Impact of Funds

PMCF logo_png


Since 2008, The Ride has surpassed all other cycling events to become Canada’s most successful cycling fundraiser. Raising over $99.3 million in Toronto alone, Ride funds support the work of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world.

Supporting the Ride to Conquer Cancer means supporting a leading Canadian research centre. We believe that conquering cancer starts with building a bright and motivated team of people, implementing the most promising programs and assembling the most advanced technology platforms on which to build.

Funds will support Princess Margaret's vision of Personalized Cancer Medicine - a multi-faceted, integrated approach to cancer care that focuses on the unique nature of each patient: "Finding the right treatment for the right patient, at the right time."

Funding will go towards programs like our high content clinical trials, our world class tumour bank, our advanced molecular profiling laboratory and our new drug development program. Princess Margaret will also be able to allocate funds for other programs like cancer stem cells, cancer metabolism and microenvironment, immunotherapy, and major site programs such as lung cancer, prostate cancer and women’s cancers programs, to name a few.

Use of Funds

Download Our Infographic


Princess Margaret has assembled a powerhouse of researchers and clinicians dedicated to moving from the current standard of care to personalized cancer medicine providing the right treatment for the right patient, at the right time.

Leading this team is:

  • Dr. Mary Gospodarowicz: Medical Director, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre who is also actively engaged in clinical radiation oncology.


  • Dr. Benjamin Neel: Research Director at The Campbell Family Cancer Research Centre, overseeing that the most promising basic cancer research is translated into clinical outcomes.


  • Dr. Tak Mak: World-renowned scientist focused on identifying new genetic targets for women’s cancers and Director, Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research.

Just some of the leading researchers at The Princess Margaret include:

  • Dr. Norman Boyd: Pioneer and leader in breast cancer prevention strategies.
  • Dr. Robert Bristow: Oversees the prostate centre and research into targeted therapies.
  • Dr. Laura Dawson: Researching precision radiation techniques for hard-to-target tumours.
  • Dr. John Dick: Considered a luminary researcher for his work on cancer stem cells.
  • Dr. Jon Irish: Chief of Surgical Oncology and pioneer of Image Guided Therapeutic advancements.
  • Dr. David Jaffray: World leader on advanced Image Guided Therapy.
  • Dr. Igor Jurisica: Holds a Research Chair in Computational Biology, a promising area of cancer research.
  • Dr. Malcolm Moore: Director of the Bras Family New Drug Development Program for cancer research.
  • Dr. Pamela Ohashi: Highly recognized scientist for her work in immunotherapy research.
  • Dr. Aaron Schimmer: Instrumental for his work on cancer drug development and new treatments.
  • Dr. Frances Shepherd: Instrumental in researching new standards of care for lung cancer patients.
  • Dr. Ming Tsao: Director of the Lung Cancer Translational Research Laboratory.
  • Dr. Bradly Wouters: Leads the world-leading tumour microenvironment program.
The Billion Dollar Challenge

We have launched The BILLION DOLLAR CHALLENGE, a 5-year initiative to secure $1 Billion to revolutionize cancer care by creating a new gold standard: Personalized Cancer Medicine.

Every patient is unique. Every patient's cancer is different. So it follows that individualized treatment will get the best results.

Changing the paradigm of cancer medicine requires a major investment. The BILLION DOLLAR CHALLENGE is the largest single fundraising campaign in the history of Canadian healthcare!

The Billion Dollar Challenge will enable The Princess Margaret to:

  • Attract, retain and train world-class researchers, physicians and other staff in new and promising areas including:
  • o Epigenetics
    o Genetic Sequencing
    o Immune Therapy
    o Molecular Imaging
    o Nanotechnology
  • Expand and retrofit workspaces for maximum efficiency.
  • Secure the equipment and technology that will allow us to continue improving the lives of all cancer patients.

  • The donations you give to Princess Margaret over the next 5 years will make Personalized Cancer Medicine a reality. Believe it.

    Personalized Cancer Medicine

    We believe that we will conquer cancer by matching treatment to the exact type and stage of tumour for each individual patient. Princess Margaret is laying the foundation for Personalized Cancer Medicine for patients across Canada and around the world. Our definition is broad and encompasses four main areas:

  • Detect cancer earlier through sophisticated imaging technology and other techniques.
  • Diagnose cancer with more precision. This year we launched the first Canadian trial that uses new gene sequencing technology to identify the specific mutations of a tumour.
  • Target treatment for each individual patient through minimally-invasive surgical techniques, radiation therapy that is precise to within a millimeter, drug therapy that is toxic only to cancer cells and new types of treatment such as immune therapy that ‘trains’ our immune system to kill cancer cells.
  • Support patients and their families through psychosocial and survivorship programs that help patients adapt to a ‘new normal’.

