Peter Gilgan and the Canadian Cancer Society donate to Women’s College Hospital to launch new nation

2017-02-03 1:20:31 PM

Toronto, ON – February 3, 2017 – Peter Gilgan, one of Canada’s most influential philanthropists, and the Canadian Cancer Society are providing a collaborative $12 million gift to Women’s College Hospital (WCH), establishing an unprecedented collaboration that will further research, education and innovation in the field of women’s cancers – particularly breast, ovarian and thyroid cancers. 

Together, Women’s College Hospital and the Canadian Cancer Society will launch a major new initiative to transform care for women’s cancers on a national scale by drawing together WCH’s excellence in research, clinical care, innovation and education and then leveraging that knowledge across the country through the Canadian Cancer Society’s national network. 

With the significant leadership investment from Peter Gilgan and the Canadian Cancer Society, a centre in women’s cancers will be established at Women’s College Hospital. In recognition of their leadership, vision and profound generosity, the centre will be named The Peter Gilgan Centre for Women’s Cancers at Women’s College Hospital, in partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society. 

“Finding innovative solutions to our health system’s most pressing challenges is a cornerstone of the work we do at Women’s College,” said Marilyn Emery, President & CEO, Women’s College Hospital. “Our clinicians, researchers and educators work side-by-side to improve healthcare for all patients, not only those who walk through our hospital doors. This partnership will enable us to further our work to close the health gaps that exist for women and within our healthcare system.” 

In Canada, the rate of diagnosis for all cancers in women continues to rise while, in contrast, the rate of cancers in men remains stable. As rates of diagnosis continue to grow, so too will the demand on healthcare services. But gaps in the healthcare system – such as limited access to services and resources – can make the journey much more difficult for many women facing cancer, especially those in marginalized, remote or rural communities. 

“Strong and healthy families have been at the core of my beliefs and values,” said Gilgan, father, grandfather and founder of Mattamy Homes, the largest privately-owned home builder in North America. “When a wife, mother, daughter or sister is diagnosed with cancer, it is devastating. If I can play a small part and enable a collaboration that will leverage tremendous expertise, knowledge and reach, then I’m in,” he stated. 

“Time and time again, Peter Gilgan has demonstrated that philanthropy truly does have the power to change lives,” said Katherine Hay, President & CEO of Women’s College Hospital Foundation. “His enduring belief in the expertise and leadership of Women’s College Hospital has ignited tremendous progress for the health of women on a local, national and international scale – progress that is now reaching bold new heights with the launch of The Peter Gilgan Centre for Women’s Cancers. Together with the Canadian Cancer Society, we will achieve our vision to transform cancer care for women – all women.” 

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 equitable access, 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 is also focused on delivering innovative solutions that address Canada’s most pressing issues related to population health, patient experience and system costs. For more information, visit

About Women’s College Hospital Foundation
Women’s College Hospital Foundation (WCHF) is dedicated to supporting WCH as it revolutionizes healthcare for women. Working together with patients, family members, staff, physicians, volunteers and community members, WCHF raises, manages and invests funds to support the hospital’s current and future priority needs. 

About the Canadian Cancer Society
The Canadian Cancer Society is a national, community-based organization of more than 140,000 volunteers whose mission is to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of people living with the disease. Thanks to our donors and volunteers, the Society has the greatest impact, against all cancers, in the most communities in Canada.

For more information, contact:
Catherine Carter, Associate Vice President, Chief Community Officer
Women’s College Hospital Foundation
Mobile: 647-628-2702 

Photos available upon request.