Our History

The Early Days

The best care for children who are ill, close to home – that is the thought that launched the legacy of Children’s Health Foundation.

A nurse with a child at War Memorial Hospital, London Ontario

A group of forward-thinking women, the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire, recognized that paediatric health care was a crucial branch of medicine that needed to be nurtured in London, Ont. They embraced the opportunity then to grant towards the creation of the first local, child-focused care facility.

The War Memorial Children’s Hospital opened in 1922 with 60 beds.

Continuing to grow the seeds of paeditric health care advocacy and fundraising in London, five men established the Advisory Council to War Memorial Children’s Hospital two years later. Through the 1940s, the Council raised tens of thousands of dollars annually.

Then, as now, the demand for specialized children’s care was increasing. In 1951, the Council granted nearly $500,000 toward the expansion of the hospital.

Growing Up

A doctor tends to an infant patient

War Memorial began to show its age in the 1980s and space was a mounting issue. The various areas of Children’s care, as a result, were moved to the campus at Wellington and Commissioners Road in south London. With the move came a new name, Children’s Hospital of Western Ontario, which reflected the regional reach of its services. Around the same time, Children’s Hospital of Western Ontario Foundation was established.

In 1984, our Foundation began raising funds for ground-breaking research at Children's Health Research Institute (CHRI). The institute is dedicated to discovering the causes and cures of childhood disease.

Building for a Better Future

Children's Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre

With a rebranding in 2002, Children’s Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre was introduced. That same year, we changed to our current name, Children’s Health Foundation, to more clearly identify our mission. The Foundation proudly raised $20 million through our 2005 building campaign to support the new Children’s Hospital.

Our portfolio expanded again in 2012 as we partnered with Thames Valley Children’s Centre (TVCC) to fund life-enhancing programs and equipment for children with special needs.

Moving forward, our goal remains the same. Hand-in-hand with our donors, we are strengthening and transforming paediatric health care for London and our region. Because every child deserves the best chance to overcome sickness and discover what they’re uniquely capable of achieving.