Site of the Christie Street Veterans' Hospital
Photo by Alan L Brown - Posted September, 2006
Photo by Alan L Brown - Posted September, 2006
Photo Source - Sunnybrook Archives
On a post in front of a rock at the southwest corner of Christie Street and Lambertlodge Avenue is this 1996 Toronto Historical Board plaque. Here's what it says:
Coordinates: 43.673742 -79.422467
On this site stood the Christie Street Veterans' Hospital, originally the National Cash Register Company Factory. In 1919 the factory was converted to the Toronto Military Orthopaedic Hospital. Although most of the soldiers had been wounded in World War I (1914-1918), a few residents had been disabled in the Boer War (1899-1902) and the Fenian Raids of 1866. In 1936 the name was changed to the Christie Street Veterans' Hospital. The influx of wounded veterans during World War II (1939-1945) caused overcrowding in the already inadequate facility. This led to the construction, in 1948, of Sunnybrook Hospital. The Christie Street building was then occupied by a seniors' home, Lambert Lodge, named in honour of Padre Lt.Col. Sidney Lambert S.M. O.B.E., a veteran of both World Wars. Demolished in 1981, it made way for the construction of this Christie Gardens Apartments and Care Facility.
Here are the visitors' comments for this page.
> Posted March 10, 2017
I remember visiting my Great Uncle Arsene Lortie in the mid 1950s. He was gassed in the First World War and as far as I know spent the rest of his life in Sunnybrook Hospital. Is there anyway I can get access to his records? I am working on my family tree and would love to be able to include his information. Although I was a very young girl at the time 60 years later I can still vividly picture the horrific site of so many wounded vets as we walked down the hall.
Sharon Baroni firstname.lastname@example.org
> Posted January 26, 2017
My father was a Spanish doctor and used to help at Lambert Lodge until he died in January 1967. It would be incredible for me if anybody had any memories of him. His name was Juan Antonio Coderque, and in 1967 he was 38 years old.
Isabel Coderque email@example.com
> Posted March 2, 2016
Like many who have entered comments, I am wondering how to find records of patients at the hospital. Has anyone had any luck? Is there anything I can do in the way of research? My particular interest is in one Melbourne Fearman who was, according to my information, being treated there when he died in June, 1924.
Jim DeWolf firstname.lastname@example.org
> Posted January 25, 2015
Hi there. My great grandfather carved the wood at Lambert Lodge and I have never seen it. Does anyone have any pictures of inside the hospital? I guess it would be door frames or some other ornate stuff. I don't know, just what my grandmother told me. email@example.com
> Posted August 28, 2014
I have found a piece of art (see below) done by a person who resided at the hospital. Edmond Chapman "Chappie" was paralyzed during WW1 and created this in 1936. He died in 1938. This information was on the back of the artwork. He used morse code as an inscription, "La union fait la force". Interesting piece that I would like to see go back to a family member if any exist.
Thank you for your time.
Kirk Ralph, Sault Ste Marie Ont. firstname.lastname@example.org
> Posted August 3, 2014
Hi. My Father Robert John Williams, was an orderly at the hospital. He played the piano and my sisters Betty and Margaret both sang or danced for the troops. In the Star paper they named hospitals that took care of veterans, but did not name Christie Street. Wonder why.
Thanks. Joan Burns email@example.com
> Posted August 1, 2014
Hello. I am wondering if there is any way to look up patient records for this hospital? I am looking for records from WW1 but I am not sure what year. I just have a name and a description of an injury treated at the hospital.
Kind regards, Devin Richards firstname.lastname@example.org
> Posted July 24, 2014
My great grandfather Benjamin Faulkner was a patient at the soldiers hospital after being gassed and buried alive during WW 1. I am interested to know if his records are available. I used to visit him when I was little and have pictures but would like to know more about him and his medical history. Are there records available? email@example.com.
Thanks. Vicki Best. BFM Belleville secretary
> Posted March 3, 2014
Does anyone know if it's possible to access patient files, or any other information, for the Christie Street Veterans Hospital? My grandfather was a patient there in 1933.
Thank you ~ Kelly
> Posted December 13, 2013
This is a very interesting site. So many people want to find out what happened to their wounded relatives, myself included! Is there any way of finding out where these soldiers were cared for when they returned from the Front in Europe; if they were patients here - and what their lives would have been like here? I am following up the story of my great uncle Robert S McCracken who was in the 52nd Battalion of the CEF and lost an arm and a leg in the First World War. I know he died at Sunnybrook Hospital, but is this Christie Street hospital where he would have come to first? Did the amputees live here and work here when they were able? Would he have remained in the care of the health service here and been transferred to Sunnybrook as the Christie Street centre closed, or would he have been discharged into the community to work as best he could and then have entered Sunnybrook at a later date when he needed treatment again as an elderly man? Any help would be gratefully received. Thank you.
