Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy


Evening view of the Faculty of Pharmacy Building's southeastern corner

The Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy is a pharmacy school and an academic division of the University of Toronto. The faculty is located on the northwestern corner of College Street and University Avenue, placing it across from the Ontario Legislative Building and at the entrance to Queen's Park station. It is also situated 1-2 blocks away from four internationally renowned hospitals — The Hospital for Sick Children, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto General Hospital and Mount Sinai Hospital. It is part of Toronto's Discovery District.

The Faculty of Pharmacy Building is particularly notable for its two orb-shaped classrooms, referred to as the "pods", which are suspended lecture halls. The pods are lit at night with coloured stage lights visible from afar, giving the building a "Star Trek feel".[1] Likened to giant glowing pills, the pods have been deemed "something of a local landmark."[2] The Pharmacy Building has received international coverage and awards, in part because of its design team, including world-famous Sir Norman Foster and Claude Engle, as well as its high-profile sponsor Leslie Dan. It was also featured on the cover of, as well as profiled in, the book Detail in Process.[3]


The Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto began in 1853, when the Ontario College of Pharmacy (now Pharmacists) who first operated at the school had merged into the school curriculum.[4][5] By 1868, the pharmacy program consisted of only a few evenings of voluntary classes, with no practically prerequisite classes. However, the long, tradition apprenticeship of this professional field had pressed a strong emphasis onto the students. Today, the program has evolved into "a compulsory, four-year second-entry scientific and professional university course with a supervised period of professional practice."[6][5] The organization of this program has become significantly more structured. This change in focus strayed away from the predominant emphasis of the practice of training through an apprenticeship to today's emphasis of a theoretical study and application of those skills in real-life situations. Students are better equipped with the skills which are required to meet the present needs of the profession. The University of Toronto was the only school in Ontario to offer a pharmacy education until the opening of the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy in 2008.

In 1877, the Faculty moved into the University of Toronto campus, and new levels of pharmaceutical education was offered as a PhD degree at the University of Toronto was being arranged.[5] As the demands for more pharmacists increased, the demands of professional education in this particular field increased as well. As a result, in 1992, the faculty introduced the PharmD-Doctor of Pharmacy- in hopes to accommodate for the growing need for graduates in the field.[5] Within the past decade, enrolment in the undergraduate and graduate programs and doubled and tripled in size respectively. The Faculty had no choice but to expand their facilities, thus moving to their current location at 144 College Street in 2006. The Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Toronto's Arms and Badge were registered with the Canadian Heraldic Authority on 17 May 2001.[7] The Latin motto is "Trutina Penso Doctrinae" which means "I weigh by the balance of learning."

As the only faculty of pharmacy in Ontario until 2007, the Faculty needed to expand beyond 120 students per year, but could not do so in its limited space. The largest room in the former Pharmacy Building (the Norman F. Hughes building, now the Anthropology Building, located at Huron St. and Russell St.) held only 30 students, and each year (at the time of the proposal) had 120 students.[8][1] Thus, none of the pharmacy classes could be held within its own building, a serious problem for any professional faculty. As well, the various pharmacy research labs were interspersed throughout the campus.[3][9]

Construction of a new building enabled the pharmacy programme to gradually increase its student intake to 240 new students per year in September 2006, doubling its previous capacity;[8][10][11] between 2000 and 2008, the total enrolment in the pharmacy program (all 4 years) increased from 499 to 1,011 students.[10][11] Other programs administrated by the Faculty, including the graduate-level advanced Pharm.D. program (not to be confused with an entry-level Pharm.D.), the Bachelor of Science specialisation in pharmaceutical chemistry, the MSc and PhD programmes in pharmaceutical sciences and the International Pharmacy Graduates bridging programme also experienced significant growth.[12] On 19 April 2011, the Faculty announced a $1 million donation from Walmart Canada to create the Walmart Canada International Pharmacy Education Centre. This centre will feature enhanced facilities including a one hundred seat classroom, and will allow increased enrollment into the programme.[13]

The $75-million (CAD) building was funded by numerous alumni and organisations, along with the Government of Ontario's SuperBuild fund. The building was named the Leslie L. Dan Faculty of Pharmacy Building in 2001 in honour of the generous donation made by Leslie Dan, an alumnus of the school and a noted pharmacist, philanthropist, entrepreneur and Member of the Order of Canada, as well as founder of the generic drug manufacturer Novopharm and the Canadian Medical Aid Programme. Dan donated $8 million earmarked specifically for the building in 2000, at which point the building was named for him; this was followed up with a $7 million donation to his alma mater in 2002, resulting in the Faculty of Pharmacy being renamed to the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy.[1][14]

