Fonds OCI fonds - Ontario Cancer Institute/Princess Margaret Hospital fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Ontario Cancer Institute/Princess Margaret Hospital fonds

General material designation

  • Multiple media

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Title is based on contents of fonds.

Level of description


Reference code

CA ON00343 OCI fonds

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1921-1997 (Creation)
    Ontario Cancer Institute/Princess Margaret Hospital
    And accumulation
  • 1921-1951 (Accumulation)
    Ontario Cancer Institute/Princess Margaret Hospital
  • 1921-1951 (Creation)
    Toronto General Hospital. Ontario Institute of Radiotherapy

Physical description area

Physical description

Ca. 1349 cm of textual records.
Ca. 1150 photographs : b&w and col. ; 25.5 x 25.5 cm or smaller.
141 photographs : col. slides ; 5 x 5 cm.
4 photographs : col. negatives ; 5.5 x 5.5 cm and 33 mm.
Ca. 70 architectural drawings.
2 drawings on 1 backing.
8 audio cassettes.
1 videocassette.

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

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Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

The Ontario Cancer Institute was established in 1952 by an Act of the Ontario Legislature.

Bill 172, an Act to amalgamate The Toronto Hospital and the Ontario Cancer Institute / Princess Margaret Hospital came into effect on January 1, 1998. The departments consolidated but OCI/PMH was to retain its own identity. The combined oncology program became Ontario Cancer Institute / Princess Margaret Hospital a division of The Toronto Hospital.

The original mandate for the Institute was to plan, construct, and establish buildings to accommodate cancer research, diagnosis and treatment, and the observation of and consultation with cancer sufferers. This mandate was broadened when the Institute was reconstituted by the Cancer Act, 1957, "to maintain, manage and operate a provincial hospital with facilities for cancer research, diagnosis and treatment". Construction at the 500 Sherbourne Street location began in 1954 and the Hospital opened on May 1, 1958 with 87 beds.

"The ... Hospital, as well as being an active treatment hospital, is one of the teaching hospitals affiliated with the University of Toronto. The scientists in the Research Division form the basis of the University's Medical Biophysics Division. Staff physicians also provide consultative and treatment services at the Hospital for Sick Children, St. Michael's Hospital, Sunnybrook Medical Centre and Toronto General Hospital, and attend six consultative and follow-up clinics located at North Bay, Owen Sound, Peterborough, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury and Timmins". [The Ontario Cancer Institute incorporating The Princess Margaret Hospital: An Introduction / The Ontario Cancer Institute. - Toronto : Undated, p.1]

The hospital was responsible to the Institute's Board which was made up of representatives from The Ontario Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation, the University of Toronto and its teaching hospitals.

The Ontario Cancer Institute was originally organized into four divisions under the authority of the Institute's Director. These divisions were: clinical services, hospital services, physics, and biological research. The hospital's active and consulting medical staff were grouped under the umbrella of clinical services, while both patient services and administration were grouped under hospital services. The administrative structure of the hospital has undergone various changes over the years. Notably, by 1969, the Division of Hospital Services had been dismantled , and its various departments had been placed under the heading of Administrative Staff.

To mark the visit in 1958 of Her Royal Highness, Princess Margaret, the Government of Ontario named the new hospital "The Princess Margaret Hospital". The hospital is commonly known as the Ontario Cancer Institute/Princess Margaret Hospital (OCI/PMH).

As of November 13, 1995, the Hospital officially moved to 610 University Avenue, and the new hospital facility was recognized by a visit from Her Royal Highness, Princess Margaret, on July 12, 1996. OCI/PMH amalgamated with The Toronto Hospital on January 1, 1998.

Name of creator


Administrative history

In 1931 the Province of Ontario established a Royal Commission to investigate and report on “‘the use of radium and X-Ray in the treatment of the sick.” The Commission’s report to the Ontario legislature (1932) recommended that a radiotherapy research and treatment centre be established in Toronto.

On November 24 1932 a ten-year agreement was signed between Dr. J.M Robb, Ontario Minister of Health and Mark Irish, Chairman of the TGH Board of Trustees to establish and support a TGH Department called the Ontario Institute of Radiotherapy. Early the next year the OIR was established by an Act of the Ontario legislature (R.S.O. 1933, c. 44).

<blockquote>“The government undertook to supply radium and radium emanations, [and] the hospital agreed to provide a building with fifty beds and facilities for the scientific study and applications of treatment by X-Rays, radium and radioactive substances” (W.G. Cosbie. The Toronto General Hospital, 1819-1965: A Chronicle. (Toronto: Macmillan, 1975) p. 188).</blockquote>

The OIR was governed by a Supervising Committee, chaired by the Chairman of the TGH Board of Trustees, and its first Director was Dr. Gordon E. Richards, Head of the TGH Department of Radiology. The Supervising Committee held its first meeting on February 26, 1934 and the first patients were admitted April 3, 1934. The OIR was located in the Dunlap Building on University Avenue.

The OIR was dissolved in 1952 when the Government of Ontario established the Ontario Cancer Institute on the grounds of the Wellesley Division of the TGH. Dr. Clifford L. Ash, Dr. Richards’ successor as Director of the OIR became the Director of the OCI while remaining head of the TGH Department of Radiotherapy. The old Dunlap Building quarters of the OIR remained in operation as the TGH Radiotherapy clinic.

Custodial history

Initially, records for the fonds were collected over a number of years in preparation for the move to the new location in 1995. Various departments were asked to send materials of "archival quality" to the Ontario Cancer Institute Library for safekeeping, so that historically valuable documentation would not be lost or destroyed during relocation. These initial records were officially transferred to the Archives on September 17, 1996. Files are periodically transferred to the Archives.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of minutes from various hospital committees, correspondence, administrative and research reports, memorandums, publicity photographs, and reports and architectural drawings regarding hospital planning and construction. Records relate to the administrative, teaching and research activities of the various divisions of the hospital. Fonds is arranged into two sousfonds and five series:

1) Board of Trustees of the Ontario Cancer Institute
2) Medical Advisory Committee

1) Division of Hospital Services records
2) Director of the Ontario Cancer Institute records
3) Division of Physics records
4) Division of Biological Research records
5) Division of Clinical Services records

The arrangement of the series reflects the organizational structure as it was in 1957. Since no official policy for records transfer existed, fonds is incomplete.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Some files are restricted for 120 years from date of creation, to ensure compliance with Ontario’s Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA). To request access to these items, please submit an application to UHN’s Research Ethics Board using the appropriate online forms and procedures. Please see series and sub-series descriptions and file lists for further details.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

File lists available.

Associated materials

Related materials


The fonds are closed, no further accruals are expected.

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

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Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

University Health Network

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Last Updated: August 19, 2013. Only processed sous-fonds and series included.

Language of description

  • English

Script of description


Accession area