Emily Stowe

Emily Stowe portrait for ESS website

In 1865, a young woman named Emily Stowe was flatly denied admission to the University of Toronto’s School of Medicine because she was a woman. At that moment, Emily made a commitment to fight for the right of Canadian women to receive a medical education.

After receiving her medical degree in the United States, she returned home and fiercely advocated for the opening of an institution dedicated to medical training for women.

In 1883, Dr. Stowe’s long-held vision became a reality with the opening of Woman’s Medical College, the predecessor to Women’s College Hospital – the first place in Canada where women could study medicine, and where women in the community could receive care from female physicians.

Dr. Emily Stowe’s grit and determination paved the way for the countless women leaders in the field of medicine who followed after her, and her legacy continues to inform our hospital’s values today.