William Canniff

William Canniff, physician, amateur historian (b at Thurlow, Upper Canada 20 June 1830; d at Belleville, Ont 18 Oct 1910).

Canniff, William

William Canniff, physician, amateur historian (b at Thurlow, Upper Canada 20 June 1830; d at Belleville, Ont 18 Oct 1910). A noted doctor, medical educator, public-health advocate and Canadian nationalist, Canniff is best known as author of History of the Settlement of Upper Canada (1869) and The Medical Profession in Upper Canada (1894).

Educated in Canada, the US, Great Britain and Europe, he practised surgery in Toronto and Belleville, taught pathology and surgery at Victoria College Medical School, and produced the first Canadian textbook in pathology (1866). He was a founding member of the Canadian Medical Association in 1867 and the Ontario Medical Association in 1880. He served as the president of the CMA (1880) and as Toronto's first permanent medical health officer (1883-90). As a member of the CANADA FIRST movement in the 1870s and through his historical writings, Canniff expressed his ardent Canadian nationalism.