After a little experiment with the first two classes it was finally arranged that the pupils (Ward Aides) should be assembled in groups of 50 for a three month course, the first half of the course to be spent in the University and the second half partly in school and partly on practise work in the hospitals.

The first four weeks each girl received a daily lecture in “Design applied to all of the crafts. During these four weeks, she spent 2 ½ days at each of the major crafts. In the next two weeks, she specialized in one craft. During the first six weeks, lectures were given on the principles and practise of Occupational Therapy. Starting with the 7th and running through the 12th week the girl put one half her time specializing in craft work and further instruction in design at school.

Segsworth, W.E. (1920). Retraining Canada’s Disabled Soldiers, pg 38.


Following World War I and the discontinuance of the war emergency courses in Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto, the supply of therapists was gradually depleted through marriage and many had been sought after by hospitals in the United States.

In 1925, the Ontario Society of Occupational Therapy, with the support of Dr. Goldwin W. Howland and Dr. Alexander Primrose, then Dean of Medicine at the University of Toronto, requested the University to establish a two year program to prepare occupational therapists. In January 1926, approval was granted through the University Senate and in September of that year the first students enrolled in the first Occupational Therapy educational program in Canada.  Twenty students graduated two years later. This was the only university Occupational Therapy program offered in Canada until 1950, and until 1967 the only one in Ontario.

Today (2010), there are fourteen accredited Occupational Therapy educational programs in Canada:

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO                                            est. 1926

MCGILL UNIVERSITY                                                     est. 1950

UNIVERSITÉ DE MONTREAL                                           est. 1954

UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA                                            est. 1959

UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA                                               est. 1960

UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA                              est. 1961

QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY                                                    est. 1967

UNIVERSITÉ LAVAL                                                        est. 1968

UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN ONTARIO                              est. 1970

DALHOUSIE UNIVERSITY                                                est. 1982

UNIVERSITÉ  D’OTTAWA                                                est. 1985

MCMASTER UNIVERSITY                                                 est. 1989

UNIVERSITÉ DE SHERBROOKE                                       est. 2007

UNIVERSITÉ DU QUÉBEC à TROIS RIVIÈRES                  est. 2008