Historical Sketch

Pharmacy education in Ontario began 150 years ago with informal academic experiments tracing back to 1868. The Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto came into being July 1, 1953, when the University assumed responsibility for the school that had been operated by the Ontario College of Pharmacy (now Ontario College of Pharmacists) since 1882. A lineal descendant of the Canadian Pharmaceutical Society and its short-lived predecessor, the Toronto Chemists’ and Druggists’ Association, established in 1867, the Ontario College of Pharmacists (OCP) remains the provincial regulatory body of pharmacy; it oversees the internship program, called the Structured Practical Training (SPT), for registration as a pharmacist or pharmacy technician in Ontario. It contributes to the Faculty by ensuring that a representative of OCP is a member of the Faculty Council, the formal governing body of the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto.

The evolution of pharmaceutical education in Ontario shows a remarkable growth from a few evenings in 1868 of voluntary classes, with relatively no prerequisites, and with predominant emphasis upon a long, traditional apprenticeship controlled by a professional association, to the present compulsory, four-year second entry scientific and professional university program with supervised periods of extensive professional experiential education. The change is a significant one, for it represents the maturation of pharmaceutical education in Ontario from the nineteenth-century preoccupation with training for a trade by mastering primarily manual techniques, largely in the shop, to meet the current practice situation, to today’s emphasis upon theoretical study embracing generalized principles whose application can, along with direct patient care experience, serve the future as well as the present needs of the citizens of Ontario and the profession. Also the importance of extensive experiential education has been recognized in academia. Students entering our new curriculum will receive more hands-on experiential training within many different practices than ever before. This includes the opportunity to provide direct patient care within interprofessional practices, working with many different health care professionals to optimize patient care.

The initiation of the first baccalaureate program by the Ontario College of Pharmacy in 1948 served as a natural and necessary prelude to the first graduate program, with the launching in 1953 of the MSc degree in pharmacy, and with the University now carrying the graduate and undergraduate teaching functions. The first affiliation of the College with the University came nearly six decades earlier in 1892, with primarily optional degree privileges being involved, while the first control of the University Senate over College examinations came in 1927, when certain courses were first taken by pharmacy students in University departments and the PhmB degree became mandatory.

Another consequence of University Faculty status for pharmacy was the move of the teaching college to a building on the University campus at 19 Russell Street in 1963 from facilities it had outgrown at 44–46 Gerrard Street East, facilities which when first opened in 1887 had been the first of their kind in Canada. The physical and symbolic move to the University campus coincided with the first arrangements for a student to earn a PhD degree at the University of Toronto with pharmacy as a major area of research. In 2006, the Faculty moved to a new larger building at 144 College Street, which is located in close proximity to other health science Faculties such as medicine, nursing and dentistry, and to many of the teaching institutions which together are called the Toronto Academic Health Sciences Network (TAHSN). This move allowed for significant growth in professional and graduate programs, a new Specialist Program in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and expansion of continuous professional development programs.

As the demands on the profession changed with changing health care needs of Ontario’s citizens, so did professional education. Recognizing the growing need for graduates with additional clinical experience and greater preparation in pharmacotherapeutics, the Faculty introduced a post-baccalaureate Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree in 1992. This was a two-year full-time program, which combined didactic in-class work with experiential education. In 2004, a distance learning on a part-time basis version of this program was introduced; this was the first of its kind in Canada. In 2011, a combined Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy and Post Baccalaureate Doctor of Pharmacy program was established for a three-year period, to allow undergraduates students at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy who had completed three years of the Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy program to graduate with both a BScPhm and PharmD degree.

