Virtual exhibit shares story of WCH's Cradle Club

2018-07-09 10:07:43 AM

Women’s College Hospital is pleased to announce the launch of Charity and the Society Girls of Toronto – The Story of the Cradle Club of Women’s College Hospital, a virtual exhibit housed within the Virtual Museum of Canada, the largest digital source of stories and experiences shared by Canada’s museums and heritage organizations ( The curated exhibit was developed by The Miss Margaret Robins Archives of Women’s College Hospital (WCH) and funded by the Virtual Museum of Canada through its Community Stories Investment Program.

“The Cradle Club is one of Women College Hospital’s (WCH) earliest and most unique volunteer groups. Founded in 1932, it was an exclusive group – comprised of young women from upper class families. They were considered “society girls” at the time,” explains Heather Gardiner, hospital archivist and curator of this exhibit.

“Instead of living lives of leisure, these young women dedicated their time to improving women’s health care in Toronto through good works and fundraising. The members hosted fundraising dances, teas, bridge games and raffles at Toronto’s most luxurious social landmarks to furnish and equip WCH’s busy nurseries, maternity wards and delivery rooms.”

The newly launched web exhibit contains over 30 years of Cradle Club memorabilia and photographs preserved by the WCH Archives. The exhibit also features audio interviews with past Cradle Club members and current WCH volunteers about the meaningful and ever-changing ways volunteers make a difference in our community.

The charitable work of the Cradle Club directly impacted the health and well-being of the over 48,000 babies born at WCH and their mothers during their three decades of service from 1932-1961. The story of the Cradle Club is an important part of the early history of the Association of Volunteers of WCH – which has supported WCH for over 100 years.

The exhibit is available in English and French and is accessible using a screen reader.

About the Virtual Museum of Canada
The Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC), managed by the Canadian Museum of History, with the financial support of the Government of Canada, operates two investments programs. The Virtual Exhibits Investment Program helps Canadian museums and heritage organizations develop online products that engage audiences of all ages, interests and abilities in Canada’s history, heritage and culture. The VMC’s Community Stories investment program helps smaller Canadian museums and heritage organizations work with their communities to develop virtual exhibits that engage online audiences in the stories, past and present, of Canada’s communities.

About The Miss Margaret Robins Archives of Women’s College Hospital
The Miss Margaret Robins Archives of Women’s College Hospital acquires, maintains, preserves and makes available the historical records and artifacts of Women’s College Hospital. Its collection also documents the history of women in medicine and the history of nursing in Canada. The Archives is an institutional member of the Association of Canadian Archivists and the Canadian Museum Association.

About Women’s College Hospital
For more than 100 years Women’s College Hospital (WCH) has been developing revolutionary advances in healthcare. Today, WCH is a world leader in the health of women and Canada’s leading, academic ambulatory hospital. A champion of health equity, WCH advocates for the health of all women from diverse cultures and backgrounds and ensures their needs are reflected in the care they receive. It focuses on delivering innovative solutions that address Canada’s most pressing issues related to population health, patient experience and system costs. The WCH Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care (WIHV) is developing new, scalable models of care that deliver improved outcomes for patients and sustainable solutions for the health system as a whole.

For more information about how WCH and WCRI are transforming patient care, visit and