About Marvelle Koffler

Photo of Marvelle Koffler

Marvelle Koffler
A champion of women's health


Marvelle Koffler (z"l) was passionately committed to the betterment of women’s health and related scientific research.

Having won her own battle against breast cancer and after a lengthy and challenging experience, she recognized the importance of creating a singular comprehensive care center that would provide integrative support for others facing the same diagnosis. She was the driving force in the establishment of the Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre, creating the first multidisciplinary, holistic breast centre in Canada to integrate detection, diagnosis, treatment, counselling and prevention.

A woman of endless grace, Marvelle lent her name and imbued the centre with her personal style and warmth. She envisioned a centre of forward-looking medical care within welcoming spaces while providing a sense of privacy and care. Her passionate motivation was empowered by her desire to help lessen the anxiety of the patient’s experience with breast cancer. Marvelle provided the platform to attract a roster of leading medical professionals and volunteers from Canada and abroad, to create the best practice for breast health care in the most compassionate manner possible. Since its opening in 1995, close to a million patients have been under the sensitive care of the Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre. Countless more have benefitted from the Centre’s pioneering research which has elevated care standards across Canada and abroad.

Together with her devoted husband, Murray Koffler (z"l), Marvelle continued to shape Sinai Health’s ability to deliver life-changing care and scientific research for generations to come through the establishment of the endowed Marvelle Koffler Chair in Breast Cancer.

Born the youngest of four children, to a seamstress and dressmaker who toiled together on Spadina Avenue after escaping religious persecution in Eastern Europe, Marvelle met her future husband while enjoying cottage life at Lake Simcoe. Six years later, they were wed.

Marvelle described her life as magical, adventurous and like a dream. In recognition of her philanthropy and her life’s work, she was inducted into the Order of Ontario in 1998.

“My parents led by example. They lived captivating lives with a strong commitment to the betterment of humankind,” says their daughter, Tiana Koffler Boyman. “They were part of a progressive generation who unreservedly believed in positive change.”

Photograph by Al Gilbert CM.