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How a Toronto Hospital Uses Artwork as Gifts

by Pam Johnston January 16, 2019

St Michael's Hospital

Located near the intersection of Queen and Yonge Streets in Downtown Toronto, the St. Michael’s Hospital is renowned for providing exceptional patient care to a diverse local community. As a way of honouring its Board Members and staff who dedicate so much of their time and expertise, St Michael’s has been gifting David Crighton’s Art since 2005.

It started when Sandra Carr-Harris, the former Executive Assistant to the Board Directors had the brilliant idea of gifting David Crighton’s artwork to retiring Board Members. As collectors of David’s historic landmark buildings, Toronto neighbourhoods and famous buildings know, personalizing and customizing artwork is a key ingredient for making someone feel truly special. According to Carr-Harris, she looks to purchase illustrations that “fit” the lifestyle, personality and interest of retiring board members, but sometimes she goes a step further. For example, she once ordered the Toronto Skyline print for a retiring Board member who liked to sail. David then drew an image of his boat and placed it in the foreground, creating a meaningful addition to make the illustration truly unique. Each piece of artwork is framed identically to the others and firmly mounted on the wall with a plaque with the name of the board member, their years of service and in what capacity they served. Add: The finished artworks that were presented then are mounted on the walls of the corridors lining the hospital's first and sixth floors. According to Anne Craig, the new Executive Assistant, “David’s Toronto street scenes continue to provide the perfect gift…” 

The tradition of gifting David’s art has also widened to include the retirement gifts to staff of the Bond Street Entrance of the Hospital throughout the year. In the last two years, we have been proud to produce a special custom St. Michaels Hospital Calendar and Mini-Framed Artwork gift of the Bond Street Entrance at the Service Recognition Luncheon, an event at the end of October which includes between 800 to 1000 staff members. And now that St. Michael’s has merged with St. Joseph’s Health Centre and Providence House, we are discussing ways that we might expand our partnership once again.

Recent commissions by the hospital include the new Peter Gilgan Patient Care Tower which will add to the beautiful art gifts available to the hospital to recognize the valued contributions of volunteers, staff and board members.

This is just one example of how you can use David Crighton’s Art to acknowledge staff members as a retiring gift, long service award or sales incentives. It’s a guaranteed and more personal way to recognize important members of our community. We are proud to be part of this tradition and look forward to being able to create new and valued gifts for all three hospitals and for you!!

Browse David Crighton’s Toronto Education or Toronto Hospitals Collection online to get ideas for what is already available. Please feel free to contact us to discuss creating a new original work of art or if you need help picking out the perfect gift. We can be reached at 416-415-6423 or at

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- Pamela

Pam Johnston
Pam Johnston


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