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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.

Parker, J.H. ( Jack Horace)

  • Person

Professor of Spanish; former Associate Dean, School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto.

Charlton, John

  • Person
  • 1829-1910

John Charlton (1829-1910), a merchant and politician, was born near Caedonia, New York, on February 3, 1829. The son of Adam and Ann Gray, he was educated at the Springhill Academy of New York, and came to Canada with his parents in 1849. In 1853 he opened a general store at Lynedoch, Norfolk country, Upper Canada, and in 1859 he became Canadian manager of a firm of lumber merchants at Tonawanda, New York. In 1861 he bought the Canadian business of this firm, and under varying names carried on the business for more than forty years. He represented North Norfolk in the Canadian House of Commons from 1872-1904, and during this period took an active part in the debates on the tariff. Though a moderate protectionist, he was a liberal in politics, and was in favor of commercial union with the United States. In 1854 he married Ella, daughter of George Gray of Charlotteville, Upper Canada. A few years before his death he published a volume of 'Speeches and Addresses' (Toronto, 1905). He died at Lynedoch, Ontario, on February 11, 1910.

Chubb, Dorothy Foster

  • Person
  • 1908-

Dorothy Foster Chubb was born in Hamilton in 1908 and moved to Toronto the following year. She attended Central Technical School and the Ontario College of Art before continuing her art studies at the Departments of Art as Applied to Medicine at both the University of Toronto and John Hopkins University Medical School. In 1939, she became a freelance artist for the General Medical Illustration and Lettering. Among the books she's illustrated include Harold Crouch's Surgery of the Hand (1939), J.C. Boilean Grant's An Atlas of Anatomy (various editions) and Kevin L. Moore's Clinically Oriented Anatomy.

Pett, Douglas Ellory

  • Person
  • 1924-2005

The Rev. Dr. Douglas Ellory Pett died on February 18, 2005. He was Sacrist at Gloucester Cathedral from 1954 to 1958. He was School Chaplain at Gloucester King's School and taught English. His doctoral thesis was based on an examination of the sermons of Cardinal John Henry Newman. As Vicar of Gulval, Penzance, from 1961 to 1966 he first became interested in gardening. The main thrust of his ministry was as resident Chaplain at St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London, from 1966 to 1983. In retirement he developed further his interest in horticulture and garden history. This led to the publication of a series of books on the gardens of Cornwall. A frequent visitor to the Isles of Scilly, his research on horticulture and flower growing there were awarded the biennial prize for research in 2004 by the Royal Institute of Cornwall. He published two works on the subject, "Horticulture on the Isles of Scilly" and "The Narcissus Trade, 1870-1950".

Flahiff, F. T. (Frederick Thomas)

  • Person
  • 1933-2017

Frederick Thomas Flahiff, PhD, St. Michael's College, University of Toronto professor, critic/essayist, author of the biography of Sheila Watson, Always Someone to Kill the Doves. Born in Vancouver on 7 July 1933. Died after a short illness on 9 March 2017.

University of Toronto. Falconer Hall Advisory Committee

  • Corporate body
  • [ca. 1950s]

Falconer Hall housed the offices of the women’s Physical Education faculty and one or two seminar rooms for physical education. In addition to “common rooms” for university students, accommodation was also available for 6-8 graduate women students.
Miss Zerada Slack, Director of Women’s Physical Education and Athletics, was also named Director of Falconer Hall and this for the next nine years, Miss Slack assumed the very strenuous four-fold burden as the Director of Physical Education, Director of Athletics, Director of Falconer Hall and from 1956 to 1959, total responsibility for planning the new Benson Building.
Even though the President announced that the Falconer Hall Committee was to be separate from the “Women’s Building Advisory Committee”, the majority of the members served on both committees. Miss Marie Parkes had served since the early 1920’s.

Dafoe, Frances Helen

  • Person
  • 1929-2016

Frances Helen Dafoe, born December 17, 1929, Toronto, graduate of Branksome Hall; studied at the Parsons School of Design in New York City; later costume designer with CBC. Has designed costumes for theatre, ballet, skating, variety shows and dramas, including Rich Little and the Wayne and Shuster Show. Recipient of the Order of Canada, 1991; former Olympic figure skating pairs champion (with partner, Norris 'Norrie' Bowden); costume designer. She outfitted the performers for the closing ceremony at the 1988 Calgary Olympics. She died in 2016.

