Caring and Sharing: Remembering Margaret Juravinski

May 11, 2023

A proud lifelong Hamiltonian and well-known philanthropist, Margaret Juravinski was beloved by the Hamilton community.

Her care and concern for the people of the city manifested itself in her and her husband’s remarkable generosity over more than 20 years, creating a transformational philanthropic legacy in Hamilton.

For Margaret, ‘sharing is caring’ was a mantra she invoked each and every day. It didn’t matter the amount or where the gift was directed, it was the act of giving and the impact it would make that was paramount.

“It’s what we want to do for the community because we care for this community … caring and sharing is the general idea we hope other people would pick up on,” Margaret said in a 2019 interview.

The 91-year-old died May 9 in Hamilton. Charles, her husband of more than 65 years, died February 16, 2022 at the age of 92.

“All of us at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and its charitable foundation are truly saddened by the passing of Margaret Juravinski. The passing of a pillar of our community can leave a tremendous void in our hearts, but Margaret left us an incredible legacy that will live on. Because of Margaret and her late husband Charles, our city is home to world-class healthcare facilities that bear their names, and we are at the epicenter of health research thanks to the work underway through the Juravinski Research Institute. The legacy of Margaret and Charles Juravinski is achieving exactly what they intended it to – benefitting and improving the lives of others well beyond their passing,” says Melissa Farrell, President, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.

Margaret grew up during the Great Depression in East Hamilton. After the war, she met Charles Juravinski while working at the Woolworth’s counter making sandwiches.

Across all aspects of her life, Margaret was known for her dedication, energy and wisdom. She worked alongside her husband, helping manage Flamboro Downs for 30 years until it was sold in 2003.

Throughout all their various business and philanthropic endeavours, Margaret was Charles’ top adviser and partner. While Charles may have been the more vocal of the pair, both he and Margaret made it clear time and time again that the success of their 65-year plus marriage relied heavily on the fact that they were partners: in business, in marriage and in life.

Margaret and Charles spent more than two decades making gifts to several Hamilton organizations, including giving more than $68.8 million to Hamilton Health Sciences, McMaster University and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.

Their generosity is recognized in part with the naming of the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre at Hamilton Health Sciences, the Juravinski Innovation Tower at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s Charlton Campus, the Margaret & Charles Juravinski Centre for Integrated Healthcare at St. Joseph’s West 5th Campus and Margaret’s Place Hospice at St. Joseph’s Villa.

“Working with Margaret (and Charlie) over the past 15 years has been one of the most rewarding and meaningful highlights of my time here at St. Joe’s,” says Sera Filice-Armenio, President and CEO, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation. “Over the years, I was consistently awed by their generous spirit, encouraged by Margaret’s desire to spread the word about the power of philanthropy, and inspired by the humility and humanity that were the hallmarks of their legacy. Margaret was so committed to making sure their gifts would have the widest, most accessible impact, ensuring all those in need could find and receive the very best healthcare, right here in Hamilton. She was a remarkable force for good and she will be deeply missed.”

Over the last four years, Charles and Margaret continued to make new gifts totalling $16.5 million through their namesake foundation to support research on child and youth health, integrated care, burn research, macular degeneration, health system transformation, COVID-19 and brain health.

Today, the Juravinski name is synonymous with world-class, personalized health care and health research in Hamilton through the Juravinski Research Institute.

“Today, we mourn the loss of a true champion for the health and prosperity of Hamilton. Margaret Juravinski and her husband, Charlie, embodied the spirit of philanthropy,” says Dr. Julian Dobranowski, Chair of the Juravinski Research Institute Steering and Scientific Committees. “Selfless to her core, Margaret sought to make Hamilton a better place by improving the quality of health care for patients at all stages of life. Giving was part of her DNA, having spent much of her golden years inspiring others to make gifts to causes close to their hearts. It was a tremendous pleasure to call her my friend, and while I’ll miss her wonderful smile and endearing sense of humour, it gives me hope to know that her and Charlie’s legacies will live on through the Juravinski Research Institute and the countless patients and families who have been touched by their immense generosity.”