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Bethune Memorial House National Historic Site

Visitor Information

@ Parks Canada

An international icon and medical pioneer, Dr. Norman Bethune’s birthplace is nestled in the town of Gravenhurst, 90 minutes from Toronto. A picturesque example of Victorian-era architecture, this clapboard house is a site of great historical importance to Canada, China and the world at-large.

Born to unassuming circumstances in 1890, Bethune would go on to develop vital medical procedures—including the first-ever battle-front blood transfusion—as well as strengthen the bond between Canada and China, foster our country’s reputation as a nation with social conscience and advocate for Canada’s universal health care system. Today, Bethune Memorial House is preserved as an educational experience for visitors as well as a place of reverence in Chinese culture.

Tour the Visitor Centre to uncover the story of a small-town boy turned medical genius and humanitarian through diaries, displays and videos as well as Bethune’s artwork and medical instruments he designed. And the restored 1890s-era home sets Bethune’s story and illuminates the inspirations that led to his life spent serving humanity.