Denison, Flora MacDonald

  • Person
  • 1867-1921

Flora MacDonald Denison (née Merrill) was a journalist and leader in Canadian social reform and the suffrage movement. She was born in 1867 in a mining community in northern Ontario and educated in Belleville and Picton schools until the age of 15. She moved to Detroit in the late 1880s and began her careers as a journalist, writing for The Detroit Free Press. She married Howard Denison in 1892 and her son Merrill, a well-known Canadian writer, was born in 1893. The family relocated to Toronto in 1893 and Denison began a career as a dressmaker and became the manager of the custom-dress department at Simpson’s in 1898. During this time she began to write for Saturday Night, where the exploitation of women working in the clothing industry was one of her main topics. Denison met Emily Howard Stowe shortly before her death in 1903 and joined the suffragist movement, serving as secretary of the Dominion Women’s Enfranchisement Association in 1906 and was appointed the Canadian delegate to the Third Conference of the International Women Suffrage Alliance (1906). She became a contributor to the Toronto Sunday World in 1906, and was a weekly contributor beginning in 1909; regularly writing on women’s suffrage, religion, marriage, birth control and social class. She served as President of the Canadian Suffrage Association from 1910-1914 and was instrumental in bringing noted suffragists, Anna Howard Shaw and Emmeline Pankhurst, to Toronto. She was forced to resign as President of the CSA in 1914 due to her support of divorce and birth control and defending the militant tactics of British suffragists and the Women’s Social and Political Union. In 1916, she worked as a speaker and organized for the New York State Women’s Suffrage campaign before returning to Canada. The outbreak of World War I led her to support social and spiritual reform through the Canadian Whitmanite movement. She converted her country property, Bon Echo at Mazinaw, into a summer hotel and a spiritual community dedicated to principals of Walt Whitman. She helped organize the Social Reconstruction Group of the Toronto Theosophical Society and was honorary President and official speaker of the Ontario section of the Canadian Labour Party. Denison died in 1921 of complications of pneumonia.

Drummond, Andrew

  • Person
  • 1811-[18–?]

Andrew Drummond was born in Edinburgh in 1811. A graduate of Edinburgh University, he emigrated to Canada in 1833 to join his uncle, Robert, who was engaged in developing the Rideau Canal. In 1834, he joined the Commercial Bank of Canada in Kingston, and in 1843 he became manager of the bank in Ottawa. He went to the Bank of Montreal, becoming the manager in Ottawa in 1846. Andrew and his wife Margaret had nine children. Of these, Charles was deeply involved in promoting the Hudson's Bay Railway; Frank was associated with the Northwest Navigation Company; and George attempted to set up a company to promote a new version of the typewriter he invented.

Eustace, Cecil John

  • Person
  • 1903-1992

Publisher, editor and author. Employed by J.M. Dent & Sons from 1930-1968 when he retired as President. He edited Insight, a Catholic journal and wrote several books. Among them are Catholicism, Communism, and Dictatorship (1938); and Forgotten Music (1974).

Born June 5, 1903, in England; son of John and Edith Mary (Cutler) Eustace; married Irene Emily Agnes Van Praagh, June 3, 1930; children: Philip John, Michael Anthony, Elizabeth Mary. Education: Studied as Felsted College, Essex, England. Politics: Liberal. Religion: Roman Catholic. Memberships: Metropolitan Board of Trade (Toronto), York Downs Golf and Country Club, Serra Club (Toronto).

Freelance writer and journalist, 1920-30; J.M. Dent & Sons (publishers), Don Mills, Ontario, field editor, 1930-48, director, 1948-53, vice president, 1963-68. Director of Cooperative Book Centre of Canada, Toronto, 1959-63, president 1963; director of Canadian Textbook Publishers Institute, Toronto, 1961-62; president of Canadian Book Publishers Council, 1963; chairman of religion and life lectures in Toronto in the 1950s; trustee of North York Library System, 1965--, chairman of board of trustees, 1967.

Received honourable mention in Edward O'Brien's Best Short Stories, 1937, and in Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, 1938; Centennial Medal from Government of Canada, 1967, in recognition of valuable service to the nation; named Knight of Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, by Pope Paul VI.

