Bethune Memorial House in Gravenhurst, Muskoka

The Bethune Memorial House was home to Dr. Norman Bethune a surgeon, inventor, and political activist, born right here in Gravenhurst, Ontario in 1890.

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The house is a National Historic Site of Canada.

After contracting pulmonary tuberculosis in 1926, Bethune dedicated himself to tuberculosis victims and thoracic surgery. Bethune’s achievements include his dedication and research to tuberculosis and a mobile blood transfusion service.

Known in his fame mostly for the last two years of his life, which he spent in China as a teacher and surgeon – his legacy carries on as Bethune’s story is taught as humanitarianism to millions of Chinese students.


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  • Bethune Memorial House National Historic Site

    Bethune Memorial House National Historic Site

    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.