Aurora Historical Society



Built in 1862, Hillary House is recognized by the National Historic Sites and Monuments Board as one of Canada’s best examples of Gothic Revival architecture. It is also a fine example of the architectural links between household and medical office. It retains its original layout, which provided for a medical examining room and dispensary at the front, with family living quarters behind. Rather than being incidental to the design, as in other examples of houses built for medical practitioners, the spaces used for the practice of medicine here were very carefully planned to provide convenience and privacy for both patients and family members. See the website for details.


Hillary House contains a significant collection of medical instruments, books, papers, household furnishings, and equipment dating from the early nineteenth to the late twentieth century and is open to the public as Hillary House, the Koffler Museum of Medicine.


Charles Godfrey Library, an outstanding collection of books, journals, and manuscript material relating to the history of medicine and the social and cultural history of early Ontario. This collection is housed temporarily at the Aurora Public Library.

Public Programming:


The presentation of artefacts in Hillary House, as well as special exhibitions.


Booklets on the history of Hillary House.


Hillary House offers guided tours, led by knowledgeable interpreters, of its historic home and grounds throughout the year. Special accommodations can be made for large groups.


School tours and programs for Brownies and Scouting earning Heritage Badges.

Special Events

Lectures, cultural events, children’s activities.

St. Michael’s Hospital Archives

Conservation / Preservation:


Archival collection contains selected administrative papers of St. Michael’s which date from its founding in 1892 to the present, including,

  • architectural records, legal documents, financial documents, news clippings, maps, meeting minutes and agendas
  • case files, personnel and subject files, research files, patient registers, personal and business correspondence
  • scrapbooks, news clippings, sketches (drawings, etchings, cartoons, diagrams), class notes, diaries, journals, notebooks, photographs

Public Programming:


Seven permanent display cases were held in Bond Street Lobby documenting the milestones and medical achievements of St. Michael’s Hospital. However, these displays have been taken down and are being re-located.

University Health Network Archives

Conservation / Preservation:


  • Fonds of doctors, medical students and researchers including, Dr. Donald Henry Cowan (1940 – 2011), Dr. O Harold Warick (2006 – 2008), Dr. W.G. Bigelow (1932 – 1993), Edward Shorter (1978 – 1994), Mary E. Clarke (1937 – 1940).
  • Toronto General Hospital fonds (1819 – 1986), consisting of administrative records of the administration and numerous medical departments.
  • Grace Hospital Ephemera Collection (1912, 1919), which focuses on nurse training. It consists of photographs and objects related to Grace Hospital and its predecessor, the Toronto Homeopathic Hospital, and its staff and students including Grace Hospital Training School for Nurses.
  • Ontario Cancer Institute/Princess Margaret Hospital fonds (1921 – 1997), includes textual records, photographs, architectural drawings, audio and video cassettes.
  • Toronto Hospital Records (1986 – 2000) and Ephemera Collection (1874 – 2011), includes a wide range of textual administrative records, photographs and drawings.
  • Toronto Western Hospital School of Nursing (1822 – 1998), Ephemera Collection (1909 – 1976) and Hospital fonds (1894 – 1986), consists of textual records, photographs and architectural drawings.
  • University Health Network Ephemera Collection (1999 – 2011) and Record Group (1941 – 2015), includes textual records and photographs.

Public Programming:


  • Occasional online or travelling exhibits documenting the history of the hospital.


  • Participation in Door’s Open, Toronto’s architecture festival.

Margaret M. Allmang Society for the History of Nursing

Conservation / Preservation:


Archival materials consist primarily of the records of Margaret M. Allemang, located at the University of Toronto Archives, including

  • Research files from the 1950s through the 1980s, including data, reports, and proposals Allemang accumulated while teaching nursing at the University of Toronto along with her academic papers.
  • Allemang’s teaching materials, including her files on nursing practices throughout history.
  • Files related to Allemang’s oral history project on nursing during World Wars I and II.

Additional archival materials include nursing textbooks, procedures manuals, and writings regarding nursing practice, philosophy, and history.

Public Programming:

Public Lectures

Regular lectures on the history of nursing practice, health, and medicine.

Educational Programming

The society offers an annual prize for the best student essay on the history of nursing in any period in any country.

Virtual Museum of Canada


Online Exhibitions

Virtual exhibits and interactive learning resources on numerous subjects, created by Canadian museums and galleries. Local history exhibits that capture Canadian community memories, drawn from the collections of small museums and local memories and treasures are also available.  Organized by museum, name or subject, the themes of Aboriginal Art, Culture and Tradition, Arts in Canada, Canada at War, Canadian Musical Traditions, Canadian Women, Science and Medicine and Vancouver 2010 make up the bulk of the collection.

Image Gallery

Showcases thousands of artefacts, photos, paintings and objects from Canadian museums. Amongst others, it contains the works of the Group of Seven, Marc-Aurèle Fortin, Emily Carr, and many other artists. 

Hospital for Sick Children Archives



  • Records include hospital publications, minutes of committees, photographs, films, equipment and artefacts, and personal records of some former staff.
  • The Hospital Library subscribes to 300 print titles, 12 subject databases, 1500 e-books and over 1200 e-journals. Paediatrics is the primary focus of the collection.