1937 Poliomyelitis Strikes!

  • Iron lung outside hospital, 1937

    Indecision and In-Fighting Among Politicians and Bureaucrats

    The decision to close schools in September of 1937 due the outbreak of polio was an incredibly difficult one for all the parties involved – the Toronto Board of Education, the Superintendent of Schools, the school staff, (both teachers and non-teachers), the Medical Officer of Health, the Mayor of Toronto and the Toronto City Council – all these were challenged to adapt to an ever-changing situation. A complicating factor was that this situation was one that had never before been seen and thus no process to address it existed.

    Photographer unknown

    Black and white photograph


    Black and white photo of iron lung displayed outside in front of hospital windows.