Dr. Peter Warrian, Chair Wellesley Institute, the Board of Directors, and Rick Blickstead, CEO, are pleased to announce that Toronto’s newest park located on the former site of the Wellesley Central Hospital has been designated by Toronto City Council as the “Wellesley Magill Park”. It honours the hospital’s men and women who so well served the community for over 90 years, the Southeast Toronto community that supported the hospital, and Dennis William Magill, a founder of the Wellesley Institute. The park was designed by Cornelia Oberlander, Canada’s leading landscape architect and a member of the Order of Canada.
Dr. Magill is an active community leader who consistently follows the Wellesley Hospital’s motto – “Jamais Sans Esperance”. He was the first community Director of the Wellesley Hospital, the Chair of its “Staying Alive” campaign, and Chair of the Wellesley Institute for over seven years. In recognition of his contribution, the Board of Directors elected him to a lifetime position as Chair Emeritus.
He had a distinguished academic career as a sociologist at the University of Toronto, and was honoured as Professor Emeritus. In addition, he has held numerous board positions including the Toronto Historical Board, Sherbourne Health Centre, Rekai Centre for Long Term Care, Wellesley Central Residents Inc., Centre for Urban Health Initiatives (University of Toronto), Community Campus Partnerships for Health, and the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network.
Under his leadership, the Wellesley Institute has been committed to transforming the hospital lands into a positive engine of change for the community of southeast Toronto. The site now comprises private and not-for-profit housing, a long-term care centre, and a supportive housing facility in addition to the park.
The Wellesley Institute is Canada’s leading progressive urban health institute exploring solutions to housing and homelessness, newcomer health, health reform, and social innovation, within the focus of health equity.