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People and organizations

University of Toronto. School of Hygiene

  • Corporate body
  • 1924-1975

The School of Hygiene was initiated in 1924 and opening in 1927. The School was dissolved in 1975 and partially succeeded by the Division of Community Health of the Faculty of Medicine. Several public health crises, including the SARS epidemic of 2003, spurred a resurgent interest in public health in Canada. The School was reborn in 2008 and renamed the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.

Victoria College (Toronto, Ont.). Women's Literary Society

  • Corporate body
  • 1890-[1927?]

The Women's Literary Society was formed during the 1890-1891 academic year. It had an aim to provide interesting discussion of literary topics. The stated object was "literary improvement and social intercourse" and to provide "a focus for women's activities." The Society met bi-monthly and also held a joint meeting with the Men's Literary Society at regular intervals.

Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Committee of Management

  • Corporate body
  • 1903-1932

The Committee of Management was constituted in 1903 with the opening of Annesley Hall. The Board of Regents had resolved the year earlier that a group of ladies be organized to oversee the administration of women's residences. Many of the members were also members of the Barbara Heck Memorial Association (V.W.A.) who continued to be involved with the women's residence. The constitution of the Committee of Management gave its members charge of the regulations for students, the direction of finances, and the appointment of staff. Standing committees were also appointed in order to overlook finances, the gymnasium and the infirmary. The Committee had eighteen members, nominated by the VWA and approved by the Board of Regents. Margaret Burwash (1902-13), Mrs. R. N. (Mary Jane Crossen) Burns (1913-30), and Mrs. A. E. (Florence Warner) Lang (1930-32) served as Presidents. Beginning in 1920, the Committee of Management lost most of it's power over the finances of the residences. In 1932, the Board of Regents hired a warden to take over the administration of residences from the Committee of Management and the Committee merged into the Women’s Council.

Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Board of Regents Investment Committee

  • Corporate body
  • 1893-1904, 1960-

An Investment Committee was first appointed at the Board meeting of May 4, 1893. Members were Dr. Burwash, Dr. Potts, Mr. Massey, Mr.Gooderham, Mr. Walker and Cosen. They first reported to the Board of Regents that year and continued to report until 1904. After that period, the Finance Committee made decisions over investments as well as its successor, the Finance and Property Committee. In 1960, the Investment Committee was re-established as a sub-committee of the Finance and Property Committee (later the Financial Management and Planning Committee). In 1992, the Investment Committee was made a standing committee to the Board of Regents distinct from the Financial Management and Planning Committee. Its purpose is to determine how funds belonging to the Endowment of Victoria University are to be invested as well as providing advice to the Board of Regents concerning investment activities.

Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Board of Regents Wymilwood Building Committee

  • Corporate body
  • 1950-1954

In 1949 the Board of Regents made the decision to surrender the lease of 84 Queen’s Park (Wymilwood) to the University of Toronto. The agreement allowed Victoria University to retain the rights to the name Wymilwood and plans were put in place to build a new student union under that name. In 1950, the Planning Committee recommended that the Wymilwood Building Committee be established and put in charge of overseeing the project. The Wymilwood Building Committee recommended the appointment of Fleury and Arthur Architects to design the ‘new’ Wymilwood. In 1951 a sub-committee was established to look after furnishing the new building. The cornerstone for the building was also laid that year.

Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Board of Regents Space Use Committee

  • Corporate body
  • 1971-

In 1971, the Campus Centre Committee was reconstituted to become the Space Use Committee and was tasked with examining the problems with space on campus as the student population grew. The Committee was divided into 5 sub-committees designated Academic, Library, Recreation and Services, Inventory of Space and Technical Services. Each committee examined its area of concern and reported back to the main committee with its findings and recommendations. They were asked to examine the solution to the problems of space.

Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Board of Regents Audit Committee

  • Corporate body
  • 1981-2016

In 1981, it was noted at a Board of Regents meeting that there was a need for boards to have financial accountability and ensure that all comments made by their auditors were considered seriously and that appropriate steps were taken in response. A motion was carried to appoint an audit committee made up of 5 members to review the annual financial statement before receipt by the Finance and Property Committee and the annual post-audit statement submitted by the auditors. In consultation with the President, Bursar and the Chief Accountant, the committee would ensure that the auditors’ recommendations were acted upon in appropriate ways. The Committee’s first Chairman was Mr. R. I. Priddle. The Bursar and the Chief Accountant were consultants on the Committee. The Committee first met in June of 1981. The Committee reports the Board of Regents annually. In 2016 it was decided to merge the Audit Committee with the Finance Committee to create a new Finance and Audit Committee.

Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Women's Council

  • Corporate body
  • 1932-1952

In 1932, after the Board of Regents hired a warden to take over the administration of residences from the Committee of Management (they had already lost financial control of the residences in 1920), the focus changed and the Committee merged into the Women’s Council. The first meeting was held on June 28th, 1932. The Women's Council acted as an advisory committee to the Dean of Women, administered bequests for needy students and the Tennis Fund, and aided in projects such as the Wymilwood Sunday Evening Concerts, the Wymilwood Reading Room, etc. In 1947, recommendations were made that the Women's Council be asked re-organize itself and serve the University by supporting women's organizations on campus - thus losing all control over residences (The Women's Residence Committee, a standing committee of the Board was established in 1948 with 2 members of the Women's Council ). The Women's Council was disbanded in 1952

Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Board of Regents Task Force Committee