Nonfiction, except where indicated:
-The Scarlet Gentleman (novel), Macmillan (Canada), 1927.
-Romewards (Catholic Book Club selection), Benziger, 1933.
-Damaged Lives (novel), Putnam, 1934.
-Mind and Mystery, Longmans, Green, 1943.
-Catholicism, Communism, and Dictatorship, Benziger, 1938.
-Defense Training: An Elementary Manual for Defense Training in Secondary Schools, J. M. Dent & Sons, 1942.
-House of Bread, Longmans, Green, 1943.
-An Infinity of Questions, Dobson, 1946.
-A Canadian Foundress: The Life of Aurelia Caouette, Basilian, 1947.
-A Spring in the Desert (novel), Doubleday, 1969.
-Developments in Canadian Book Production and Design, Queen's Printer, 1972.
-Forgotten Music (novel), McGraw, 1974.

Work is presented in anthologies, including:
Open House, edited by William A. Deacon and Wilfred Reeves, Graphic Publishers (Ottawa), 1931, and The English Review Book of Short Stories, edited by Horace Shipp, foreword by Ford Madox Ford, Sampson, Low, & Marston, 1933.

Contributor of short stories, articles, and reviews to magazines, including English Review, American Hebrew, Commonweal, America, Catholic World, and Culture. Book review editor of Catholic Register.

("Cecil John Eustace." Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2001. Literature Resource Center. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.)

Feasby, William R.

  • Person
  • 1912-1970

William R. Feasby was born in Listowel, Ontario, in 1912. Following completion of his B.A. in 1934 at the University of Toronto, and his M.D. in 1937 at the University of Toronto Medical School, Feasby interned at Toronto Western Hospital from 1937-1939. Later in 1939 he joined the No. 15 Canadian General Hospital, and went overseas in 1940, serving as medical specialist in gastroenterology at No. 15. In 1941, he was invalided home from England to receive treatment for a disease of the cornea. The following year he joined the Army Medical Research Team in Ottawa, specialising in respiratory disease, where he remained until 1944.

From 1944-1946 he served as Editor of the Journal of the Canadian Medical Services, and also worked as Medical Assistant to the Superintendent at Toronto Western Hospital until 1952. At this time, he became a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada as a Specialist in Internal Medicine. He began practising as a specialist in internal medicine at the Medical Arts Building in 1945. At this time, he was appointed special lecturer in the Department of Physiology at the University of Toronto, and was also appointed Army Medical Historian. In the 1940s, he became the editor of Modern Medicine of Canada and the Ontario Medical Review. Feasby lectured on hospital administration to the School of Hygiene in 1948, and became the Medical Director of the Canadian Diabetic Association in 1952. In 1953 and 1956 respectively, volumes one and two of his Official History of the Canadian Medical Services, 1939-1945 were published. From 1960-1966, Feasby gathered material for his projected biography of Dr. Charles Henry Best. Dr. Feasby died in 1970.

Finch, Robert

  • Person
  • 1900-1995

Robert Finch was an accomplished writer, musician and artist. He taught at University College until his retirement in 1970. Finch published 15 vols of verse earning him the Governor General's award twice.

Fleming, Archibald Lang

  • Person
  • 1883-1953

Archibald Lang Fleming was born in Greenstock, Scotland, in 1883. He was the first Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the Arctic. In 1906 he came to Canada to train at Wycliffe College, Toronto, and in 1909 he established a mission at Lake Harbour in the Artic, where he stayed until 1916. For his crossing of Fox Peninsula on his return, he was made a member of the Royal Geographic Society.

Until his first appointment as Archdeacon of the Arctic in 1927, he served first as financial secretary and Chaplin to Wycliffe College and then as Rector of Old Stone Church, Saint John, NB. His incredible travels as Bishop of the Arctic earned him the title "The Flying Bishop." He was the author of several books. He died in Toronto in 1953.


  • Corporate body
  • 1975-2002

Syd Kessler and Jody Colero operated a number of commercial studios from the 1970s to 2000. Hamilton born Syd Kessler began working in media in 1966 when he was hired by Chuck Blore Creative Services, a Los Angeles-based radio production company. Over the next five years, Kessler learned his way around a recording studio while also freelance writing for the prime time comedy show, Laugh-In. Returning to Toronto in 1971, Kessler obtained work writing for television shows such as Wayne and Schuster and began working on commercials with noted jingle writer and film composer Ben McPeek. Kessler joined the Cockfield Brown Advertising Agency in 1973; it was here that he met Cubby Marcus, who would become his mentor.

