

Myron Garron, who is originally from Nova Scotia, made his fortune running a successful automotive manufacturing business.

At Wednesday's news conference, he told the story of the moment he first laid eyes on Michael, his first son, at Toronto East General back in 1962, but remained humble about today's gift. The donation, he said, is a symbol of the "mutual admiration" between him and those who work at the hospital.

Hospital undergoing redevelopment

The hospital, on Coxwell Avenue north of Danforth Avenue, is undergoing a major redevelopment that will add an eight-storey patient tower including six floors of in-patient beds.

In 2013, Rate My Hospital — an investigation run by CBC's the fifth estate — gave Toronto East General a B rating.

According to the hospital's website, every year, it:

  • Serves over 20,000 patients.
  • Has more than 70,000 emergency room visits and 200,000 outpatient visits.
  • Delivers 3,200 babies.

The facility opened in 1929.


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