  • Corporate body
  • 1972-1976

In 1972, Manufacturer's Life Insurance Company (Manulife) approached the University regarding a development project for the eastern end of the campus bounded by Sultan Street, St. Thomas Street and Charles Street.. The project required Vic supplying land and Manulife supplying development capital and all of the expertise and management necessary to bring such a project into being. The Board of Regents, set up the Task Force on the Charles Street lands in 1973 to look into the proposed development described above (Initially the Property Sub-Committee was looking into the issue). The initial Task Force consisted of representatives from Manulife and the University. Manulife pulled out on the plan in early 1973, but the University decided that they weren’t going to abandon the property development ideas, just the particular project with Manulife. The Task Force was then made a committee of the Board to carry out forward planning of matters of interest to Victoria University. The first meeting of the Committee was held on March 13, 1973. They hired consultants, architects, held community meetings and engaged with the City planning department.
In 1974, the City declared intent to dezone area from Sherbourne to Queen’s Park to maintain existing level of residential housing. The University protested this plan and the Task Force agreed that the University should collaborate with the other proprietors in the area in trying to maintain the existing zoning "intention to retain some flexibility in the use of our lands."The University hired legal representation and consultants on how to deal with the City. Consultants reported to the Task Force that the Planning Commissioner was prepared to recommend the exemptions of Sultan Street to St. Thomas Street from the City Council’s general plans for this sector of the City.
The Task Force then considered Victoria’s position vis-à-vis the plans of the City for the Charles Street area. Mr. Trueman of the City planning department had been invited to explain the manner in which the new city by-law had changed the permitted uses of our property. Mr. Trueman indicated that there was some flexibility in the planning regulations at this time and that the Planning Department would be pleased to receive proposals for the use of the land and would assist in the planning if requested to do so. The Committee felt that the future plans of the adjacent owners should be investigated and then a decision made on whether or not the properties should be leased or sold (March 18, 1976).

Ames, Alfred Ernest

  • Person
  • 1866-1934

Alfred Ernest Ames served as Chairman of the Board of Regents from 1933-1934. He first became a member of the Board in 1898 and in 1915 he was appointed as Chairman of the Executive Committee and Vice-Chairman of the Board. He also served on the Finance Committee and the Plans and Buildings Committee.

University of Toronto. Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education

  • Corporate body
  • 2011-current

The Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education (KPE) was originally established in January 1998 as the Faculty of Physical Education and Health by the merger of the former School of Physical and Health Education (SPHE), the Graduate Program of Exercise Sciences (‘housed’ in Community Health) and the former Department of Athletics and Recreation. The DAR had been created in May 1977 by a merger of the formerly separate women’s and men’s athletics and recreation departments. FC is essentially a continuation of the former SPHE Council, whereas CAR is the successor to the former DAR Council. - from

The School of Physical and Health Education was created in 1941 when it superseded the Department of of Physical and Health Education and merged with the Margaret Eaton School.

Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Board of Regents Nominating Committee

  • Corporate body
  • 1941-1987

In November of 1941, the President suggested that a Nominating Committee be appointed to nominate new members for the Board, including the bi-annual revision of nominations to be presented to the General Council of the United Church. The Committee first reported to the Board at the March 20, 1942 meeting. In 1987, a change to the By-Law One combined the Nominating and the Appointment Committees.

Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Board of Regents Appointments Committee

  • Corporate body
  • 1952-1987

Prior to 1952, the President made recommendations for the appointment of teaching staff and lecturers at the University. In 1952, a standing committee of the Board was established. In 1987 with a change to the By-Law One, the Nominating and the Appointments Committees were combined.

Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Board of Regents Burwash Hall and Men’s Residence Committee

  • Corporate body
  • 1924-1955

The Committee was established 1924. The Committee had responsibility for the general supervision of the residences on behalf of the Board. They looked after financial matters, property and Physical Plant, supervision of Residence personnel, admissions and student life in the residence. In 1955 the Committee merged with the Women’s Residence Committee to form the Committee on Residences and Services

Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Board of Regents Public Relations Committee

  • Corporate body
  • 1950-1978

The Public Relations Committee was formed in 1950 to study means and methods for raising funds for the University and consider the whole question of public relations at the University. In the Board minutes of November 16, 1978, it was noted that the Committee had had difficulty in defining an effective role for itself and as a result a motion was put forward to amend the By-Law and change the name and terms of reference of the Public Relations Committee to the Committee on External Relations and Development.

Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Centenary Committee

  • Corporate body
  • 1931-1936

The Centenary Committee had been appointed by the Senate on May 1, 1931. The Board of Regents was asked to approve the appointment. The Committee recommended to the Board and to the Senate that on June 7th, 1932, the centenary of the laying of the corner stone of the Upper Canada Academy in Cobourg, a pilgrimage to Cobourg be undertaken in celebration. A sub-committee was appointed to make arrangements for the event. In April of 1935, the Committee presented an interim report, outlining proposals for the celebration to be held in October of 1936.

Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Board of Regents Installation Committee

  • Corporate body
  • 1929-1931

In 1929, the Board of Regents appointed a special committee to "consider the resignation of Chancellor Bowles and to recommend appropriate action with reference thereto and to consider and recommend a successor so that Chancellor Bowles may be relieved of his duties and responsibilities as soon as possible." The Special Committee also considered the appointment of a new Chancellor and recommended to the Board the appointment of Dr. Edward Wallace as the Chancellor and President. The Chairman was then asked to appoint a Committee to arrange for the Installation of the new President and the retirement of Chancellor Bowles. The events organized by the Committee fell on January 30th and January 31st of 1930/.

Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Board of Regents Wymilwood Management Committee

  • Corporate body
  • 1952-1954

In 1952, the name of Wymilwood was decided upon for the new Victoria College Student's Union. The Management Committee of Victoria College Student's Union thus became the Wymilwood Management Committee. The Committee worked in co-operation with the Student's Activities Committee to create rules and regulations under which Wymilwood operated.The Committee also was responsible for overseeing the finances of the Union. In 1954, the Committee on Residences and Services took over responsibility for the Union.

Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Board of Regents Steering Committee

  • Corporate body
  • 1972-1973

The Steering Committee was established in 1972 as an ad-hoc committee and was made up of 4 sub-committees: Library (long-term role), Finance, Academic and Real Estate Development and Non-Academic Areas. The terms of reference of the Committee was to consider the short and long range financial and developmental situation of Victoria University in the four areas. The Committee looked at policies, governing structures and relationships with U of T and the United Church and the the problems facing the University.

Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Joint Committee on Art

  • Corporate body
  • 1948-1950

In 1948, the Board of Regents received a letter from the Senate of Victoria University requesting that the Board set aside a sum of money annually to be expended from time to time on portraits and other works of art and that a joint committee of the Board and Senate be set u, whose duty it would be to recommend the securing of portraits and other works of art, and that the disposition of all portraits and works of art in the College halls would be made on the report of such committee.

Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Board of Regents Committee appointed to nominate a Chancellor

  • Corporate body
  • 1944-

Prior to 1944, the Executive Committee made recommendations for the appointment of the position of Chancellor and President. In 1944, following the Victoria University Act, 1944 and the resignation of W.T. Brown as Chancellor (he remained President), the Executive Committee moved that a sub-committee by appointed to present a nomination for the office of Chancellor. In 1951, the Executive Committee again appointed a committee to nominate a chancellor. In 1960, the President asked for a review of the position of Chancellor and a committee was formed to study the role of the Chancellor: “The President stated that the term of the present Chancellor would expire in about a year and half and that he considered it very worthwhile to have a special committee appointed to study and examine the office of the Chancellor, together with the duties and responsibilities which attach thereto (Board of Regents Minutes October 20, 1960).” In 1974, the Executive Committee was again asked to look into the matter of the appointment of a Chancellor. In 1975, the President proposed that an ad-hoc Committee to review the Chancellorship be established (Committee on the Chancellorship). The Committee was to look at the exact role of Chancellor and what type of person would enhance the position and the University. In 1978 the Committee on the Chancellorship reported to the Board that they believed that there should again be a Chancellor and they proposed Northrop Frye for the position. The Advisory Committee to Appoint a Chancellor was again struck in 1991 following Frye's death and again in 1997 as the Chancellorship Committee.

Bigwood, Joan M.

  • Person
  • 1937-2017

Born in Stonehaven (Aberdeenshire), Scotland in 1937, Joan M. Bigwood was the third of four children of a Presbyterian minister. As a youth she was an accomplished cellist and played in the Scottish National Youth Orchestra. She received her Master’s degree in Latin & Greek in 1958 from the University of St. Andrews. After a year at the Moray House College of Education in Edinburgh (1958-1959), she went to Cambridge, MA on a full scholarship from Radcliffe College to pursue doctoral studies in Classics (Latin & Greek) at Harvard University. She completed her PhD there in 1964 with a dissertation entitled “Ctesias of Cnidus.” That same year, she was hired by Victoria College as a Lecturer (1964-1966) and Don of the Victoria University Women’s Residence (1964-1967). She became an Assistant Professor in 1966 and made an Associate Professor in 1975. She retired from the Department of Classics in 2001.
Professor Bigwood’s area of research specialization was Greek history of the fifth and fourth centuries BCE, to which she joined an interest in the history and antiquities of Achaemenid Persia. She published a series of articles in this area dealing with a wide range of subjects, from Ctesias as a historian of the Persian Wars (Phoenix 32 [1978] 19-41) and of India (Phoenix 43 [1989] 302-16), to his description of the city of Babylon and its monuments (AJAH 3 [1978] 32-52, and his understanding of North West India in Achaemenid times (JHS 115 [1995] 135-40). Her research mainly focused on how ancient authors worked, how Greeks perceived non-Greek peoples and cultures, and questions of trade and cultural exchange. After her retirement in 2001, she turned her attention to the investigation of the representation of Persian women in Greek historiography, with articles on incestuous marriage in Achaemenid Iran, the Parthian queen Mousa, the queen-mother Sisygambis, and women in the ancient accounts of Alexander.
Over her long career at Victoria College, she served in a variety of capacities, from her initial service as a Don in the women’s residence to her long-running service as Discipline Group Representative in Classics. She also served a term as Undergraduate Coordinator in the Department of Classics from 1992-1995 and participated regularly in the annual “High School Classics Day” which brought local high school students to the University of Toronto campus. She also served a term on the Editorial Board of Phoenix, Journal of the Classical Association of Canada from 1981-1984.
Joan M. Bigwood died on February 16, 2017, at the age of 80.

Univeristy of Toronto. Department of Family and Community Medicine

  • Corporate body
  • 1969-current

The University of Toronto’s Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM) is recognized internationally for its clinical, educational and research excellence. Our faculty are clinical and academic leaders who are breaking new ground on issues ranging from inner city health, addiction medicine, global health, palliative care, immigrant and aboriginal health, and far more.

