Triumph in Toronto: The Story of Peter and Ine Koonings

Since Peter and Ine Koonings immigrated to Canada they have turned to St. Michael’s for their health-care needs.

The pair, who fell in love in Holland, came to Toronto to build a new life. Trained as an engineer, Peter began working for Goodyear Tires, but his real passion was photography. When Peter returned home from work, he would go into his photography “lab” – a bathroom in their home – and develop photos while freelancing as “Peter of Holland Photography”. Little did they know that this side-project would shape the rest of their lives.

They began producing for companies such as IMAX, and clients such as Don Watt – famous for his retail branding and design work with companies like Home Depot and Nescafé – and quickly outgrew their home lab. Now more than thirty years ago, they purchased a building in downtown Toronto to house their booming business, “Contempo Color Labs”. With a staff of 17, as well as help from Peter and Ine’s five children, the family established a full-colour lab in the heart of the city. 

For many years Toronto has been home to their family and business, and St. Michael’s has been their principal hospital. When their family physician Dr. Hamilton Smith retired, they were referred to St. Michael’s physician Dr. Peter Kopplin and he treated them for a number of years. 

When Peter began experiencing issues with his gallbladder he knew he would receive the best care at St. Michael’s. His surgery went well, and later when Ine began experiencing similar problems they returned to Dr. Kopplin at St. Michael’s. 

Thankful for the care we received, we began giving to St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation.

In 2013 Peter broke his hip. In excruciating pain, he went to St. Michael’s and was operated on that same evening. There were some complications with Peter’s surgery, but thanks to St. Michael’s orthopedic surgeon Dr. Earl Bogoch, Peter has fully recovered with full mobility and no pain. 

“I have only good things to say about St. Michael’s.”

Travelling has always been a passion of the Koonings'. They travel to Europe every year and frequently visit Thailand and Indonesia. Thanks to St. Michael’s, Peter and Ine are celebrating Peter’s 90th birthday in Bali with the whole family. 

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