> Posted November 10, 2013
My Mom worked on the switchboard at Christie Street Hospital. I sometimes would go and meet her after her shift was over. I saw many wounded veterans. Some had no limbs. It was so sad and I will never forget them. Lest we forget!
> Posted January 29, 2013
Frank Smith...perhaps your father took care of mine...my dad spent time at Christie Street..he was an amputee/Operation Windsor and ret'd on the Hospital ship Aba to the Christie Street Hospital....in fact my dad was voted the Christie Street Pin-up Boy....would anyone know where I could get that picture....my dad gave me the paper clipping and I still can't find it...can anyone help?
Thank you. His daughter Peggy
> Posted July 19, 2012
In addition to my post of March 23, 2012, I have a picture of the machine shop at Christie Street Hospital with three men working at lathes if anyone is interested.
> Posted March 23, 2012
My father, Frank Smith was Foreman of the Machine Shop at Christie Street Hospital from ? until his untimely death at the age of 53 in 1945. He was also listed as being a Limb Maker. At his funeral, flowers were received from The Boy's from Lyndhurst Lodge & Paraplegic Assoc., Staff of the Limb Factory and Major and Mrs. Bateman.
> Posted March 15, 2012
Regarding the January 22, 2012 comment: John mcFadden's death certificate is now available on ancestry.com. Cause of death listed as hypostatic pneumonia and arterio-sclerosis and hypertension. Prior to hospital he resided at 28 Ryding Ave Toronto. Born in Quebec. Aged 78 at death. I hope the person interested will see this posting.
Moments from Margaret
> Posted February 11, 2012
Re: post Jun 23 2010: Hello, I recently learned my great-grandfather had spent some time at Lambert Lodge in the early 60s and came across this site while looking up the history of the hospital. As I was reading the comments section, the Jun 23 entry about a patient named Michael Ewanyshyn caught my attention. I have been researching my family history and my mother's Uncle -- William Macdonald -- was also a POW captured at Dieppe. I have been reading his War diary and William wrote of being held at Stalag 8B. He has a list of fellow soldiers that were in his company, and remarkably, a M Ewanyshyn is among them, with the abbreviation 'repat' next to his name. Wanted to share this discovery.
> Posted January 22, 2012
My 2nd great grand uncle, John mcFadden, died at the Christie Street Hospital, 29 Aug 1938. He was in WW1.
> Posted October 23, 2011
I just stumbled across this page as I was searching for info on the Christie Street Hospital. My grandfather, George William Owttrim, a veteran of WW1, was a cabinet maker by trade. He became a specialist in the making of orthopaedic appliances after the war. He worked at Christie Street and then at Sunnybrook Hospital creating artificial limbs for the veterans.
> Posted February 13, 2011
My 2x great uncle was a patient in this hospital from January 21 to January 25 1933..James Harry Kerr. He was a veteran but the cause of death was hemorrhage from an ulcer. ,The sign says the name was changed to Veterans Hospital in 1936 but the death record suggest the name was already in use.
> Posted June 25, 2010
My grandfather Joseph Connors, a veteran of WW11, died at that hospital on February 27, 1948.
> Posted June 23, 2010
My father, Michael Ewanyshyn, spent some time at Christie Street Hospital also. He was one of the first exchange prisoners at the time. He was wounded and captured by the Germans during the raid on Dieppe,in August 1942. He spent about a year at the P.O.W. camp Stalag 8B. He had his right leg amputated at the knee sometime in the early spring of 1944. I have a black and white photo of him taken around this time. He is sitting up in his hospital bed. Also he has his voting registration card.
> Posted June 15, 2010
Hello. This is a very interesting piece. Is there any way of tracking down patients who were at the hospital, particularly 1943-1945? My father spent his 21st birthday there. Also, a neighbour at our family cottage was there, and I believe my fiancee's stepfather was there as well. I would really like to find out if they were all there at the same time. Another interesting point is the fact that my aunt, my father's sister, currently lives at Christie Gardens, and it was at the hospital that my aunt introduced my mother to my father!
> Posted May 14, 2010
This is a fascinating bit of history about the neighbourhood. Thank you.
> Posted July 4, 2009
My father was one of the WWII wounded veterans that was sent to Christie Street Hospital and in fact was voted the Christie street Hospital Pin-up boy........unfortunately we lost the picture but I do remember seeing it.....does anyone know how I would track down the newspaper article showing him as their pin-up boy? his daughter Peggy
> Posted May 4, 2009
This is an informative bit of history. My great-grandfather, Joseph Hoare died in that hospital 26 Dec 1938. He lied about his age and went to War in 1916 along with his sons. Their luck held and they all returned home safe.
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