By 1975, Kessler had started his own company, WAMO (Words and Music Organization), which then became Kessler, Morrison, Meteskey and Giacomelli Inc. Three years later, he founded Kessler Productions (later Kessler Music Corp.), which over the next several years became the largest jingle company in Canada. In 1981, Kessler acquired Berryman Studios and Sounds Interchange and formed the Air Company and Creative Interchange. These two companies dominated the advertising business in Canada for nearly a decade, with Kessler co-writing, producing and/or directing commercials for major companies including Coca-Cola, Esso, Air Canada, McDonald’s and others. In 1988, John Labatt Ltd. merged with Kessler Music Corp, thereby forming a new entity called Supercorp. Five of Kessler’s competitors came under the Supercorp umbrella; one of these, Einstein Brothers, included Jody Colero.

Following a change in direction in 1994, Kessler sold his shares in Supercorp and started a new company called The Kessler Group. In 1997, Kessler became co-director of KPMG e-commerce practice. He retired in 2000, and published a book (called The Perfect System) in 2005, and currently lives in Toronto.

Jody Colero began his professional career in 1977, working as an engineer at Thunder Sound. He subsequently worked in A & R, signing notable Canadian pop and rock artists such as Teenage Head, Harlequin and David Bendeath while helping to develop a number of successful Canadian songwriters like Mary Margaret O’Hara and Tim Thorney. Colero also worked with such notable Canadian acts as Dr. Music and Craig Russell. In 1985, Colero formed Einstein Brothers Music Inc. with two partners that he subsequently bought out. The company was acquired by Kessler’s Supercorp in 1992. Shortly afterwards, Colero created the Einstein Brothers Record label, which enjoyed some success with Cassandra Vassik and Charlie Major. Einstein Brothers Inc. was acquired by Supercorp in 1992 and, after its dissolution, Colero became the sole owner of the company that he once co-owned. After a brief sabbatical at the end of 2001, Colero returned to the advertising business with a new company called Silent Joe. He continues to create musical products for all media.

In addition to their advertising work, both Kessler and Colero served as executive producers or worked ‘hands on’ on commercial recordings by Bob and Doug MacKenzie, Rick Moranis and Mary Margaret O’Hara, among others. Kessler and Colero’s work has been well-regarded within the advertising, music and broadcasting communities, and they have earned countless awards: AMPAC (Advertising Music Producers Association of Canada), Andys (Advertising Club of New York), Bessies, Canadian Radio Commercial Awards, Canadian TV Commercials Festival, CLIOs (International Broadcasting Awards), International Film & TV Festival awards, Toronto Art Directors Club Awards, and others.

O'Connor, John

  • Person
  • 1870-1952

John O'Connor was a Roman Catholic parish priest based in the town of Bradford, Yorkshire. Born on 5 December 1870 in Clonmel, County Tipperary, Ireland, O'Connor was educated by the Franciscans and Christian Brothers until the age of twelve, at which point he left for Douai in Flanders to study at the English Benedictine College. He later studied theology and philosophy at the English College in Rome. He was ordained at St. John Lateran on 30 March 1895. O'Connor served as curate at St. Joseph's in Bradford, England and later at St. Marie's, Halifax, West Vale and St. Anne's, Keighley. From 1909 to 1919 O'Conner was parish priest of Heckmondwike where he helped build the Church of the Holy Spirit. It was in Keighley that O'Connor met the writer G.K. Chesterton in 1904. He would later receive Chesterton into the Roman Catholic faith in 1922. O'Connor served as parish priest at St. Cuthbert's from 1919 until his death. In 1937 he was made Privy Chamberlain to His Holiness. In addition to Chesterton, O'Connor was also associated with the Catholic authors Hilaire Belloc, Maurice Baring and the typographer and engraver Eric Gill. O'Connor published poems, book reviews and prose in English Catholic periodicals and news papers, and also translated the work of French poet Paul Claudel, (including "The Satin Slipper" and "Ways and Crossways") and the philosopher Jacques Maritain's "Art et Scolastique".John O'Connor died in the Sisters' of Mercy Nursing Home at Horsforth on 6 Febraury 1952.

University of Toronto. Department of Occupational Health and Occupational Therapy

  • Corporate body
  • 1918-

There are actually two beginnings for occupational therapy at the University of Toronto: one in 1918 and one in 1926. [The] first program was designed for ward aides to work with the injured soldiers of World War I. Ward aides were employed by the Military Hospitals Commission of Canada to provide the soldiers with occupations, generally in the form of crafts, to “rehabilitate” their spirit during long periods of convalescence. From bedside and ward occupations, the soldiers progressed to off-ward occupations and to curative workshops. At later stages, soldiers who were unable to return to their former jobs were given occupations related to their vocational retraining. Similar occupation-based work had been carried out for decades in mental institutions and also in tuberculosis sanatoriums so there was already some basis on which to build this program. As each year of the war went by and the numbers of injured soldiers continued to increase, the Military Hospitals Commission realised it needed more women to work as ward aides. The University of Toronto (U of T) volunteered to help meet this need and started short courses to train ward aides in 1918. The courses were run by the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering and held in the basement of the Mining Building. From 6-week courses, they developed into 6-month courses and when the last course finished in the fall of 1919, some 300 women had been trained as ward aides and were working across the country.

