Lab Canada

Groundbreaking scheduled for new pharmacy building at U of T

Toronto, ON April 22, 2003 The official groundbreaking for the University of Toronto’s new Leslie L Dan Pharmacy Building is scheduled for next Monday, April 28.

The ceremony will mark the beginning of construction for the new home of the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, the only faculty of pharmacy in Ontario. When construction is completed in the fall of 2005, the university says the new building will enable a doubling of enrolment in pharmacy programs and accommodate a substantial increase in research activity.

The pharmacy faculty at the university was recently renamed after Leslie Dan, a U of T pharmacy graduate, leading figure in Canada’s pharmaceutical industry and major donor to the faculty.

Dan earned a bachelor’s degree from the Faculty of Pharmacy in 1954, and completed his MBA at the university in 1959. In 1965, he founded Novopharm, which became one of Canada’s largest manufacturers of generic drugs. He is now chairman of the board of Viventia Biotech (formerly Novopharm Biotech), a company owned by his family, which researches the development of more effective medications to fight cancer.

Dan and Novopharm have given close to $15 million to U of T, the bulk of which has gone to the Faculty of Pharmacy. Dan’s philanthropy extends beyond U of T into the developing world where he has donated millions in medical supplies through aid agencies. The faculty was renamed in recognition of Dan’s successes and contributions.

The new $70-million facility, located at the gateway of the health sciences district, is the first Canadian commission for London-based Foster and Partners, internationally renowned designers of the Reichstag renovation in Berlin, the Great Court of the British Museum and the Centre for Clinical Science Research at Stanford University. The firm is partnering with local practice Moffat Kinoshita Architects in the design, which will be unveiled at the groundbreaking.