Sophie, Countess of Wessex visits Toronto

Following her few days in New York, The Countess of Wessex has visited Toronto.

Arriving in the Canadian city on Thursday 12th November, Sophie’s first point of call was the Native Child and Family Services of Toronto. The organisation was founded in 1986 by concerned members of Toronto’s Native community and continues to support natives and their families today.

Later, the Countess visited Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre, a charity providing services for Toronto’s Aboriginal population, including homeless support.

The Countess of Wessex speaking with natives assisted by via LG Elizabeth Dowell

The Countess of Wessex speaking with natives assisted by via Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor

Sophie, 50, ended her day with a ‘Partners for Discovery’ dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel for her patronage, the Toronto General Hospital.

On Friday, Sophie visited Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital. Her first visit to the Toronto General Hospital was in June 2005, after which she became its patron.

Sophie attended a meeting at the Shangri-La Hotel regarding the hospital, and met patients and staff, participating in a briefing on the hospital’s transplant program. The Countess unveiled a plaque in memory of organ donors.

Next, Sophie and the Lieutenant Governor met with doctors and researchers to learn about new technologies that are related to vision care, stroke treatments, and arthritis. After a tour, the Countess joined President and CEO of University Health Network and others for an official announcement on stage.

The announcement was that the Toronto Western Research Institute was changing its name – it is now known as the Krembil Research Institute, thanks to the support from the Krembil Family. The Krembil family is a leading investor in the facility, also supporting different causes including health care, education and the arts at the local, provincial and national levels.
Robert Krembil said: “Our family has been involved with Toronto Western Hospital for more than 18 years. During this time we have gained a deep appreciation for the research excellence and the scientists who are working to find cures for some of the most debilitating health issues of our day. We are proud to continue our support of the valuable work that happens here.”
In the afternoon, the Countess of Wessex visited the 93rd annual Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, the world’s largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show. The fair has a long history with the Royal Family: King George V approved the use of the Royal title in 1920 and The Queen is the current patron. The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall were present for the opening ceremonies, back in 2009.  

During the visit, Sophie met Turbo the goat, who posed for photos with the Royal visitor. The Countess described the Nigerian Dwarf goat as a ‘very friendly’. She also took a look at the various stalls and products at the show.

On Sunday, the Countess, as Colonel in Chief of the Lincoln and Welland Regiment, observed a military display in Grimsby.

The Countess has finished her working visit in Canada, and arrived back in the UK on Sunday evening.

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