Redhill, Michael

  • Person
  • 1966-

Michael Redhill was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1966, but has lived in Toronto most of his life. Educated in the United States and Canada, he took seven years to complete a three-year BA in acting, film, and finally, English. Since 1988, he has published five collections of poetry, had eight plays of varying lengths performed, and been a cultural critic and essayist.
He has worked as an editor, a ghost-writer, an anthologist, a scriptwriter for film and television, and in leaner times, as a waiter, a house-painter, and a bookseller. He was the publisher and one of the editors of Brick, a journal of things literary. Recent books are Fidelity, a collection of short fiction, from Doubleday Canada, Martin Sloane, a novel from Doubleday Canada (nominated for the Giller Prize, 2001, The Trillium Prize, 2001, The Torgi Award, 2002, The City of Toronto Book Awards, 2002, The Books in Canada/ Best First Novel Prize 2002, and winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book, Canada/Caribbean 2001), Light-crossing, a collection of poetry from Toronto's House of Anansi Press, and Building Jerusalem, a play, from Playwrights' Union Press, (winner of the 2001 Dora Prize for Best New Play, recipient of a Chalmers Award for Playwriting 2001, and nominated for a Governor General's Award 2001). His play, Goodness was published by Coach House Press in 2005 and novel, Consolation came out with Doubleday Canada in the fall of 2006.

Shears, Frank Gould

  • Person
  • 1885-1964

Frank Gould Shears was born in London, England on March 3rd, 1885 and attended the City of London Foundation School. He worked for a time for William Mortimer and Sons, Government Stock Brokers and later helped to oversee the operations of the Armstrong-Gimli Fisheries Export Company. He was hired by the department of the Canadian Secretary of State in 1940, becoming the director of the Vancouver branch of the office of The Custodian of Enemy Property in 1942. He oversaw all operations of the department during the internment of the Japanese, the liquidation of their assets, and through to the settling of their claims upon their return. He retired from this position in 1952, with the closing of the office.

Coach House Press

  • Corporate body
  • 1965-

Long considered one of the leading small-press publishers in Canada, Coach House Press was founded in 1965 by printer Stan Bevington and editor Wayne Clifford. In its formative years, Coach House was a cohesive printing and publishing unit, publishing innovative and activist open-form writers from the United States and Canada in a style characterized by hand-set type and multi-coloured offset printing. In 1974, the single literary editor, who at the time was Victor Coleman, was replaced by an editorial board consisting of Coach House writers and other members of the staff, including Bevington, writers bpNichol, Michael Ondaatje, Frank Davey, David Young, graphic artist Rick/Simon, and writers’ agent, Linda McCartney.
During the 1974-1988 period, the press expanded its scope to publish established writers, such as D.G. Jones, Louis Dudek, Eli Mandel, Dorothy Livesay, Robert Kroetsch, Phyllis Webb, as well as emerging writers. Diverse titles produced include Ondaatje's The Long Poem Anthology
(1979) and Bowering's Fiction of Contemporary Canada (1980), various titles on the history of Canadian photography and architecture and a Quebec translation series of works by Ferron, Brossard, and others. In 1991, Coach House was split into two separate companies: the printing house Coach House Printing, headed by Bevington, and the book publisher Coach House Press, headed by Margaret McClintock. Bevington subsequently tried, unsuccessfully, to reacquire the publishing company. Ultimately, the book publisher declared bankruptcy in 1996, and later the same year Bevington moved the printing company back into book publishing.
The reputation of the new Coach House has been growing steadily since its rebirth in 1997, but it skyrocketed with the publication of Christian Bök’s Eunoia. This work of experimental poetry won the Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize in 2002 and has sold over 19,000 copies. Coach House books have been the recipients of dozens of other awards and nominations, including the Governor General’s Award, the Toronto Book Award, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the Lambda Book Award, the Books in Canada/ First Novel Award and the Trillium Book Award. In 2008, Coach
House was awarded the Province of Ontario’s inaugural Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts for Arts Organizations. Coach House has been at the centre of a number of innovations in the use of digital technology in publishing and printing, from computerized phototypesetting to desktop publishing. Notably, the pioneering SGML/XML company, SoftQuad, was founded by Coach House’s Stan Bevington and colleagues Yuri Rubinsky and David Slocombe. Coach House is one of the few Canadian publishing companies that prints its own titles. The printing operations also print books for several other small Canadian publishers and literary magazines.

Drache, Sharon Abron

  • Person
  • [19--]

Sharon Abron Drache attended Forest Hill Collegiate (graduating in 1962) and then completed an undergraduate degree and post-graduate diploma in Psychology at the University of Toronto, the latter from the Institute of Child Study. She was enrolled as a special student in the Department of Religion at Carleton University from 1974-78. She has published four books of adult fiction, The Mikveh Man, Ritual Slaughter, The Golden Ghetto, Barbara Klein-Muskrat –then and now, and two children’s books,The Magic Pot and The Lubavitchers are coming to Second Avenue. She has also worked as a literary journalist and book reviewer for several newspapers and journals including, The Globe and Mail, Ottawa Citizen, Books In Canada, the Glebe Report and The Ottawa and Western Jewish Bulletins.

Griffith, Julius

  • Person
  • 1912-1997

Julius Griffith was a Canadian artist.