The baccalaureate (BScPhm) program itself changed in 1994, when entering students were required to have a minimum of one year of university course work as a prerequisite for admission. This prerequisite education was extended to two years in 2011, which allowed for a significant change in the curriculum with more clinical pharmacy practice based course work. Along with the change in admissions, starting in September 2011, a new four-year, second-entry, professional program was implemented, with new courses in pharmacotherapy, medication therapy management, and experiential education, becoming the core of the curriculum. This new professional curriculum formally received approval by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities as the entry-to-practice Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree in January 2013. This professional program emphasizes understanding and applying the concept of ‘patient-centred care’ throughout its four years and culminates with 35 weeks of clinical experiential rotations undertaken in a variety of practice sites including hospitals, clinics, and community pharmacies. The first cohort in this new program graduated with a PharmD degree in June 2015.

Also, in 2013, the post-baccalaureate PharmD program evolved to become the PharmD for Pharmacists program, providing pharmacists with a BScPhm the opportunity to graduate with a PharmD degree. This flexible and customizable program can be undertaken on a part-time basis and through distance learning.


Deans, Ontario College of Pharmacy

  • E.B. Shuttleworth, 1882-1891
  • A.Y. Scott, 1891-1892
  • C.F. Heebner, 1892-1937
  • R.O. Hurst, 1937-1952
  • F.N. Hughes, 1952-1953


Assistant Dean, Ontario College of Pharmacy

  • F.N. Hughes, 1948-1952


Deans, Faculty of Pharmacy

  • F.N. Hughes, 1953 - 1973
  • W.E. Alexander, 1974 - 1978
  • E.W. Stieb, Acting, 1978 - 1979
  • R.M. Baxter, 1979 - 1985
  • E.W. Stieb, Acting, July - Dec. 1985
  • D.G. Perrier, 1986 - 1998
  • E.W. Stieb, Acting, Aug. 1993 - Jan. 1994
  • K.W. Hindmarsh, 1998 - 2009
  • R. Bendayan, Acting, Jan. - June 2007
  • H.J. Mann, 2009 - 2013
  • H. Boon, Interim, July 2013 - June 2014
  • H. Boon, July 2014 - June 2018
  • C.J. Allen, Interim, July 2018 - June 2019 
  • L. Dolovich, Interim, July 2019 - June 2020
  • L. Dolovich, July 2020 -


Associate Deans

  • G.C. Walker, 1970 - 1977
  • E.W. Stieb, 1978 - 1994
  • J.P. Uetrecht, 1994 - 1998
  • J.J. Thiessen, 1999 - 2005
  • D.M. Grant, 2002 - 2005
  • L. Lavack, 2005 - 2010
  • R.B. Macgregor, 2005 - 2010
  • R. Bendayan, 2007 - 2011
  • Z. Austin, 2009 - 2010
  • H. Boon, Acting, Jan. - Dec. 2010
  • R.M. Reilly, 2010 - June 2015
  • C.J. Allen, Interim, Jan. - Dec. 2011
  • L. Raman-Wilms, Interim, Jan. - Dec. 2011
  • C.J. Allen, Jan. - Aug. 2012
  • H. Boon, 2012 - June 2013
  • L. Raman-Wilms, 2012 - June 2017
  • I. Crandall, Interim, Jan. - Dec. 2013
  • C.J. Allen, Interim, Sept. 2013 - June 2014
  • C.J. Allen, July 2014 - June 2015
  • S. Angers, July 2015 - August 2021
  • J.L. Kellar, November 2020 - 
  • M. Piquette-Miller, October 2021 -


Assistant Deans

  • E.W. Stieb, 1975 - 1978
  • L. Lavack, 1994 - 2005
  • M. Nawrocki, 2001 - 2007
  • K.A. Boyd, 2005 - 2006
  • C.Y. MacNeil, 2006 - 2011
  • T.E.R. Brown, 2007 - 2010
  • D.M. White, 2007 - Feb. 2017
  • M. Bystrin, 2013 - 2014


Faculty Secretaries/Registrars

  • H.M. Corbett, 1953 - 1959
  • F.M. Ward, 1959 - 1973 
  • H.M. Walton, 1973 - 1985
  • H.J. Ditzend, 1985 - 2001
  • B.A. Thrush, 2001 - 2022
  • G.R. Luna, 2022 -