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Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing
Wellesley Hospital Alumnae Association

The Wellesley Hospital in Toronto was founded by Dr. Herbert A Bruce in 1912  in the former Frederick Nicholls residence at  “Homewood Place” on the north side of  Wellesley Street East opposite Homewood Ave.

The original 84 beds expanded over the years to over 600 beds in the ’80’s. 

In 1999,  the hospital at 160 Wellesley St. E. was closed due to the Ontario government’s province wide hospital downsizing and restructuring. 

Wellesley is the family name of the Duke of Wellington.  Dr. Bruce obtained permission from the duke to use the crest from the family’s coat of arms for the hospital.  The lion rampant and flying pennant on the coat of arms with the motto inscribed by Dr. Bruce - ‘Jamais sans Esperance’ -- Never without Hope, was a brave crest for the new hospital. It also made a very special graduation pin for Wellesley trained nurses.

The Alumnae Association was formed in 1915 following the graduation of The Wellesley’s first class of nurses and since then has offered friendship, support to the profession and assistance to nursing education.


  • The  Wellesley’s first class of trainee nurses began their training in September of 1912.  Its School of Nursing trained  2,164 nurses during the years 1912 to 1972.    Three more classes graduated between 1973 - 1975, the transition period from the apprenticeship format of hospital-based nursing schools to full time academic study. 
  • In 1973 the Ontario provincial government transferred responsibility for diploma nursing programs to the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.
  • Fall of 1973 saw The Wellesley’s nursing school become the Wellesley Campus in Ryerson’s School of Nursing joining Hospital for Sick Children and Women’s College Hospital nursing schools.


Photo Credit: Dave Upham, Photographer. Photograph courtesy of the Ryerson University Archives