McMaster University

History of
Health Care in Hamilton

Scope of Search

Henderson Hospital Drawing

Juravinski (formerly Henderson) Hospital

By 1913 the Hamilton General Hospital was overcrowded. Wounded soldiers returning from the World War I increased the problem. It was decided to build a convalescent hospital on the escarpment because of its excellent view and fresh air. The decision was controversial because doctors in particular objected to its relative inaccessibility. However 17 acres were purchased for the hospital complex. The first building of the Mount Hamilton Hospital, opened in April 1917, was a 100-bed veterans hospital. In 1918 a nurses residence was added. A maternity hospital was built in 1932 but because of the economic depression there was no money to furnish it. The hospital sat empty for 6 years and finally opened in 1938.

In 1954 the 322-bed Nora-Frances Henderson Convalescent Hospital was built on the same site. It was named after Nora-Frances Henderson who in 1931 became the first woman in Canada elected to a city Board of Control. She served on Hamilton's City Council for 16 years and was an outspoken advocate for citizen rights.

In 1962 the Hamilton General Hospital amalgamated with the Nora-Frances Henderson Convalescent Hospital and the Mount Hamilton Hospital to form the Hamilton Civic Hospitals.

In 1965 the two adjacent hospitals were physically linked and renamed the Henderson General Hospital. The Hamilton Civic Hospitals amalgamated with Chedoke-McMaster Hospitals in 1997 to form Hamilton Health Sciences.

The Hamilton General Hospital was redeveloped in 2010 and renamed Juravinski Hospital after Charles Juravinski, former owner of the Flamboro Downs racetrack. He and his wife Margaret donated $43 million to Hamilton city hospitals.