From the Providence Healthcare Archives: A Short Film From the 1940s.

The Providence Healthcare Archives are currently being established in room C237G, off the Memory Lane hallway at Providence. The Archives contains a collection of textual, photographic, audiovisual and visual records. In a quest to preserve by digitization footage of an event that took place in the 1960s known as the Caravan of Kindness, the following film from the new archive was digitized:

Celebration with House of Providence Residents, Sisters, possibly Knights of Columbus c. 1940.

The Caravan of Kindness was an event that marked the beginning of Providence Healthcare as we know it. On January 28, 1962 a group of Toronto Cabbies donated their time to drive residents of the original House of Providence, then located on Power Street and slated for demolition, to their new home at Providence Villa and Hospital, currently known as Providence Healthcare.

This film, however, is not what we expected it to be.

Instead of a snowy January day in 1962, this 9.5 minute film appeared to have been shot on a summer day in the 1940s. In it, impeccably dressed people gather outside of what may be the original House of Providence while a roving four piece band marches by playing a slow song – a trumpet, an alto saxophone, a bass drum, a cymbal and an accordion – as people on a balcony dance to the music. Trees and plants in full bloom, people are escorted into cars as they pull away from the building. 4 minutes and 21 seconds into the footage, the cars and people no longer there, a large group of Sisters walk together up and down the sidewalk alongside of the building, some looking into the camera, smiling slightly. It is a delightful film, but determining its context proved challenging.

Thanks to the work and expertise of Linda Wicks, Archivist at the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto Archives (CSJTA), we now have a clearer picture of what event this film might depict. Although not certain, the film is most likely that of an outing organized by the Toronto Council of the Knights of Columbus. The printed Annals of the House of Providence 1857-1962, housed in the CSJT Archives, records one occasion from “September 19, 1940: The Knights of Columbus arranged for an outing for the old people at the House of Providence. On their return, each man received a pipe and tobacco. A chicken dinner was served at 5:00 p.m. The Archbishop was present to say Grace. Then he and twenty-five Knights had dinner in the reception room.”

If anyone has any further insight or information about this film, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Unity Health Toronto Archives at

Special thanks to Archivist Linda Wicks who generously donated her time, Marc Knez and the hardworking team at Digital Treasures!

-Leah Hunter, Project Archivist

Library Links: June 2021

Hello Library Linkers!

There are many observances this month that are so incredibly important! Library staff would like to take time to honour National Indigenous History Month, please check out our blogpost linked in the newsletter below. We’d also like to invite you to engage with our Transgender Health Guide to represent Pride month. Have a marvelous June and please always feel free to reach out to us via email:

Resources Supporting Indigenous Cultural Safety

Library team members have curated list of resources to support Indigenous cultural safety. This blog post represents a small snippet of these resources, check out the full list of resources here.

Books in library collection

Scholarly articles

  • Kerrigan V, Lewis N, Cass A, Hefler M, Ralph AP. (2020) “How can I do more?” Cultural awareness training for hospital-based healthcare providers working with high Aboriginal caseload. BMC Medical Education. 20:1-11.
  • Nelson, S. E. and K. Wilson (2018). “Understanding barriers to health care access through cultural safety and ethical space: Indigenous people’s experiences in Prince George, Canada.” Social Science and Medicine 218: 21-27.

Multimedia resources


Ontario Indigenous Cultural Safety (ICS) Training by  Indigenous Primary Health Care Council (IPHCC) 

New and improved library search interface at St. Joseph’s and Providence have launched!

Unity Health Toronto Library Services has been working hard to harmonize the library collections for all three hospital sites to provide equitable access to resources wherever possible, for more information please visit our blog. Library Services is excited to announce the next phase of this harmonization work, which are new and improved search functionalities and interface at St. Joseph’s and Providence! Utilizing the University of Toronto’s catalogue, library users at St. Joseph’s and Providence will be able to search for print and electronic material at their home library in one simple search bar. Combining the print and electronic material into one search bar will simplify the searching process for library material at these sites.

What’s changing?

St. Joseph’s

St. Joseph’s library website – Type your search in here:

You’ll be directed to a new page hosted by the University of Toronto. Please note: you do not need to be affiliated with the University of Toronto to use or borrow St. Joseph’s print and electronic material.

St. Joseph’s new library catalogue hosted by University of Toronto will look like this:


Providence’s library website – Type your search in here:

You’ll be directed to a new page hosted by the University of Toronto. Please note: You do not need to be affiliated with the University of Toronto to use or borrow Providence’s print and electronic material.

Providence’s new library catalogue hosted by the University of Toronto will look like this:

Some examples

Results will be shown on the University of Toronto library site like so, we’re a part of a shared catalogue with other health sciences libraries so you might see availabilities from other sites as well as our own. Note: For off-site access please ensure you are properly logged into the VPN to access material.

Example of a eBook available at St. Joes
As mentioned above, resources may be available at numerous different sites, this is because we are a part of a health sciences library network. Even though you may see multiple hospitals listed, every result listed on the results page will be accessible as part of the library collection for your home site
Example of what a print material may look like at Providence
Example of an e-journal

The new search interface for St. Joseph’s and Providence are just the beginning of many new and exciting changes that will be coming from the Library!

Please direct any questions to