Allan Slaight accepts the Walt Grealis award at the at the 2005 Juno Awards at the Winnipeg Convention Centre on Saturday April 2, 2005. A Toronto cancer hospital has received a $50 million donation to support research into the disease. The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation says the private gift will allow cancer researchers to explore unconventional approaches to their work. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marianne Helm

Toronto cancer hospital receives $50 mil donation in memory of late philanthropist

Toronto cancer hospital receives $50 mil donation in memory of late philanthropist

TORONTO — A Toronto cancer hospital has received a $50 million donation to support research into the disease.

The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation says the private gift will allow cancer researchers to explore unconventional approaches to their work.

The money was donated in memory of Canadian broadcasting mogul Allan Slaight, who died last year at age 90, by his wife Emmanuelle Gattuso’s foundation and the Slaight Family Foundation, managed by his son, Gary Slaight.

The Slaight family donated $50 million to Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation in 2013 to advance the development of personalized cancer medicine.

The foundation says the private gift announced Tuesday is “undesignated,” meaning the funds aren’t tied to a specific program or outcome. It says the funds will support scientific breakthroughs and attract top researchers to the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

The foundation says the Allan Slaight Breakthrough Fund comes at a “critical time” as pandemic-related disruptions to cancer screenings and treatments have raised concerns about a potential rise in cancer mortality rates.

“Over the last two years, scientific research has been at the forefront of the news cycle and our daily conversations. However, we have not been talking about cancer – the leading cause of death in Canada,” Dr. Miyo Yamashita, president and chief executive officer of the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation, said Tuesday in a statement.

“Research plays a critical role in our efforts to conquer cancer and this extraordinary gift will lead to future breakthroughs, and improved outcomes for patients in Canada, and around the world.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 5, 2022.

The Canadian Press

Cancer