TCM's Early Beginnings: Healthcare

Concerns for public health arose during the latter part of the 19th century and into the early 20th, due to the rising mortality rate of children. Following Great Britain’s lead, sanitation campaigns to clean up the city were under way. For example, municipal waste removal, sanitization of water, and pasteurized milk was introduced into Toronto. As well, when schooling became mandatory during the latter half of the 19th century, school children were immunized against diseases such as smallpox and diphtheria or were monitored for more chronic afflictions such as tuberculosis and eye infections. This was a good start to good public health in Canada but remained haphazard for some years to come.

In 1898 a group of woman doctors lead by Dr. Jenny Gray Wildman, faculty of Ontario Medical College for Women, founded a dispensary for poor women at the Toronto City Mission Sackville Street location. This later evolved to become Women's College Hospital. (Reference: The Age of Light, Soap, and Water: Moral Reform in English Canada, 1885-1925 by Mariana Valverde)