Medicine's humble beginnings

The first medical teaching facility at the University of Saskatchewan was established in 1920 in one of the greenhouses, designed by Brown and Vallance of Montreal, adjacent to the gymnasium. Undoubtedly the success of Dr. W. S. Lindsay, professor of bacteriology, in this location influenced subsequent horticultural/medical confluence. When the School of Medical Sciences was created in 1926, greenhouses no.5 and no.6 - those nearest the Administration Building - became home to the departments of anatomy and physiology respectively. One greenhouse boasted the dissection room, the other the physiology lab. The "head house", the stone front of the structure, provided office and classroom space.

In 1937 an extension to the north end of the Field Husbandry (now Crop Science) Building enabled the relocation of the two departments. Anatomy was placed on the upper floor, under the skylights, and consisted of an office for the head, Dr. J. L. Jackson, a histology lab and a large dissection room for students. Physiology was located below anatomy, on the second floor, with an office for Dr. John Fiddes, a laboratory and a lecture room.

The Medical College got its own, stand alone building, designed by Webster and Gilbert of Saskatoon, which was barely completed in time for the official opening on 8 May 1950. In addition to severing the decades-old connection to horticulture, the new facility permitted Dr. Lindsay to relocate his office and lab from the second floor of the Administration Building where he had been since 1926. And Dr. R. J. Manning, professor of biochemistry became part of the college and vacated his former space in the Chemistry ( now Thorvaldson ) Building. The basement of the new building housed pathology and biochemistry; the administrative offices and bacteriology were placed on the first floor; the second floor was given over to physiology and pharmacology; and anatomy occupied the third floor.

Another round of expansions and relocations occurred after the Health Sciences Addition, designed by Smith, Carter, and Searle of Winnipeg, was completed in 1971. Although no longer closely associated with horticultural activities, the College of Medicine continues to blossom.

Stan Hanson