Morris, Edmund

  • Person
  • 1871-1913

Edmund Morris was a Canadian artist and descendant of the McLean and Morris families who settled in Elizabethtown (present day Brockville) in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Mitchell, John

  • Person
  • 1880-1951

John Mitchell was a Canadian lawyer and author, most famous for his book The Yellow Briar. His other works included The Kingdom of America, The Water-Drinker, Robert Harding and the The Settlement of York County.

Niagara Falls International Bridge Company

  • Corporate body
  • fl. 1855-1897

The Niagara Falls International Bridge Company was an American company and one of two companies (the other being the Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge Company) formed to share ownership of the Niagara Falls suspension bridge which was in existence 1855-1897.

Black (Davidson) Family

  • Family
  • 1825-

The Davidson Black’s family history in Canada begins in 1840 when it arrived in Montreal, settling later in the Whitby area in Canada West. The patriarch’s son, the first Davidson Black, was born in England in 1825. He graduated from University College in the University of Toronto with a BA in 1867, even though the only recorded information of his attendance is that he took a third year civil polity (pass) course in 1865-1866. In 1869 he was admitted as a student-at-law to Osgoode Hall. He was sworn in as an attorney on 23 November 1871 and was called to the bar in 1872. Soon thereafter Davidson set up shop at 17 Toronto Street with two younger lawyers who had been fellow students at University College, Thomas Dawson Delamere and Henry Arthur Reesor; the firm was called Delamere, Black and Reesor. Thomas Delamere was the eldest son of a family of four boys and two girls that had emigrated from Ireland to Toronto in 1852. His youngest sister, Margaret Bowes (born in 1850), an organist, was a beauty who caught the eye of Davidson. He proposed to her in October 1878 and she accepted. Her mother and Tom’s approval was muted, but brothers Harry and Joe were enthusiastic. Davidson and Margaret married at end of December 1879 and settled in Toronto where their two sons were born, Redmond in 1880 and Davidson William on 25 July 1884.

This ordered family life was disrupted on 12 July 1886 when Davidson dropped dead of a heart attack at the age of 61. Margaret resolved to be independent and refused to move in with any members of her family. But, knowing she would have to find employment, she accepted Tom’s help in getting a position in Osgoode Hall. She moved her boys into a smaller house at 3 Anderson Street and got on with life. She never remarried. Over the years she and Davidson established a close bond of understanding that is revealed in his voluminous letters to her; his first letters home are dated 1891. In March 1907, with her boys having left home (Redmond to become a banker) Margaret moved to 46 Avenue Road and a few years later to 52 Avenue Road where she resided for the rest of her life. In February 1913 she changed her surname officially to Davidson-Black. In July 1922, she was struck by a car after alighting from a streetcar and fractured her skull. It was the fourth accident she had suffered in recent years. In March 1923, she wrote to Davidson that she had done every job at Osgoode Hall and would like any position that would give her enough money to live on and a pension after 37 years of service there. She died of a stroke in Toronto on 14 September 1929.

Redmond Black was sometimes referred to as “Gov” by himself and his family. He worked for the Dominion Bank for most of his life, in various locations mostly in Ontario including Oshawa, Napanee, Belleville, Huntsville, Seaforth, Hespeler and Dresden. He and his wife, Grace, had three children, Redmond, Harold and Gay. Redmond enlisted and was sent to Durban, South Africa in spring 1902 as part of the Halifax contingent of the Canadian Mounted Rifles during the South African (Boer) War. In 1916 he served as a senior commanding officer in the 110th Perth County Battalion, and later as part of the 8th Canadian Reserve Battalion, St. Martin’s Plain, Shorncliffe, Kent.

Davidson William Black, who was known as “Dyo” to his family and “Kid” to his brother Redmond, never used his middle name. He attended the Model School on Gerrard Street. During his fourteenth year he was bedridden with rheumatic fever. As he entered his teens, he made frequent summer trips as a “chore boy” with his maternal uncles to Minden in the Kawartha Lakes, where he learned the importance of keeping detailed and accurate notes. He also developed an interest in ornithology, as surviving notebooks attest. He attended the Wellesley School before entering, in 1899, Harbord Collegiate Institute. At the latter he took courses in art and became a good amateur artist. As an adult, he composed small sketches of anything that interested him; many of these accompanied his correspondence. To finance his dream of taking medicine, he took summer jobs in the Huntsville and Minden areas. In October 1902, he registered as a matriculant in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, thus bypassing the matriculation examinations as he entered the four-year course in medicine at the University of Toronto. He graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine (MB) in 1906 with a pass standing. One of his fellow students, who became a good friend, was Edmund Vincent Cowdry, who later played a role in Davidson’s joining the Peking Union Medical College.

During the summer of 1906 Davidson worked at the Hudson’s Bay Company post on the Mattagami River and also served as an Ontario forest ranger in the Biscotasing area. In 1907 he acquired a miner’s licence and permission to prospect in the Temagami Forest Reserve. With the encouragement of Professor A. B. Macallum, he entered the Honour Arts programme at University College in the fall of 1906, “to widen his horizon and stimulate his powers of exploration and expression” . There he took courses in English, scientific French and German, world history and biology, and indulged in the athletic pastimes of boxing and fencing. Professor W. H. Piersol taught him “the principles and manipulations used in the preparation of material for microscopic examination” and stated he was “a terrifically hard worker”. Although his very amusing biographical sketch for the Class of 0T9 appears in the 1909 volume of Torontonensis, the undergraduate yearbook, he did not finally convocate until June 1911.

