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Visiting the Hospital

When suitable, friends and family are welcome to stop by to show their support, bring good wishes, and assist in the care of a loved one. There are times when patients need quiet rest so we ask you to respect posted visiting hours for each area of patient care. These hours are listed below.


Visit Well

Visit Well
Infection control is everyone’s responsibility. Please do not visit the hospital if you are not feeling well or have recently been exposed to an infectious disease.

Please use the hand sanitizers available throughout the hospital upon entering and when leaving.

Latex-Safe Environment Latex-Safe Environment
Latex can cause a severe allergic reaction.
In an effort to reduce the risk of exposure to natural rubber latex, latex balloons are not allowed in the hospital.
Mylar balloons are acceptable.
Fragrance-Reduced Area Fragrance-Reduced Area
For the health and comfort of everyone, please refrain from using fragrances or heavily scented products when visiting the hospital.

100% Smoke-Free
Your health is our business. Markham Stouffville Hospital is a 100% smoke-free property.

You are invited to visit a family member or friend in the hospital any day of the week, anytime between the hours of 11:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

When Not to Visit
Prior to 11:00 a.m. as this can be a very busy time for patients in the units. 

Please understand that you can best assist in the care of your loved one by allowing this time for the doctors and nurses to provide the direct care needed by your friend or loved one by not visiting during that time.  If you are at the hospital during this time, please take time for yourself in the lobby or restaurant - enjoy a coffee browse the great merchandise in the gift shop or find quiet time in our nondenominational chapel.

The Hush Zone
Space, noise and intrusion into other patients’ level of comfort require that there be only two visitors per patient at any time.  Please check with the Nurse if you wish to bring additional visitors to the unit and encourage others with you to speak quietly in order to avoid disturbing others around you.

Children (12 and under) are welcome to visit with permission from the patient and their nurse. Children must be accompanied by a parent or authorized adult delegate and closely supervised at all times.

Department Specific Visiting Hours:

Childbirth and Children's Centre
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Mental Health
Surgical Areas
Intensive Care Unit
Emergency Department

Childbirth and Children's Centre


The Centre for Childbirth and Children philosophy of family-centred care supports the belief that the partner and family are an integral part of the woman's childbirth experience. The visiting policy supports the new family's emotional needs for family involvement, while allowing for the provision of nursing care, teaching, rest and safety.

Family and Friends

Your family and friends are welcome to visit you during your stay at the Centre for Childbirth and Children during visiting hours from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Family and friends who are experiencing flu-like symptoms are discouraged from visiting. 

Fathers and Labour Support Persons

Fathers and labour support persons are welcome anytime.


To ensure safety, siblings must have a caregiver other than the father or labour support person during labour and delivery if accompanying mother to the hospital.

Visiting Guidelines

  • One support person may stay with the mother overnight, unless the mother is in a semi-private or standard room.
  • Supervised, healthy children, regardless of age and relationship to the patient, may visit on the unit anytime during visiting hours.
  • For safety reasons, there may be times when we need to restrict the number of visitors at one time.
  • Parents of a paediatric patient may stay with their child overnight.
  • Parents of patients in the NICU may visit at any time. Your nurse will discuss a plan with you to promote bonding, feeding and rest for both you and your baby.
Newborn Infant Security
A child is a precious gift. We are committed to protecting your infant and ask that you do your part by following our Newborn Security protocol as posted in your room.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

We understand the desire of parents to remain close by their infant, especially so when the situation requires they be in the NICU.  Therefore, parents may visit at any time approved by the nursing staff.

With the consent of the parent or guardian, visitors are welcome at the NICU throughout the week during the hours of 11 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Whenever possible, we try our best to accommodate siblings. Please check with the nurse prior to bringing siblings to the NICU.

The NICU can quickly become crowded and so we ask that you respect our maximum of two visitors per bassinette.


One parent is welcome to stay, and in fact we encourage a parent to stay 24 hours a day to support and comfort their child. One adult delegate may spend the night with the child. Other visitors are welcome during normal Childbirth and Children's Centre visiting hours, which are 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Mental Health

Please check with the staff on duty at the time, but generally speaking family and friends are welcome weekdays from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

To accommodate lengthier visits, weekend and holiday visiting hours are 11 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Surgical Areas

Surgical Assessment Clinic, Surgical Procedure Unit and Day Surgery areas
You are welcome to bring one adult companion to attend clinic appointments.  In many cases you will be glad for the company and for the transportation back home.
Day of Surgery
For your comfort and support, up to two adults may accompany you on the day of your procedure or surgery. 

We strongly encourage that you have arranged your return transportation ahead of attending these areas.  Many of the waiting areas can often be quite crowded and schedules can get delayed.  We suggest you arrange alternate care for young children who do not need to be at the clinic - for their comfort and yours.

Intensive Care Unit

Often patients in these areas require close nursing supervison and special attention.  Please assist us in providing the best care possible by following the instructions of the nurses on duty during your visit. 

Visitors are welcome every day between 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Emergency Departments

No one likes to wait, especially at the ER.  Emergency Departments are busy places that at times become very crowded. While several people may accompany a loved one to the waiting room at the Hospital, only one adult companion per patient is allowed into the emergency room with a patient.

Long delays are often experienced despite the very best efforts of the phyicians, nurses and staff on duty at the time.  The Triage Nurse is expertly trained to determine priority emergencies and will move someone in ahead of another if it is thought that their issue is of a more severe nature - a higher level of acuity.

What is not evident to individuals in the waiting area are the number of patients brought into the ER by Police or EMS thorugh the Ambulance Bays adjacent to the building. 

Sometimes a doctor may actually come out to the waiting area to ask you about your emergency.  When this happens it is likely that many of the beds in the Emergency Department are occupied by patients waiting to move to a bed in one of the hospital units.  If no bed is available right away, there is an immediate delay to bringing patients into the assessment and treatment area.


Clinic Appointments, Diagnostic tests, Outpatient procedures and treatments result in nearly 200,000 patient visits per year at Markham Stouffville Hospital.  Waiting area space can be at quite a premium on some days. 

We encourage you to have one adult companion escort you for scheduled appointments, tests, outpatient procedures or treatments.

For any of these visits, children (12 and under) are not allowed in the Diagnostic Testing Suites and therefore they should not accompany you to the Hospital.  We are unable to provide supervised care for them while your test or treatment is carried out. Often it is inappropriate for them to accompany you into your assessment.  Delays that may arise at any point during the day could cause considerable discomfort for young visitors as meal times or play periods get missed.