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Emptying 'the vault'

Toronto, October 27, 2016

By Kate Manicom

Blueprints and documents in the vault, including some that date back to the 1910s

Blueprints and documents in the vault, including some that date back to the 1910s. (Photos by Katie Cooper and Yuri Markarov)

Blueprints in the vault, including some that date back to the 1910s

Behind an ordinary door in the basement of St. Michael’s Cardinal Carter wing, a two-level facility houses approximately 30,000 blueprints, plans and other technical drawings. Named “the vault” by the hospital’s Engineering team, the area contains documents, including hand-drawn blueprints, dating as far back as the 1910s. The contents of the vault map not only the current physical design of the hospital, but its history as well.

As part of St. Michael’s 3.0, the vault must be emptied to create new emergency exiting for the Emergency Department expansion. All of the documents will be scanned and digitized as part of a building information modelling system, a digital representation of the hospital to assist with continued maintenance and future renovations. The final home for the hard copies is still to be determined.

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael's Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.