Dr. Black’s education continued in subsequent years. In June 1924 he was awarded a Master of Arts degree for his thesis, ‘The motor nuclei of the cerebral nerves in phylogeny. A study of the phenomenon of neurobiotaxis.’ In October 1927, with the upgrading of undergraduate medical degree from Bachelor of Medicine (MB), he was awarded an MD (Doctorate of Medicine).

Black spent the summer of 1909 back at Biscotasing, then headed for Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, where he had accepted a lectureship in the Department of Anatomy. While there he as much spare time as he could “visiting and working in the laboratories of famous institutions”. He was also able to study the specimens in the University’s large skeletal museum. During the summer holidays, he found employment with the Geological Survey of Canada where he acquired the “practical knowledge of structural and stratigraphical geology that subsequently amazed the geologists with whom he worked in connection with his later paleontological studies.” In the summer of 1911 he again went prospecting and on July 11 got caught in the great Porcupine fire. More than a week passed before he could wire his mother, “Am sending this for fear you have been worrying about us. We are all OK…” He had spent two nights standing in Porcupine Lake and was given government relief supplies and a free trip home.

The arrival in 1912 of T. Wingate Todd from the University of Manchester meant that Davidson was exposed to the former’s new ideas “as an interpreter of man’s relation to the anthropoids and on human evolution generally.” Early in 1913 Black was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Anatomy, and the first of his scientific articles appeared.

Early in the summer of 1912 Davidson visited his Delamere cousins at their summer house on Balsam Lake in the Kawartha Lakes near Coboconk. There he became reacquainted with Adena Nevitt, whom he had first met some years before at Go Home Bay. They were married in Toronto on 27 December 1913, with an old Delamere family friend, the Venerable Archdeacon Hill, officiating.

Adena (“Adna” in her student records) Sara Nevitt was the younger daughter of Dr. Richard Barrington Nevitt, an American who had been sent north for his education during the Civil War. He graduated from Trinity College in Toronto with a BA in 1871, and entered Trinity Medical School that fall. His formal medical education was interrupted by the opportunity to serve as an assistant surgeon in the original squadron of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police as it marched west from Fort Garry to Fort McLeod in 1872-1873. He then returned to Toronto to complete his medical degree at Trinity (MB 1874, MD 1882). In 1883 he was a founder of the Ontario Medical College for Women and president and dean until its merger with the University of Toronto in 1906. He was also a member of the Trinity College Corporation. All but two (Richard A. and Bertram, who was killed at Courcelette in France in 1916) of the six children of Dr. Nevitt and his wife, Elizabeth Beaty, a daughter of the co-founder of the Leader, attended university. Robert Barrington received his BA in 1900 from Trinity, and his MA in 1901, while Irving Howard entered the School of Practical Science, where he got his diploma in 1903 and his BASc in 1904. Mary Louise received her BA from Trinity in 1901. Robert became an Anglican clergyman and died in England in 1918. Irving became a sanitary engineer (died 1963), while Mary (died 1953) married the Reverend George Egerton Ryerson, who was an Anglican missionary in Japan from 1900 to 1917 before settling in England in 1923.

Adena attended Miss Veal’s School before entering Trinity College in 1901, from which she received her BA 1904. During their first year of marriage, she and Davidson were apart for several months; his vacation job was with the Geological Survey of Canada in British Columbia, while she travelled across Canada by rail to spend the summer in Japan. In the spring of 1914 Davidson took a leave of absence from Western Reserve and he and Adena travelled to England where he took a short course from Grafton Elliot Smith, his colleague Todd’s old chief at the University of Manchester. Smith had spent seven years in Egypt studying ancient skeletons and was then working on the reconstruction of the skull of the Piltdown Man. Black was fascinated by this field of work and became determined to devote his life to it. He re-directed his energy to the study of comparative anatomical material, becoming skilled at cast making, and studied the geological literature essential to his work. Black and Smith got on very well and the latter introduced him to colleagues in London, including Arthur Berridale Keith, Frederick Wood Jones and Arthur Smith Woodward. Smith also recommended him for a position at the University of Otago in New Zealand. Black also met a young Jesuit priest, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, who was interested in the Piltdown Man controversy and later took an active part in archaeological research in China.

Early in the summer of 1914 Black and Adena went to Amsterdam where, at Elliott Smith’s suggestion, Black worked under the guidance of the distinguished neurologist, Ariëns Kappers. They began a long association which was of considerable value to Black in his writings about the nervous systems in man and neuroanatomy. The Blacks remained in the city for a week after the declaration of war, then returned to London and sailed home. Black’s attempt to enlist was rebuffed because of the slight heart murmur he had had all his life. So he returned to Western Reserve where he remained until the United States declared war on Germany in April, 1917.

The Blacks then moved back to Toronto, where Davidson enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force on 27 July 1917 and was assigned to the Canadian Army Medical Corps with the rank of captain. He was attached to the Divisional Laboratory of Military District 2 from 1 September 1917 to 21 June 1918. Four days later he sailed for England where he was assigned to the CAMC Training Division at Risborough Barracks, Shorncliffe, in Kent. He remained there from 15 July to 30 August 1918, when he was given a week’s leave of absence to go to London to discuss the offer of an appointment to the Department of Anatomy at the Peking Union Medical College being established by the Rockefeller Foundation. He accepted the offer, generously backdated to June 1918 but to be taken up when he was released from military service. He then moved to the Canadian General Laboratory at Whitley Military Camp in Surrey, one of three in the Aldershot Command area established by the Canadian Army. He remained there until 2nd February 1919. Three weeks later he was back in Canada.

The following months were spent preparing for departure to China (Adena’s notes on items packed has survived). The Blacks left Toronto on 15 August by train for San Francisco, where they boarded the S.S. Ecuador for China. They arrived in Beijing on 21 September. It was there that their son, Davidson, was born on 12 March 1921, (Their daughter, Nevitt, was born on 2 October 1925.) Black familiarized himself with his surrounding by a series of local trips, especially to the Western Hills. His family also discovered Peitaiho, the popular Chinese summer holiday retreat, where they escaped the furnace-like heat of Peking in summer.

Black found his colleagues very agreeable; amongst them his old friend from university days, E. V. Cowdry, head of the Department of Anatomy at PUMC, George B. Barbour, and J. Gunnar Andersson. It was the last, with his expertise in local geology, and Black who were to lay the foundation for prehistoric research in China. Other colleagues included Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and Dr. A. W Grabau, Professor of Palaeontology in the National University of Peking, became a mentor and from whom Black learned about a 1903 discovery of an ancient tooth, possibly that of a primitive man. In 1921 Cowdry resigned and Black replaced him. He emphasized the importance of physical anthropology as he built up his department and turned it into a well-equipped anthropological laboratory, in spite of initially finding little support in his attempt to promote anthropological research. He retained this position until his death and was admired by his Chinese colleagues for treating them with an equality that was rare at that time.

Black’s pursuit of evidence of the origins of man began almost immediately. In March 1920, he went to Kalgan, the terminus of the principal caravan route to Mongolia; this was followed in June and July by his first field expedition to investigate cave burials. His preliminary paper on the human skeletal remains in the Neolithic cave deposits at Shakoutun, was published that autumn, his first anthropological paper based on research in the field. The failure of some of his early expeditions, such as one to Jehol and the caves of the Lan River, caused him to look elsewhere; in 1923 he went to Siam as he believed man had migrated from the south. Though this trip proved fruitless, Black did not give up. He established a good working relationship with Dr. Wong Weng-hao who headed the recently formed Geological Survey of China. In 1922 he briefly joined (primarily to see Urga) the third Asiatic expedition of the American Museum of Natural History, which started in April from Kalgan for Mongolia, to study its zoology, paleontology, geology and botany and, if the press was to believed, discover the ‘Missing Link’. But it was Gunnar Andersson’s visit to in 1921 to the hills of Chou-K’ou-tien, twenty-five miles south-west of Beijing, and two years later to a spot near the local railway station, that really changed Black’s life. It was here in 1926 that Andersson’s expedition found an early Pleistocene tooth. Black was initially strongly criticized for regarding this as evidence of “Peking man”, but excavations under his direction at Chou-K’ou-tien began in 1927, with a two-year grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. They resulted in the discovery of more bone fragments and a skull by the Chinese geologists C. C. Young and W. C. Pei, and the confirmation of the validity of the genus Sinanthropus pekinensis which Black had named. His growing stature was recognized by the China Medical Board, now responsible for PUMC, the following year when it released him from teaching duties for three years from 1929 to pursue field research with what became an abortive mid-Asian expedition to Chinese Turkestan (the Swede, Sven Hedin, pulled out of an agreement and found funding for his own expedition).

In addition to their travels in Asia and within China (in addition to Siam, for example, they visited Hong Kong and Macau in 1930), the Blacks returned to Canada as often as they could. Staff at PUMC received a year’s leave every four years. Davidson took advantage of these furloughs to expand his professional experience, but some of their travels were occasioned by Davidson’s professional activities, others by the continuing civil turmoil in China. In 1923 Davidson had his first leave from PUMC; Adena arrived back in Toronto in June and he followed three months later, having escaped pirates on his journey. Adena used this opportunity to establish with Daisy and Marion Boulton of Toronto a business venture importing Chinese goods to Canada. This enterprise ran from 1924 to 1928, from which Adena made a good income. Between 1931 and 1934 she was associated with the trading firm, the Peking Temples Company.

At the end of 1923 Davidson was given a fellowship for travel and medical study in Europe, which he took advantage of to visit the leading medical authorities across Europe (his album of signed photographs is a memento of this trip). He returned to Toronto in August and the family headed back to Beijing. Adena was back in Toronto in April of 1927 with her children “owing to uprisings south of Pekin” (Davidson followed early in December). In April 1928 he attended the annual meeting of the American Association of Anatomists in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and visited old friends in Baltimore and New York. On 15 June 1928, Black and his family sailed to England. Davidson visited colleagues there and also in Europe. They returned to Toronto in August and early in October they left for China.

Back in China, in an attempt to obtain further financing, Black proposed to the Rockefeller Foundation the founding of a Cenozoic Research Laboratory to be linked to the Geological Survey of China. This would facilitate integrated field and laboratory work and extend the range of research. The Foundation agreed, provided $80,000 in funding, and Black brought V. K Ting of the Geological Survey of China in as an honorary director along with himself. The work of developing the fossils discovered at Chou-K’ou-tien “was carried out by Black himself with superb technical skill. Not only did he clean the fossils and photograph them himself, but also he made the excellent casts which have enabled workers in the rest of the world who could not see the fossils themselves, to form a very exact idea of their nature.”