  • Stephen Bear
    Stephen Bear

    Yesterday I accepted the role of volunteer Chair of Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. I am honoured and excited and look forward to supporting all of you in your work. It is critical to the success of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and University Health Network that we continue to raise funds to support the care, research and teaching that goes on each and every day on behalf of the cancer patients in our hospital and cancer patients around the world.

    I have chosen to serve as a volunteer for many reasons, but let me give you the most important one. Princess Margaret Cancer Centre makes a difference! A difference in the lives of Canadians and for cancer patients around the world. I want to spend my volunteer time and energy supporting a place that matters and Princess Margaret matters.

    Why do I believe that?

    Research done by our scientists and clinicians resulted in the discovery of the stem cell and the cancer stem cell. This means that bone marrow transplantation is now used throughout the world so that people with leukemia can recover and live long and productive lives. Excellence at the hospital has made it the only non-U.S. site funded by the U.S. National Cancer Institute to design, develop and conduct early-phase drug therapies. This is an important role for our hospital to play and will allow patients in Ontario to have early access to new therapies. And, our donors have supported such projects as the redevelopment of the chemotherapy day area at the hospital - a huge accomplishment that provides people having cancer treatment with more comfort, convenience and a welcoming atmosphere. Our donors also supported the creation of the Gattuso Rapid Diagnostic Centre, which provides a diagnosis and treatment plan for women with suspected breast cancer within just days of referral. These are only a few of the outcomes that our foundations work has resulted in and that we can be truly proud of.

    I volunteer because the research we support will help conquer cancer in our lifetime. If we don’t fund research, we’re saying that things are just fine the way they are and nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to cancer treatment.

    We have all taken on the ambitious goal of raising a billion dollars to continue the fight against cancer. We will do this together by meeting or exceeding the targets we’ve set for ourselves and by continuing to innovate in the field of fundraising. As you’ll see in our Annual Report (insert link) which is now online, we have seen remarkable growth over the past five years and your Board continues to steward the funds of the Foundation for maximum impact.

    In 2008, our gross revenues, excluding lottery revenue were $61,678,000 and last year $80,299,000 came in to the Foundation. In addition $ 18,080,000 net revenue was raised from lotteries last year, compared to $13,714,000 in 2008. This is a remarkable achievement, especially considering that our direct fundraising costs, expressed as a percent, were 14.4% in 2008 and 17.7% in 2012 and our general fundraising and administrative expenses as a percentage of total net fundraising revenue were 9.8% in 2012 - well under the acceptable total fundraising costs of 35% suggested by CRA guidelines. Direct costs of our lottery programs of 68% are also among the lowest in the industry and below the acceptable costs of 70% or higher suggested by CRA fundraising guidelines.

    I urge you to read the Annual Report. It is our report back to our donors and our community. We can all be proud of the funds we raise, the impact those funds have, and the fact that we keep our costs low. You also need to know that, when the right opportunities arise, our Board will consider investing money to raise additional funds. This is an important part of our social enterprise model, and we have a history of doing so, starting with the lottery program in the mid-nineties. We will continue to do so with the support and assistance of the leadership team, every member of the Foundation and our suppliers who bring their expertise and skills to the table.

    Our Foundation stands out in its ability to create new ways of raising revenue. The success of all our fundraising programs, including our event program (Weekend to End Women’s Cancers, the Ride to Conquer Cancer and Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer) is critical to the success of the research program at Princess Margaret and the Ontario Cancer Institute. As a result of the successful fundraising, as just one example in 2008 the Foundation gave $54,637,000 in grants to our scientists. That amount was $63,484,000 last year! These details and others can all be found in our Annual Report.

    I will close by saying that, as your volunteer Chair, and with the support and guidance of my fellow board members, my focus will be on supporting your professional fundraising, stewarding and managing the dollars you raise, and strengthening the relationships we have with all of our donors. It is important that our donors understand how we spend their money so we will continue to talk about the work that is done in the hospital, the equipment we buy so that researchers and clinicians can continue their work, and the differences we make to the lives of the cancer patients who are receiving their treatment today as well as in the future.

    Together we are and will be a big part of the battle to conquer cancer in our lifetimes!

    Stephen Bear
    Chair, Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation

    Where your dollars go