• By: OLM Staff

Explore Canada’s Formative Medical History with The Roosting Box

Author: Kristen den Hartog
Published by: Goose Lane Editions
Pages: 346

“A hospital is like a roosting box: a communal space that provides ideal but temporary shelter for the vulnerable.”

In The Roosting Box: Rebuilding the Body after the First World War, Kristen Den Hartog presents an eloquently written history of the early years of Toronto’s Christy Street Hospital, showing how, within the country, the First World War reshaped Canada as a society from the ground up. By focusing on everyday people at the heart of the story, den Hartog puts a face on some of the most formative years for Canadian society, healthcare, and innovation. 

The book features a diverse cast of characters, prominently featuring patients from organized backgrounds who are differently abled people who have often been ignored in Canadian history books. It chronicles their injuries, treatments, and struggles while also looking at the accomplishments and challenges facing the hospital staff.

The book also examines Christy Street Hospital’s pivotal role in Dr. Frederick Banting’s development of insulin. Patients participated in medical experiments that led to one of the most important medical discoveries in Canada’s and the world’s history.

About the Author

Kristen den Hartog is a decorated novelist and non-fiction writer whose books have won the Alberta Trade Fiction Book. She has also been shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award and the Trillium Award. She lives on the west end of Toronto near the former site of Christie Street Hospital.