Tuberculosis in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada  c. 1900


Excerpt from the book "Ottawa: An Illustrated History", by John H. Taylor, available from Chapter's, or chapters.ca - ISBN 0-88862-981-8

"Contracting TB at the turn of the century was virtually a death sentence (of 1,975 diagnosed cases, 1,933 died).The only known cure was rest, good diet, and fresh air, only possible for the rich, or for patients sent to the provincial sanitarium at Gravenhurst. TB beds in local hospitals were mainly reserved for the dying.
In 1905 the Ottawa Association for the Prevention of TB was formed, and in 1906 almagamated with the local branch of the National Sanitarium Association. A nurse, supplied by the Victorian Order of Nurses, was hired in 1905 to find and track TB cases, which the association would provide with the equipment (tents,sputum cups, and the like) for home cure. A dispensary was operated by the May Court Club to ensure adequate diet. School children were educated in the perils and causes of TB and a local committee agitated for enforcement of the anti-spitting bylaws. The women took to raising their skirts so as to not sweep along the streets of a spitting society."


This book has several more paragraphs on TB, and notes that the result of the agitation was the establishment of the Lady Grey Sanitorium in 1910, followed by the Perley Hospital in 1912.

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