Health Sciences Centre is at the forefront of health care, innovative and dynamic building upon years of research and success.

Explore just how far advances in health-care at our facility have come by taking a look back below.

  • 1889 - Horse drawn ambulance
  • 1920 - Psychopathic Hospital
  • 1966 - Chapel Interior


  • Mr. A.S. Bardal, the first ambulance attendant for WGH, and his ambulance in 1889. Mr. Bardal went on to open up Bardal Funeral Homes and his daughter Agnes Bardal Comack graduated from the WGH School of Nursing in 1943.
  • This was a motor-driven ambulance in 1910.

Psychopathic Building

The Psychopathic Building was built in 1919 and was the first of it’s kind in Canada associated with a general hospital and medical faculty. It was built on Emily Street between McDermot Ave and Bannatyne Ave (approximately where the John Buhler Research Centre stands today). It was demolished in 1993.

HSC’s old chapel

This was HSC’s old chapel in 1996. Today the Spiritual Health team respectfully supports the needs of all – whether you identify as spiritual, atheist, religious or agnostic, all are welcome.

  • Student nurses learning about equipment
  • 1900 - X-Ray room for treatment
  • 1962 - Two cooks in main kitchen

Student Nurses

There are many things that nurses need to know. In this photo from 1966, student nurses learn about some of the equipment they will use

First X-ray machine

  • This is a photo of a patient being treated with Cobalt-60 radiation therapy. Nicknamed the Cobalt Bomb, it was first developed in Canada. It marked an important milestone for the fight against cancer and Canada’s emergence as a leader in the field of radiotherapy.
  • The first X-ray machine at the Winnipeg General Hospital was installed in 1900. When HSC was created in 1973 X-Ray was still the most common imaging technology. Current diagnostic tools at HSC include MRI, CT, Nuclear Medicine, Ultrasound, Radiology and Angiography.


A photo from our archives of a new kitchen in the basement of the H wing (now part of the main HSC building) in 1962 to accommodate a growing hospital. Today, the Nutrition Food Services team is made up of over 111 staff who deliver about 1,800 meals every day to patients

  • 1900 - Original OR observation gallery
  • 1960 - Telephone switchboard
  • 1977 - Two Housekeepers with mop and bucket

Operating Room

This photo, taken some time between 1905 and 1908, shows our staff in an operating room at the Winnipeg General Hospital. A seating gallery allowed students to watch and learn from procedures.

Telephone Operators

Here’s a photo of telephone operators in 1960. Today, our team is made up of 30 Information & Paging operators who receive an average of 3,000 emergency codes & just over 1M calls annually. Thanks to this fantastic team for keeping us connected with their friendly voices!


This photo is from 1977 of two housekeepers cleaning the floors. Fast forward 43 years later, our Housekeeping Services team is made up of over 400 staff members who take pride in keeping Manitoba’s tertiary centre exceptionally clean for our patients, staff and visitors.

  • 1974 - Central Energy Plant
  • 1967 - Kidney Dialysis Unit
  • 1916 - Nurse and babies in a trolley

Central Energy Plant

The landmark Central Energy Plant was opened on Notre Dame in 1974, complete with tunnel connections to other buildings on campus. In addition to providing energy services to all HSC buildings, the plant supplies some services to U of M and CancerCare Manitoba.

Kidney Dialysis Unit

The Kidney Dialysis Unit in 1967

Maternity floor

In 1914, nurses on the maternity floor used a trolley to take the babies from the nursery to their mothers for feeding. This allowed them to move multiple babies at a time.

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