History of the Division

Although a number of surgeons did take an interest in urological disease, including a Mr. Peter who did the first surgery for bladder extrophy with transplantation of the trigone to the rectum in 1900, it was not until 1922 that the first Urology service was established in Canada at The Toronto General Hospital under the direction of Dr. W. Warner Jones who trained at St. Peters Hospital for Stone in London, England where he had been the Registrar in 1904-1905. In 1928 he wrote to 39 Canadian Urologists suggesting that a Canadian Urology Association Annual Meeting be held but it was not until 1945 that the Association was formerly incorporated with Dr. Robin Pierce as the first President.

In 1937 the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada recognized Urology as a member of its first sub-specialty group.

Dr. James McLelland became the Head in 1947. He was co-founder of the North Eastern Section of the American Urological Association as well as a founder of the Canadian Urological Association. He trained at Johns Hopkins after graduating from the University of Toronto.

Dr. Carl Aberhart subsequently became the University Chairman and was ultimately based at Sunnybrook Hospital.

Dr. Charles J. Robson, who was renowned for codifying radical thoracoabdominal nephrectomy and staging for renal carcinoma became the chair in 1966.

In 1982, Dr. Andrew W. Bruce, a graduate of the University of Aberdeen and formerly of Queen’s University, was recruited from McGill as the Chairman. He was a senior author of the first report of the use of BCG in superficial bladder cancer which has been a major contribution in the management of human cancer since 1976. He also contributed in the field of urinary tract infection and prostatic cancer.

In 1991, Dr. Michael A.S. Jewett became Chairman. He is known for his contributions in Oncology, particularly in the management of cancers of testis and kidney.

In 2001, Dr. Sender Herschorn, a global leader in female/reconstructive urology, took the reigns of leadership. He significantly advanced the Division’s academic and educational missions.

Dr. Neil Fleshner is a surgeon and clinician scientist and an established leader in the field of cancer prevention. He is Staff in the Division of Urology at the University Health Network and holds the Love Chair in Prostate Cancer Prevention at the Princess Margaret Hospital. He is also Head of Urology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

Division of Urology Chairs

July 2022 – Present

Antonio Finelli

2012 – June 2022

Neil Fleshner


Sender Herschorn

1991 – 2002

Michael Jewett


Andy Bruce


Charles J. Robson


David R. Mitchell


James McLelland

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