Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Nurses at Sunnybrook Health Sciences working together  

Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2019) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2019):

Here are some of the reasons why Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2019) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2019):

  • With multiple employee groups, Sunnybrook Health Sciences has balanced its maternity and parental leave policies to ensure that the majority of its employees (approximately 70%) receive the same levels of maternity leave top-up for new moms (to 93% of salary for 25 weeks), as well as parental leave top-ups for new dads and adoptive parents (to 93% of salary for 10 weeks) -- and all employees can take advantage of the convenience of an onsite daycare centre with 60 spaces
  • Sunnybrook Health Sciences helps employees plan securely for the future with contributions to a defined benefit pension plan and retirement planning assistance -- the organization also offers phased-in work options to help employees make the transition
  • Sunnybrook Health Sciences offers a unique workplace experience in health care, located on an incredible campus-like setting with nearly 100 acres of ravine parkland with plenty of green space for employees to walk or ride their bikes, private outdoor spaces for quiet lunch breaks, a large gathering space for over 3,000 employees (where an annual fall barbecue is hosted), and outdoor soccer field -- inside, employees have access to a variety of eating options and two fitness centres, as well as shops and services
Sunnybrook Health Sciences president and CEO Dr. Andy Smith (left) with staff during the organization's Education Awards   (Photo credit: Doug Nicholson)

Employer Background

Industry General medical and surgical hospitals
Established in Canada 1948
Major Canadian hiring locations Toronto ON
Full-time employees in Canada 7,450
Part-time employees in Canada 3,500
Workforce engaged on a contract basis 1%
Average age of employees in Canada 42 years
Longest serving employee 50 years

Physical Workplace Rating: A+

Commuter amenities transit subsidies, online car-pool sign-up, electric vehicle charging stations, secure/sheltered bicycle parking
Workplace features located on acres of parkland in midtown Toronto, Sunnybrook's main location features multiple buildings (newer buildings are designed with employee feedback), an employee shuttle bus to the subway and downtown, multiple outdoor patios, soccer field, green space for employees to relax (and enough space to accommodate 3,000 people for summer barbecues), walk, ride a bike and to comfortably host their annual staff barbecue, onsite car wash, telecommuter workstations, sit-stand workstations, nap room, religious observance room, outdoor patio, self-serve lunchroom, outdoor barbecue
Employee lounge amenities comfortable seating, music, television, board games
Onsite cafeteria healthy menus, special diet menus, take-home meals, onsite food court includes Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Second Cup and a variety of food options
Onsite fitness facility for employees only, free membership, treadmills, stationary bikes, stairmasters, instructor-led classes (boot camp, pilates, yoga), rowing machines, weights, shower facilities, open 24/7
Other nearby amenities Granite Club, fitness club, Sunnybrook Park, daycare, restaurants, shopping mall, summer farmer's market, gift shops, dry cleaning service, pharmacy, banking, hairdresser

Work Atmosphere & Communications Rating: A

Employee social committee name Quality of Work & Life (est. 2005)
Recent social events staff recognition awards, service awards, staff barbecue every Thursday in the summer, staff summer golf tournament, departmental holiday parties, Random Acts of Kindness Day, employee soccer, hockey, basketball and volleyball teams, and even an employee choir and the Sunnybrook Rock Band
Cultural aspects employee sports teams, dress-for-your-day policy, casual dress (e.g. jeans) daily, music while working, organized social activities for retirees
Employee communications intranet site, company newsletter, traditional/email suggestion box

Financial Benefits & Compensation Rating: A

Financial benefits note Sunnybrook has multiple employee groups, financial benefits may vary by position
Outside salary surveys participates in outside salary surveys every 18 months
Employee salary reviews individual salaries are reviewed every 12 months
Long-term savings defined-benefit (DB) pension
Long-term planning retirement planning assistance, phased-in retirement work options, life & disability insurance
Additional financial benefits compensation levels for unionized employees are determined through the collective bargaining process, external salary surveys are used to ensure competitive compensation for non-unionized personnel

Health & Family-Friendly Benefits Rating: A

Health plan note Sunnybrook has multiple employee groups, health plans may vary by position
Health plan premium as part of the health plan, the employer pays up to 75% of the premiums
Minimum hours worked for coverage 21 hours per week
Waiting period for coverage 30 days
Family coverage option yes
Retiree coverage option up to 65 years of age
Dental coverage routine, restorative, orthodontics
Traditional coverage (e.g. prescription drugs) yes
Other health plan information employee assistance (EAP) plan, semi-private hospital room, medical travel insurance, medical equipment and supplies, chiropractor
Additional health and wellness information Sunnybrook has separate health benefits plans for its various employee groups, most plans include a 1-month waiting period before coverage commences and all plans generally offer the minimum coverages listed above, employees can also take advantage of a unique Life Stages Program to support employees through all stages of life (from student life to parenthood to retirement)
Family-friendly benefits note Sunnybrook has multiple employee groups, family-friendly policies may vary by position
In vitro fertilization (IVF) $15,000 per lifetime
Maternity top-up (mothers) up to 93% of salary for 15 weeks
Parental top-up (mothers) up to 93% of salary for 10 weeks
Parental top-up (fathers) up to 93% of salary for 10 weeks
Adoption top-up up to 93% of salary for 10 weeks
Additional family-friendly benefits daycare centre onsite
Alternative work options flexible work hours, shortened work week (fewer hours with less pay), compressed work week, telecommuting
Additional family-friendly information flexible work options vary by employee group

