Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Tuesday Treasures

Tom the backroads traveller hosts this weekly meme.

August 2018 - Toronto ON

I was looking for more of the 2018 #NoBlankBrains which were at the MaRS building when I found the historical building of the Toronto General Hospital.

The hospital started as a small shed in the old town and was used as a British Army military hospital during the War of 1812, after which it was founded as a permanent institution – York General Hospital – in 1829, at John and King Streets (now home to Bell Lightbox).

In 1855 a new home for the hospital was built on the north side of Gerrard Street, east of Parliament, using a design by architect William Hay. In 1913, the hospital moved to College Street, near its current location, expanding and upgrading over the ensuing years.

The 1913 structure, previously called the College Wing, was eventually sold by the hospital, to become the home of the MaRS Discovery District after a new wing for the TGH was completed and opened in 2002.

I actually started inside the MaRS building from the subway exit. I saw the sign for "Historical Building" which got my curiosity so I followed the signs outside and discovered this plaque and sculpture.

Of course, it's an Abernethy, click on Abernethy in the tags below this post to see more of her work. She has done many famous Canadians.

Drs. James Till and Ernest McCulloch, the pioneers of stem cell science, have been honoured for their achievements with a sculpture located outside of the MaRS building in Toronto. The art piece, by Ontario sculptor Ruth Abernethy, was unveiled September 2017 during the grand opening of the Centre for Advanced Therapeutic Cell Technologies.

The sculpture serves as a reminder of the great Canadian innovation that happened here in Toronto about 60 years ago. Till, a Biophysicist, and McCulloch, a Haematologist, worked at the Ontario Cancer Institute, the research arm of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. They were studying radiation sensitivity on mice when they stumbled upon their discovery of the stem cell which led to multiple further discoveries in medicine such as bone marrow transplantation, and the discovery of cancer stem cells. To honour their achievement, Till and McCulloch were inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2004, became Officers of the Order of Canada, and earned multiple awards for their work.

There is a duplicate sculpture in Vancouver BC.

Here is an interesting article explaining their discovery. Way over my head!

This photo shows the integration of the MaRS Discovery District.

MaRS Discovery District is a not-for-profit corporation founded in Toronto in 2000. Its stated goal is to commercialize publicly funded medical research and other technologies with the help of local private enterprises and as such is a public-private partnership. As part of its mission MaRS says, "MaRS helps create successful global businesses from Canada's science, technology and social innovation." As of 2014, startup companies emerging from MaRS had created more than 4,000 jobs, and in the period of 2011 to 2014 had raised over $750 million in capital investments.

The name MaRS was originally drawn from a file name, and later attributed with the title "Medical and Related Sciences." It has since abandoned this association as it also works in other fields such as information and communications technology, engineering, and social innovation.

Nanoleaf want consumers to buy their energy-efficient LED lighting products because they’re fun and stylish, and because they provide good value.
With assistance from MaRS, Nanoleaf has set up a Toronto office in a third-floor walk-up space on John Street where Nanoleaf will design and sell an expanding range of new lighting products both in Canada and worldwide.


  1. It's a very good use of the building.

    Ruth Abernethy has such a skill at breathing life into her sculptures.

  2. ...Jackie, a beautiful building with a rich history. Ruth Abernethy sure gets a round Canada. Thanks for sharing, enjoy.


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