Farewell to the Ruddy and Gage Buildings

Have you ever basked in the warmth of a sunroom in the Ruddy Building, while appreciating the green expanse from its window view? Or, enjoyed the light-filled spaces of the Gage Building? Those are memories to treasure.

For several decades, the Ruddy and Gage Buildings have served as comforting havens to countless patients and vital work spaces for staff at West Park Healthcare Centre.

As we prepare for their imminent demolition as part of the hospital's redevelopment, let’s reflect on the cherished memories and anecdotes associated with these historical structures. Their impressive legacy will continue to resonate within our community after their physical presence is gone.

Here is a summary retracing their history.

Ruddy Building

Built in 1938, the building was named Ruddy to pay homage to E.L.Ruddy, who was the National Sanitarium’s President from 1934-1938.

Interesting facts:

  • In 1938, the Ruddy Building brought the total bed capacity of the hospital to 650 beds.
  • In 1961, the Ruddy was converted from a dedicated building treating TB patients to caring for non-tuberculosis, chronically ill patients.
  • By 1964, it was the only hospital building in north-western Toronto delivering care to chronically ill patients.
  • In its history of almost 90 years, the Ruddy Building housed many departments, with the most recent being:
  • Assessment Centre
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication Clinic
  • Campus Development
  • Human Resources
  • Ontario Workers Network
  • Pharmasave
  • Physiatry and Psychology Offices
  • Professional Practice
  • Quality and Decision Support
  • Respiratory Rehab Allied Health Offices
  • Seniors Mental Health
  • West Park Foundation

Gage Building

The Gage Building was built in honour of Sir William Gage. Opened as the Gage Transitional Living Centre, the 24-suite building was designed to support mentally alert adults making the transition to independent living within a community environment.

A distinguished entrepreneur of the late 1800s and President of W.J. Gage Publishing, Gage founded the National Sanitarium Association in 1896. In November 1903, he bought the Buttonwood Farm to establish a sanitarium that would research and treat those afflicted by tuberculosis. In 1904, the Toronto Free Hospital for Consumptive Poor opened. Due to Gage's generosity, it was one of the first centres in Canada devoted to treating patients with advanced cases of tuberculosis (TB). 

In 1976, we were renamed West Park Hospital and eventually became West Park Healthcare Centre in 2000.

Interesting facts:

  • The Gage Building marked West Park's inaugural major fundraising capital campaign, expanding not only its physical footprint but also its range of care services.  
  • The Gage Building was officially opened by David R. Peterson, Premier of Ontario in May 1986.
  • In its history of 38 years, it was home to several departments, including:
  • ABI Day Program and Outreach
  • Acquired Brain Injury Behavioural Service (ABIBS)
  • Enhanced Living Unit
  • Long Term Ventilation Centre of Excellence
  • Research

As we prepare to bid farewell to these beloved structures, let us celebrate the profound impact they have had on our lives and community. So here's to the Ruddy and Gage Buildings, symbols of resilience, compassion, and progress. May their legacy live on in the hearts of those they've touched, and may their memory inspire future generations to continue the noble work of healing and caring for others.

Photo Captions

  1. Gage TLC Opening by David Peterson, Premier of Ontario, Debbie Donaldson, Allan Tonks and Health Minister in 1986 (L-R)
  2. Sir William Gage
  3. Ruddy Building