East York Municipal Offices

Holding its first few meetings at the York Township office at 40 Jarvis Street, within a month the new Council began to meet in a former York Township Works yard at 443 Sammon Avenue. Council met there for nearly a quarter of a century, passing the bylaws and issuing resolutions that created East York’s foundational infrastructure and day-to-day functions.

Image depicts monochrome photograph of municipal building, with base of water tower in background
Victory bonds banner on East York Township offices
ca. 1942
City of Toronto Archives
Series 2604, File 612

A wartime view of Township Offices at 443 Sammon Avenue, with the water tower in the background. The water tower was dismantled in 1958 and the office building was demolished in 1962.

Image depicts monochrome photograph of group of people standing on front steps of municipal building
Official opening of East York Municipal Offices and dedication of Memorial Gardens
September 25, 1948
City of Toronto Archives
Series 2604, File 579


In January 1943, East York Council approved ambitious postwar plans for a new municipal building at 550 Mortimer Avenue on lands the Township expropriated from landowner William McKay in 1937 for tax arrears. At a planned cost of $250,000, the new building would share grounds with the Memorial Gardens designed to honour fallen East Yorkers from both world wars.

The architecture firm, Shore and Moffatt was hired to design the new structure in 1946. Malvern Construction was awarded the contract to build the structure at a cost of $190,287. The official opening took place on September 25, 1948. Considerably more spacious than its predecessor, and surrounded by the Memorial Gardens, the facility served as East York’s seat of governance for over 40 years.

Image depicts colour photograph of municipal building with lawn and flower beds in foreground
East York Municipal Offices and Memorial Gardens, 550 Mortimer Avenue
ca. 1961
City of Toronto Archives
Series 2604, File 606
Image depicts colour photograph of municipal building with war memorial in foreground
East York Civic Centre and Cenotaph
September 22, 2009
City of Toronto Archives
Series 2311, File 2811, Item 13

The Centre’s architect was Carruthers, Shaw and Partners, and the cenotaph was designed by W.H. Smith Monuments


By the late 1980s, East York’s municipal offices were overcrowded and in poor condition. The most feasible option was to replace the 1948 structure with a new Civic Centre directly behind the old one at a cost of $11.1 million. The project was approved in August of 1988, with construction beginning that fall. Opening officially on September 21, 1990, the Civic Centre was the municipality’s last seat of government before the 1998 amalgamation with Toronto. Today, the East York Civic Centre continues to provide City services and host community events.

East York Collegiate Institute

In 1924, East York had no high schools and local students were not permitted to attend neighbouring schools in Toronto. As a result, Council purchased five acres of land at the north-east corner of Coxwell and Cosburn and hired architect George Gouinlock to draw up plans for a new high school. In July 1926, MPP George S. Henry laid the cornerstone for the new building. East York High School was officially opened on October 3, 1927 with nearly 100 students. The name changed three years later to East York Collegiate Institute to reflect the school’s academic focus.

Image depicts copy of cover of school yearbook, illustrated with monochrome photograph of school building
Blue and Gold: East York Collegiate Institute Yearbook
City of Toronto Archives
Series 2603, File 57
Image depicts monochrome photograph of automobiles parked on perimeter of football field with crowd watching game
Crowd watching football game at East York Collegiate Institute stadium opening
City of Toronto Archives
Series 2604, File 653


East York Collegiate Institute was the most prominent secondary school in the township. The school became the leading venue for athletics, culture and ceremonies, including wartime rallies, local fundraisers and qualifying events for the British Empire Games. The first annual community-wide Dominion Day (later Canada Day) celebrations were held on the school’s stadium grounds in 1960.

Image depicts monochrome photograph of group portrait of athletes with trophies
Group portrait of the East York Track and Field Club, which trained on the EYCI grounds
City of Toronto Archives
Series 2604, File 651
Image depicts two-coloured illustrated cover of sporting events programme
Official programme for British Empire Games track and field trials
City of Toronto Archives
Series 2357, File 131


In 1988, East York Collegiate underwent major renovations led by architects Page and Steele, resulting in a new $9.9 million double gym and new north and south wings.

Michael Garron Hospital

In the early 1920s, residents living east of the Don Valley, including Torontonians south of the Danforth, had no local hospital. Toronto City Council recognized the need for a medical facility and in 1924 approved the purchase of five acres at Coxwell and Sammon Avenues in East York. Ownership of the land was later transferred to the newly formed Toronto East General Hospital Board in 1926.

Image depicts monochrome photograph of exterior of hospital building
Toronto East General Hospital shortly after opening
June 10, 1929
City of Toronto Archives
Fonds 1231, Item 622


A fundraising association was established to cover construction costs, with a goal of raising $500,000. Chaired by local Member of Parliament Joseph Harris, the fundraising campaign included numerous events over two years, notably a parade in May 1926 that attracted 35,000 people. Construction began in 1928 and by 1929, the four storey, 110-bed Toronto East General Hospital was opened officially. The hospital was state-of-the-art when new, featuring two operating rooms, a modern kitchen, clinics, dispensaries, an emergency department and a residence for 40 nurses.

Image depicts monochrome photograph of interior of hospital ward
Interior view of ward, Toronto East General Hospital
January 14, 1929
City of Toronto Archives
Series 372, Subseries 1, Item 887


The hospital continued to grow over the decades, adding roughly a new wing every decade. The building underwent several major expansions, particularly the Joseph H. Harris pavilion in 1952, along with another in 1978 and again in the 2000s. In 2015, the Hospital received a $50 million donation from Myron and Berna Garron in memory of their son Michael. The hospital legally changed its name to the Toronto East Health Network but with its main facility known as the Michael Garron Hospital.

Image depicts monochrome drawing of hospital buildings from aerial perspective
Aerial drawing showing Toronto East General Hospital and proposed additions
City of Toronto Archives
Series 2347, Item 741


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