In 1893, Berlin, Ontario (renamed Kitchener in 1916) found itself in need of a genuine advance of medical care. The small but growing community realized that a hospital of their very own would support the increasing population, as well as care for the less fortunate, as they grew into a town and then a city.
The Seagram family, famous distillers, politicians, and philanthropists at the time, generously stepped forward to offer 95 acres of land. ...if and only if the citizens could fully fund hospital construction costs, before the first brick or beam was laid. Drawing on the community’s innovative spirit, this campaign was the type of trailblazing essence that Kitchener-Waterloo is still known for today.
With this incentive the community rallied together, raising donations ranging from 25 cents to 50 dollars (approximately $25 to $1,500 today). Kitchener Waterloo Region raised $12,000 – the equivalent to over a quarter of a million dollars today! The hospital we now know as Grand River Hospital opened in 1895. This is our 125th anniversary of providing exceptional health care for the community of Kitchener-Waterloo and the surrounding areas. Through the strength, tenacity, and innovation of the community, that early investment has continued to pay dividends, 125 years later.
Thank you for your contributions to our history, present, and future!
Stay tuned for upcoming Grand 125 celebrations, activities, and stories from the archives!