Gilbert Leeds Blackwell

Class of: 
Year of Death: 

Gib was born in Bradford, Ontario, tried a year of Sociology & Philosophy at Victoria College, but then switched to U of T Medical School and did his RCAMC service in Toronto District Headquarters after a junior internship at TGH. As soon as the RCAMC released him in 1946 he put out his family practice shingle on Bradford’s main street where it stayed until he died of cancer in 2004 at age 84. His may have been one of the last practices run from the doctor’s dwelling place, the end of a long era. He had three sons and three daughters with many grandchildren and some greats.

He proved to be a very popular family doctor and was an exemplary family physician in his own quiet but gentle way. He gave impressive care to patients who needed referral to a larger institution with special facilities. He held senior positions in community service clubs, including the Lions Club and the Masons and served on the executive of the early and later versions of Newmarket Hospital (now a thriving referral heart disease, cancer and general hospital called Southlake Medical Centre). He took an avid interest in home care and proper facilities for this newly recognized great societal need.

His interest in conservation led to the planting of seventy acres of his hundred-acre farm outside Bradford as a “Tree Farm”. His unique hobby was collecting hand-carved walking sticks of which he amassed more than 299 specimens.

He was the living proof that medical lore can be amassed by the careful observation upon patients in a busy practice. In effect he went straight from junior internship to practice and was very accomplished as a physician.  His wife Ruth was a TGH nurse.

Excerpt written by: Dr. Henry Barnett


Barnett, Henry, Joan Borland, Jack Laidlaw, Neil Watters and Bruce Wells. The Epic Journey of University of Toronto Medical Class of 1944. Toronto: University of Toronto, Faculty of Medince, 2012. pg. 22.

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