Update to phone lines at our Birchmount and General Hospitals: If calling through Birchmount main line (416-495-2400), add “7” when dialing an extension. If calling through General main line (416-438-2911), add “8” when dialing an extension.

Wayfinding at SHN

We’re making improvements to transform your health experience

Here at Scarborough Health Network (SHN), we want to help make your experience of getting around our hospitals as straightforward and intuitive as possible.

That is why we are rolling out a new wayfinding initiative to develop standardized systems for navigating all of our hospitals that are accessible, patient-friendly, and meet the needs of our diverse community.

The result will be a unified, simple, and elegant renewal of our signs, names, and directions—both inside and out. Check out some examples below.

Renaming of some departments, units, and spaces

Some of our departments, units, and spaces have changed names, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. New signage has been installed and printed maps are available at all patient registration areas with old and new names.

Here is a list of units, departments, and areas that have changed:

Birchmount Hospital

Existing Signage Future Signage/Point of Reception
Entrance Emergency
Outpatient Entrance North Entrance
South Entrance South Entrance – Public Access
South Entrance – Staff Access
Loading Docks Shipping and Receiving

Centenary Hospital

Existing Signage Future Signage/Point of Reception
Margaret Birch Wing (MBW) Entrance South Entrance
North Entrance North Entrance
Entrance Emergency
DDU Entrance East Entrance
Loading Docks Shipping and Receiving

General Hospital

Existing Signage Future Signage/Point of Reception
CKD Entrance East Entrance
Crockford Entrance Crockford Entrance
West Entrance Main Entrance
ED Entrance Emergency
Loading Docks Shipping and Receiving

Existing Signage Future Signage/Point of Reception
Internal Medicine Clinic Medicine Clinic
Surgical Inpatient Surgical Unit
Surgical Clinics Surgical Specialty Clinics
Digestive Diseases Unit (DDU) Endoscopy Clinic
Orthopedic Rapid Access Clinic (ORAC) Rapid Assessment Clinic (RAC)
Clinical Day Unit Same Day Surgery
Eye Centre Eye Surgical Suites
Birthing & Newborn Centre Family Birthing Centre/Family Birthing Unit
Family Maternity Centre (FMC)
Maternal, Newborn and Childcare Centre (MNCC)
Paediatrics Kids Care Unit
Galaxy 12 Child & Teen Clinics Kids Care Specialty Clinics
Paediatric Occupational Therapy Kids Occupational Therapy
Coronary Care Ward (CCW) Coronary Care Unit
Oncology Cancer Care
(Inpatient) Hemodialysis Nephrology Unit
Chronic Kidney Diseases (CKD) Multi‐Care Kidney Clinic
Shoniker Clinic Outpatient Mental Health ‐ Child & Adolescent Clinic
Geriatrics/GAIN Clinic Seniors Health Clinic
Occupational Therapy Rehabilitation
Physiotherapy Clinic
Speech Language Pathology Clinic
Audiology and Hearing Centre
Transamerica Breast Screening & Diagnostic Centre Breast Clinic
CIBC Breast Clinic


More timelines

  • January 2020: Kick off with new consulting partner Cygnus Design Group
  • February – March 2020: Audit of SHN’s wayfinding system and assets
  • August 2020 – December 2020: Staff and community engagement
  • March 2021: Completion of wayfinding masterplan
  • June 2021: Development of signage standards
  • October 2021 – March 2022: Pilot studies of interior signage
  • December 2021 – February 2022: Installation of new exterior signage
  • October 2022: Development of SHN’s Signage, Posting and Clear Wall policy / Removal of legacy branding / Installation of new wayfinding maps and directories
  • February 2023: Installation of new room door tags
  • July 2023: Notification of name changes to departments and units, and installation of temporary signage
  • October 2023: Installation of new department and unit signage

Learn more about wayfinding

Wayfinding is the repeating process of orientation, direction, and confirmation that people undertake as they navigate an environment. SHN believes that it’s important for patients, visitors, and staff to be able to find their way around our hospitals easily. This process is an important part for healthcare delivery.

Wayfinding uses many tools, including signage, to help people along their way. Understanding where you are, where you need to go, and how to get there reduces stress and helps you get where they need to be on time. Architectural features and technology are other tools that work together with signage as part of the SHN wayfinding system.

  1. Orientation
    • Hospital maps and directories give you important information
      about your destination. Signs like these help you get to where you
      need to be.
  2. Direction
    1. When you are navigating the hospital, directional information
      at decision points helps keep you on the right path, and offers
      assurance you are going in the right direction.
  3. Confirmation
    • Whether at a checkpoint or at the final destination in your journey,
      it should always be clear that you have arrived somewhere with the
      name of that place clearly stated.

Our wayfinding system is built on the principle of progressive disclosure. That is, as you move through your journey, the information becomes more specific the closer you get to your desired destination. This helps to reduce the amount of text on signs and makes it easier for you to find the information important.

This project is being led by our Facilities Planning team and includes a multi-disciplinary group with representation from Plant Operations, Communications, Volunteer Services, and Patient and Community Engagement.

We have been working closely with our wayfinding consultants, Cygnus — a design company that has partnered with leading health care institutions for 30 years to develop wayfinding systems that are accessible and patient-friendly, and meet the needs of diverse communities.