Manuscript Collection MS COLL 00785 (Downsview Offsite) - R.T Frankford Papers

Identity area

Reference code

CA OTUTF MS COLL 00785 (Downsview Offsite)


R.T Frankford Papers


  • 1964 - 2016 (Creation)

Level of description

Manuscript Collection

Extent and medium

35 boxes, 1 item (5 metres)

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Robert Timothy Stansfield Frankford was born 1 August 1939 in Nottingham England and was the son of Margaret (born Little), an English Quaker mother, and Walter, a Viennese Jewish father. He did his medical training at the University of London (England) atSt. George's Hospital Medical School. He emigrated to Canada in the late 1960s and settled in Toronto.
Best known as a champion of the right to health care and access to health care, Frankford’s concerns extended to other issues, including racism, homelessness, and inequality in all its forms. A long-time admirer of the work of Jane Jacobs, he advocated for more liveable cities, and he worked at this and other issues at many levels and in many ways. He was known for his advocacy of universal primary care registration, capitation payment for physicians, and working as a primary care doctor in a team together with other health care professionals.
Frankford was elected as an MPP for Scarborough East as a member of the New Democratic Party from 1990 to 1995. He also worked for his country, his province, his city, his community, his neighbourhood and his profession by volunteering his time to be a member of committees, councils, boards, and non-governmental organizations with missions focused on the good works in which he believed.
When he left the Ontario Legislature, he worked for three years as Attending Physician at Seaton House and during and after that time worked on behalf of the homeless in Toronto. He had a special long-term interest in the plight of foreign-trained professionals, doctors and others, and he mentored foreign-trained doctors seeking to practice their professions in Ontario. Since his days as an MPP, when he first encountered the Sickle Cell Association of Ontario, he remained involved with them and had attended a telephone conference meeting a little more than 48 hours before his death.
Frankford died 1 August 2015 at the age of 75.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Gift of Helen Breslauer, 2017

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Collection consists of material collected during the course of Dr. Frankford’s career as a doctor, health care activist and Member of Provincial Parliament. This includes reports, correspondence and clippings on primary health care, health service organizations, community health centres and material related to access to health care for marginalized groups. There are also copies of Dr. Frankford’s writing for newspapers and scientific and medical journals, as well as clippings on his work as an activist and other clippings of interest. Papers also relate to Dr. Frankford’s work regarding sickle cell anemia, and his participation in the Ontario Medical Association. His political papers includes speeches, presentations, reports and material generated during the course of his campaigns. The papers contain a small amount of personal material, especially regarding tributes made after his death.

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No restrictions on access.

Material may be requested in person at the Fisher Library Reference Desk, or in advance using our online stack retrieval request form:

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Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

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