In 1932 Black went on leave again, travelling overland through northern India, Afghanistan, Persia, and Iraq to Palestine and Egypt. Adena and the children went by ship to Vancouver while he sailed to Calcutta, meeting them back in Canada. He then made a quick trip to London on news that he had been elected to the Royal Society. On 8 December he delivered its Croonian Lecture, the first Canadian to do so. The family then returned to China. In June 1933 he was back in Canada to attend the Fifth Pacific Science Congress in Vancouver, where the possibility of an expedition the next year to the Yangtze with George Barbour and Teilhard de Chardin was discussed, with initial preparations being carried out in the spring of 1934.

As word of Black’s findings spread, he received many honours, the first being the Grabau Gold Medal of the Geological Survey of China (1929). This was followed in 1931 by the Daniel Giraud Eliot Medal and in 1932 he was awarded the King Gold Medal by the Peking Society of Natural History. He was made an honorary member or fellow of eight societies, including (in addition to the Royal Society) the National Academy of Sciences (Washington, DC), the Royal Anthropological Institute, and the National Institute of History and Philology, China.

Dr. Black was diagnosed with a serious heart condition in the fall of 1933 and spent a long time convalescing. A few days after he was allowed to return to work, he died in his office of a heart attack in the evening of 15 March 1934. For his obituary in Nature, G. Elliot Smith concluded, “In taking farewell of Davidson Black one regrets not only the loss of a friend of particular charm and generosity, but also the cutting short of the brilliant work in which he was engaged and which there is no one else competent to complete.”

Adena Black remained in China until the end of 1938 when she returned to Canada with Nevitt; Davy was already there. As the situation in China deteriorated, many others associated with the Peking University Medical College left as well. By the end of the 1930s, the Cenozoic Research Laboratory was a mere shell of what it had been. Adena died in Toronto at her home at 218 Cottingham Street on 4 May 1966.

Both of the Black children grew up fluent in Mandarin. Davidson was educated at the Peking American School from 1926 to 1936, except for 1932-1933 when he attended the preparatory school at Upper Canada College. From 1936 to 1940 he was at Ridley College in St. Catharines. He then spent a year at University College before entering medicine, receiving his MD from the U of T in 1946. Davidson married Lynne Sunderland (BA, Woodsworth College, 1985) on 18 January 1964. He died on 31 August 1988. Their son, Davidson (Davy) died on 15 March 2011 at the age of 42, 77 years to the day after his grandfather.

Nevitt attended the same school as her brother, beginning in 1931. Back in Toronto, she entered Bishop Strachan School before taking courses in Arts at Trinity College and in Medicine. She married John Ryerson Maybee, a native of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and a 1939 graduate of Trinity College (MA and PhD, Princeton), on 4 August 1945. He served with distinction in Canada’s diplomatic corps from 1945 to his retirement in 1978. He died in 2009, but she survives him and in 2013 is still active.

Burns, Mary

  • Person
  • 1944-

Mary Burns was born and raised in Joliet, Illinois, near Chicago, emigrated to Canada in 1970, and now lives in Gibson's Landing, British Columbia. She has worked as a newspaper editor in northern British Columbia and the Yukon Territory before moving to Vancouver with her daughters in 1977. A former journalist and documentary film researcher/writer/director, she is now Chair of the Creative Writing Department at Douglas College, New Westminster, British Columbia, where she has taught fiction, play writing and personal narrative courses since 1989. Her stories have been published in a variety of literary magazines and broadcast on CBC and BBC Radio 3 Scotland.

Edward Kylie Trust

  • Corporate body
  • 1921-

Edward Joseph Kylie, BA 1901 (University College), was, at the outbreak of war in 1914, an associate professor in the Dept. of History. He enlisted as Captain Adjutant in the 147th (Canadian Greys) Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force in December, 1915. In May, 1916 he succumbed to a bout of typhoid fever and pneumonia in Owen Sound, Ontario.

The Edward Kylie Trust was established in 1921 in his honour. Its object was to "provide a permanent scholarship, to be awarded from time to time, to a student in the Modern History Course in the University of Toronto, to enable him to pursue his studies in a British university. The funds are vested in in a board of five trustees who also conduct the examinations, and assign the scholarship under the Trust. The qualifications for election to a scholarship embrace both academic and general activities, the award being made to the candidate `most likely to occupy a position of leadership and influence in the community'" [University of Toronto Monthly, May, 1922, 341].

Castro, Jan Garden

  • Person
  • [19–?]-

Jan Garden Castro lives in the United States and has held the position of Senior Lecturer in Humanities at Lindenwood College, Missouri. She was one of the founders of the literary journal River Styx and a contributing editor for Sculpture magazine. She has conducted interviews with various literary and artistic figures, including Margaret Atwood, Eavan Boland, William Cass, Christopher Merrill, and Quincy Troupe. She has written numerous reviews and is author of The Art and Life of Georgia O'Keeffe. She and Kathryn Van Spanckeren are editors of Margaret Atwood: Vision and Forms, a collection of critical essays on Atwood's work.

Ireland, Frances A.

  • Person

Research Assistant, Office of the President, University of Toronto.

Kruger, Arthur

  • Person

Principal of Woodsworth College; Dean of Arts and Science

Northway, Mary Louise

  • Person
  • 1909-1978

Professor of psychology and supervisor in Institute of Child Studies, University of Toronto.

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