The ward aides continue to work with veterans after the war ended. They also continued to work in mental institutions and tuberculosis sanatoriums and by 1920 they had begun working in general hospitals as well. They soon realised that there would be a continuing need for the service they were providing. The ward aides who were based in Ontario organized themselves into the Ontario Society for Occupational Therapy (OSOT) and received their provincial charter in 1921. In addition to promoting occupational therapy as treatment, OSOT began planning for a proper training course to be housed at the University of Toronto. With influential people on their Advisory Board (including Dr Primrose, then Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, and Sir Robert Falconer, the President of the University), they were able to establish a new program in 1926. This “second beginning” for OT at U of T was a two-year diploma course. It was run by the Department of Extension, a structural entity that oversaw programs with somewhat uncertain futures. The course was advertised in the Commencement Bulletin the preceding June as a "new course for young ladies who are anxious to be of service in the healing of the sick and maimed and convalescent." In 1946, the course was extended to 3 years, and in 1950, occupational therapy and physical therapy were combined into one program and brought into the Faculty of Medicine as part of the Division of Rehabilitation Medicine. The program was known as “P&OT” and its graduates were affectionately known as “POTS”. Although combining the programs was not considered desirable by many – there was at last a permanent home for the program in the Faculty of Medicine. Some 20 years later, the programs separated again to become individual degree programs, with the first students graduating with a BSc (OT) degree in 1974. In 2000, occupational therapy became a graduate program offering an MScOT degree.

In recommending the program to the University in 1926, the letter to the University Senate noted that there was a desire "to make the University of Toronto Extension Course the headquarters for the Dominion of Canada, so that pupils will not be of Provincial origin alone, but will come from all parts of the Dominion." Indeed this intention was realised as the U of T program remained the only university program in Canada until 1950, and the only one in Ontario until 1967. In fact the program at U of T was one of just five schools of occupational therapy in all of North America to be recognized in 1935 by the American Medical Association, the academic accrediting body of the time. The schools were in Boston, St Louis, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Toronto. Class size at U of T varied tremendously over the years and ranged from as few as 13 during the early years of the depression, to 120 in the post-war class of 1947.

Because it was the only educational program in Canada until 1950, OT at U of T provided most of the occupational therapists for the country. As a result, our grads held most of the senior clinical positions and greatly influenced the development of the profession. When new educational programs began to develop at other Canadian universities, the directors were usually selected from among U of T grads and they too greatly influenced the development of the profession. Grads from OT at U of T continue those traditions today, making their influence felt across the nation, and around the world.

Judith Friedland. PhD, OT Reg (Ont), FCAOT
Professor Emerita
July 17, 2006
(taken from

University of Toronto. Department of Pathology

  • Corporate body
  • 1891-1896, 1951-1997

The University of Toronto's Department of Pathology and Bacteriology was established in 1897 when the Department of Pathology (originally est. in 1891) was renamed to include Bacteriology. The Department existed until 1951, when Pathology and Bacteriology split for form stand alone departments. The Department of Bacteriology existed until 1971, when it become the Department of Medical Microbiology, and was later combined with the Department of Medical Genetics (est. in 1996) to form the Department Medical Microbiology and Genetics (1997). Meanwhile, in 1997, the Department of Pathology was combined with the Department of Clinical Biochemistry (est. in 1972) to form the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology.

Frothingham, John

  • Person
  • 1788-1870

John Frothingham was born in Portland, Maine, and came to Canada in 1809 to open a hardware store for Samuel May, who had a similar store in Boston where Frothingham worked. In 1831, he was one of the founders and a main shareholder of the City Bank of Montreal, which broke the monopoly of the Bank of Montreal in the city. He became president of the bank, a position he held from 1834 until his retirement in 1849. Frothingham's other business interests and activities included the Montreal Board of Trade, St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad, Montreal Stock Exchange and Canada Inland Steam Navigation Company.

Gale, James Scarth

  • Person
  • 1863-1937

James Scarth Gale was a Canadian writer and Presbyterian missionary in Korea.

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