Riverdale Hospital

14 St. Matthews Road, Toronto, ON.

Part of a healthcare history on the site than began in the 1860s, Riverdale Hospital opened in 1963 as a 784-bed chronic and rehabilitation care hospital for patients with long-term illnesses. The hemicycle design offered park and river valley views to patients, as well as access to fresh air.

The lobby featured a commissioned mosaic.  “The Meaning of Life”, a 600,000-piece Saico glass mosaic, was designed, hand-cut, and assembled by the Czech-Canadian artist Margit Gatterbauer of Kitchener. A community theatre in the hospital permitted activities that integrated patients with people from the surrounding neighbourhood.

George Tanaka designed the surrounding landscape, encouraging patients to sit and stroll in the gardens. Brightly coloured, parasol canopies recall those of a lakeside pavilion in Zurich. Strandbad Tiefenbrunnen (arch. Josef Schütz, Otto Dürr, Willy Roost) was completed in 1955.

The hospital was demolished 2013.  The exterior canopies and the lobby mosaic were incorporated into the design of Bridgepoint Healthcare Centre.