Academics and curricula

The Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy offers several degrees:

  • Master of Science in Pharmacy (MScPhm)
  • Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)[15]
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)[16]
  • Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (MSc)[16]
  • Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSc)[17]

The current entry-to-practice PharmD program graduated its first class in 2015, coinciding with the graduation of the last class of traditional post-graduate PharmD students.[18] This change mirrors that of the pharmacy curriculum in the United States of America: introducing advanced pharmacy practice experiences, increasing program admission requirements, thereby reducing and streamlining the didactic portions of the curriculum. This new entry-to-practice PharmD program replaces the previous entry-to-practice Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy (BScPhm) program. Practicing pharmacists holding BScPhm may choose to elect to bridge to the current PharmD degree via the PharmD for Pharmacists program. Graduates from this program will hold both the traditional BScPhm and current PharmD degrees.[4] Since the traditional post-graduate PharmD program is also no longer available, a new post-graduate degree in the form of MScPhm has been established to further the clinical and research skills of practicing pharmacists.

At the University of Toronto, pharmacy students are already being trained for physical assessments and prescribing rights through problem-based, experiential and student-directed approaches to common ailments, case-based and critical reasoning skills and other coursework in pathophysiology, clinical biochemistry and pharmaceutical care.[19][20] These represent important advances in pharmacy education and the pharmacists' new critical role in Canada's health care system, and the use of the new building for Pharmacy is a symbol of the University of Toronto's dedication to health care and pharmaceutical research.[9]

In addition, the Faculty offers a non-professional undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Science program along with graduate research programs that lead to Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy (MSc and PhD) degrees in pharmaceutical science.[15][17][16]


  1. ^ a b c Brown, Louise (16 September 2006). "Rx for excellence". The Toronto Star. Toronto, Ontario. p. R1.
  2. ^ Hume, Christopher (7 June 2007). "We agree Gardiner is belle of the ball". Toronto Star. p. A17.
  3. ^ a b Killory, Christine; Davids, René (2008). Detail in Process. AsBuilt series. 2. Princeton Architectural Press. pp. Front cover, 68–77. ISBN 978-1-56898-718-7.
  4. ^ a b Beales, Jennifer; Austin, Zubin (2006). "The Pursuit of Legitimacy and Professionalism: The evolution of pharmacy in Ontario" (PDF). Pharmaceutical Historian. 36 (2): 22–7. PMID 17153741. S2CID 5899405. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 August 2018. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d "Our History." pharmacy.utoronto.ca. Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, n.d. Web.n.d. < "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 September 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)>
  6. ^ Frankel, Grace; Louizos, Christopher; Austin, Zubin (2014). "Canadian Educational Approaches for the Advancement of Pharmacy Practice". Am J Pharm Educ. 78 (7): 143. doi:10.5688/ajpe787143. PMC 4174385. PMID 25258448.
  7. ^ Arms and Badge
  8. ^ a b Lavack, Leslie (November–December 2001). Croteau, Della (ed.). "Faculty Facts". Pharmacy Connection. Ontario College of Pharmacists. 8 (6): 14. ISSN 1198-354X.
  9. ^ a b Easton, Megan (Autumn 2003). "Class Structures: Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy Building". UofT Magazine.
  10. ^ a b "Enrolment Report 2005-06: Actual and Projected Enrolments" (PDF). Office of the Vice-President and Provost. University of Toronto. pp. 14, 16. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
  11. ^ a b "Enrolment Report 2008-09: Actual and Projected Enrolments" (PDF). Office of the Vice-President and Provost. University of Toronto. pp. 11, 12. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
  12. ^ "Enrolment Reports". Office of the Vice-President and Provost. University of Toronto. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
  13. ^ "Walmart Canada International Pharmacy Education Centre". University of Toronto. Archived from the original on 24 August 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
  14. ^ Adams, James (6 April 2002). "Pharmacy school will bear name of donor". The Globe and Mail. Toronto, Ontario. p. A19.
  15. ^ a b "PharmD for Pharmacists". Commonwealth Pharmacist Association. 23 June 2015. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  16. ^ a b c "Graduate Degree Programs for Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in North America". AACP. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  17. ^ a b Noott, Anne (2011). "A glimpse of the pharmacy undergraduate course at the University of Toronto". Tomorrow's Pharmacist. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  18. ^ "First Class of PharmD Students Graduates". Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  19. ^ Sibbald, Debra (Summer 1998). "Innovative, Problem-Based, Pharmaceutical Care Courses for Self-Medication" (PDF). American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education. 62: 109–119. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2010. Retrieved 22 September 2009.
  20. ^ "Curriculum" (PDF). 2009-2010 Calendar. Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. 2009. pp. 33–46.

External links

  • Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy