Judith R. (Billie) Wilder

When Billie Wilder was a child, her father, Edward William (E.W.) Bickle, would take her to The Queen Elizabeth Hospital at Christmas to distribute gifts to patients - she has remained connected with the hospital ever since. A favorite memory is of the beautiful holiday lights that framed the large trees at the front of the building.

From its inception in 1874, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital was a fixture in the Parkdale community as a chronic and long-term care facility. It was the first of its kind in Canada. It began offering physiotherapy and occupational therapy in the 1930s and created a dedicated rehabilitation program in the 1970s. The facility was renamed the E.W. Bickle Centre for Complex Continuing Care in 2008 in honour of Mrs. Wilder’s father.

Mrs. Wilder and her father both served in senior leadership positions on The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Board of Governors for a total of 35 years. They have both provided years of dedicated governance and philanthropic support.

Mrs. Wilder's $5 million gift to the Toronto Rehab Foundation's fundraising campaign, Everything Humanly Possible: The Campaign for Toronto Rehab reflects a lifetime of involvement and commitment to advancing rehabilitation and enhancing the quality of life of people with complex rehabilitation needs. Mrs. Wilder's landmark gift is the largest personal donation ever made to Toronto Rehab and one of the largest known single donations ever made to an adult rehabilitation facility in Canada.

To honour Mrs. Wilder, in December 2011, Toronto Rehab’s Volunteer Association hosted a ceremony to kick off the holiday season by lighting what have become known as the Billie Wilder Christmas trees at the Bickle Centre. 

Redevelopment Update

Due to an aging population and medical advancements, more people are living longer with complex conditions and require specialized care not often found in long-term care homes. This demand has resulted in the need to expand the E.W. Bickle Centre and undertake its largest redevelopment since opening over 30 years ago.  To learn more about how you can support this project, please contact Arlene Manankil-Boyce, Director of Development, at 416-597-3422 ext. 3545.