The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (CMHF) was established in 1994 through the efforts of a forward-thinking group of business and health care leaders in Canada. London, Toronto and Ottawa were considered as possible sites for the new national entity, and London was chosen given its leading role in medical discovery, treatment and advancement.
The CMHF office was originally housed in space provided by Robarts Research Institute at The University of Western Ontario in the Siebens Drake Research Building. On January 28, 1996, a laureate portrait gallery opened to the public on the second floor of Museum London. The gallery consisted of 17 portraits of laureates inducted into the Hall in 1994 and 1995.
In 2003, both the administrative office and gallery moved to its current location in the J. Allyn Taylor Building, formerly a Canada Trust-Toronto Dominion Bank. The building had been donated to the City of London and designated a heritage site in 2001. The building was named the J. Allyn Taylor Building by the City of London, a fitting site as the founding chair of the Hall was J. Allyn Taylor.
Now with a permanent home, the CMHF expanded its laureate gallery (which by this time had grown to 49 portraits) to include multimedia stations, three feature exhibits and other interesting displays.
The original mission of the CMHF focused on celebrating Canada’s medical heroes of the past and present. In 1997, the CMHF expanded its mission beyond the past and present to include inspiring medical heroes of the future. An educational program for secondary school students called Discovery Days in Health Sciences was established in collaboration with universities and colleges across Canada. In 2001, the CMHF’s educational mandate was further enhanced through the development of a scholarship program. In 2004, an educational initiative for local elementary school students called London Museum School was implemented in partnership with the local school boards and four London museums. All three educational programs continue to offer excellent opportunities for young people interested in the health sciences.