Vacation & Personal Time-Off Rating: B+

Vacation note Sunnybrook has multiple employee groups, vacation policies may vary by position
Vacation allowance new employees receive 3 weeks of paid vacation after their first year on the job
Vacation jump vacation increases after 3 years of employment
Maximum vacation allowance employees move to a maximum of 7 weeks of vacation over their career
Previous experience considers previous work experience when setting annual vacation for new employees
Personal paid days off employees can schedule 2 personal days off each year, as needed
Company paid days off employees receive 1 personal day off, as determined by their employer
Unpaid leave of absence option yes
Self-funded/deferred salary leave maximum 12 months
Additional time-off information vacation varies by employee group with some employees receiving 2 and 4 weeks of starting vacation

Employee Engagement & Performance Rating: B+

Employee performance reviews employees receive individual performance reviews every 18 months
Managers receive performance review training yes
360° feedback option as part of the review process, performance feedback is also solicited from co-workers and other managers familiar with each employee's work
Confidential employee feedback employees can also provide confidential feedback on their manager's performance
Exit interview exit interview option is available for departing employees
Performance recognition on-the-spot rewards, peer-to-peer recognition awards, long-service awards, tailored and unique rewards (i.e. travel), staff and physician recognition program, various awards for exceptional customer service, clinical care, education, research, and good deeds and service
In-house survey period in-house surveys are conducted every 24 months
Outside survey period outside consultant surveys are held every 18 months

Training & Skills Development Rating: A+

Career planning in-house career planning services, online employee skills inventory
In-house training initiatives mentoring, in-house training, online training, paid internships, subsidies for professional accreditation, mentoring to transfer retirees' skills
Related tuition subsidies employer covers up to 100% of tuition per year
Annual tuition maximum employer pays up to $3,000 in tuition subsidies for job-related courses per year
Unrelated tuition subsidies employer covers up to 50% of tuition per year for courses unrelated to current position
Unrelated tuition maximum employer pays up to $1,600 in tuition subsidies per year for courses unrelated to current position
Financial bonuses for course completions yes
Unique training & development programs Sunnybrook's Leadership Institute offers extensive leadership training programs for senior-level employees in medical, administrative or middle management positions, formal education and research awards programs

Community Involvement Rating: A

Scope of charitable involvement local, international
Employee charitable involvement employees are involved in selection of charities, employees receive paid time off to volunteer
Some of the community organizations supported United Way, Toy Mountain, food drives for the Salvation Army and local food banks, Relay for Life Walk, Youth Experiential Learning Program (partnership with the Toronto District School Board), Career Edge (support for new Canadians), a Youth Summer Work Program, and a longstanding program to send needed medical equipment to developing countries
Community highlight Beyond its raison d'être in caring for people, Sunnybrook's charitable focus includes support for initiatives that enhance the health and wellness of others. Across the hospital, each department and area may select those causes and issues that are important to them, from coat collection drives for homeless people to blood donor clinics to bracelet sales for skin cancer.

Recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2019):

Here are some of the reasons why Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre was selected as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2019):

  • In partnership with four leading Toronto area hospitals, Sunnybrook hosted a Waste Reduction Week, a collaboration and competition to engage employees and gain insight into waste and recycling habits of organizations with similar footprints
  • Sunnybrook has a well-developed Environmental Sustainability Policy that encompasses five primary areas: energy and water conservation, waste management, transportation, procurement, and awareness and education -- the policy is supported by a number of unique outreach initiatives to encourage employee involvement, including the annual Earth Matters Showcase to teach employees about behaviours they can adopt at work and at home
  • Sunnybrook continues to address paper consumption, moving all employees to a paperless payroll system as well as introducing an online-only purchasing system -- and recently completed an extensive review (and cancelled) a number of unused magazine subscriptions
Sunnybrook Health Sciences employees planting trees   (Photo credit: Dale Roddick)


Industry General medical and surgical hospitals
Major Canadian hiring locations Toronto ON
Full-time employees in Canada 7,450
Employee green team Sunnybrook's Green Champions
Senior executive who oversees initiatives Manager of Energy & Sustainability, Manager of Energy & Climate Change, Building Systems & Control Specialist
Formal strategy/policy name Environmental Sustainability Policy
Green highlights Waste Reduction Week (inter-hospital collaboration and competition to engage employees and gain insight into the waste and recycling habits across four Toronto hospitals), Earth Matters Awareness and Education Campaign (annual Earth Matters Showcase, website and blog, green newsletter), paperless payroll and purchasing systems, cancellation of unused magazine subscriptions
Building footprint includes PV solar panels, rainwater collection, green roof, cool (white) roof systems to reflect heat, low-flush fixtures, environmentally friendly cleaning products, Smart Energy Action Program (includes monitoring programs and educational awareness), Facility Renewal Program (recently completed $28 million facility renewal program, leading to significant energy and cost savings)
Extended recycling fluorescent lightbulbs, anesthetic gas capture technology, waste sterilization system (treats biomedical waste onsite), organics, e-waste, printer cartridges, batteries, yard waste composting program (for reuse in plantings)
Commuter amenities hosted a commuter survey in 2016 to properly understand employee commuting habits and patterns, shuttle bus service, carpooling program, leases hybrid cars for security personnel, Bikes User Group Sunnybrook (BUGS), secure bike parking, Bike to Work Day, walk to public transit, secure/sheltered bicycle parking, online car-pool sign-up, transit subsidies, electric vehicle charging stations
Community partnerships SmartCommute (awarded the prestigious GOLD Workplace for its policies)

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