Ontario Veterinary College

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Ontario Veterinary College
Type Public
Location Ontario, Canada

The Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) is the oldest veterinary school in Canada. It is located on the campus of the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario. The OVC is one of five veterinary schools that offer the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, DVM program in Canada.


The Ontario Veterinary College was established in Toronto in 1862, by the Scot Andrew Smith, a graduate of the Royal School of Veterinary Studies, Edinburgh. It later moved to Guelph, Ontario in 1922 at which stage it was part of the University of Toronto. The OVC became a founding college of the University of Guelph in 1964.[1] The OVC celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2012.

In 1928 Miss E. B. Carpenter from Detroit was the first woman to graduate from a Canadian veterinary college.[2] She was accepted to the school in 1923, one year after the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act allowed Miss Aleen Cust to complete her exams at the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.[3] The first Canadian woman to graduate from from a Canadian veterinary college was Jean Rumney in 1939, also from OVC. Today the majority of Canadian veterinary school graduates are women.[4]


The OVC is the only veterinary college in the province of Ontario, and one of only five current veterinary colleges across Canada. (The other four are at the Université de Montréal, University of Prince Edward Island, the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Calgary) The University of Calgary, which opened in 2008 is the youngest of the five, while the OVC is the oldest.[5]

OVC is semi-autonomous from the University of Guelph. While registrations and fees are paid to the Guelph registrar, OVC has amenities such as its own Information Technology Services and student body council (the Central Veterinary Students Association). Until May 2009, it also had a functioning library. However, due to university cutbacks, most services and all non-reserve texts were transferred away from the OVC Learning Commons to the University of Guelph's McLaughlin library. Each year (referred to as a Phase) also has its own council which works with the CVSA.


OVC has just recently been granted $9.5 million from the province of Ontario. The province is investing in a unique educational centre in primary healthcare at the University of Guelph's Ontario Veterinary College (OVC).

The new facility is part of the overall redevelopment of OVC and the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, said president Alastair Summerlee. “The new primary health-care centre is an example of the leadership by the provincial government in investing in the future of our universities and colleges,” said Summerlee. “It will provide an opportunity for private/public partnership in creating better campus facilities for our students.”

The primary health-care centre will provide educational experiences in all aspects of primary health care, from surgical and technical skills to business and communication skills to preventive medicine, nutrition and animal welfare and behaviour. Students will learn to educate owners about the health of their animals and to enhance the bond people feel for their animal companions.

The Hill's Primary Healthcare Centre opened during the summer of 2010 and is available to see appointments as a stand-alone veterinary hospital for routine vaccinations, spays and neuters and other wellness visits. A new state-of-the-art Pathobiology building opened in the fall of 2010. A new large animal isolation facility serves to treat equine patients at high-risk for infectious disease.


The main OVC building is located at the corner of Gordon and College Streets in Guelph, Ontario.


OVC offers bachelor's degrees in bio-medical science, but its primary degree offering is the DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine). The College also offers DVSc, PhD, MSc, MPH, and Diploma programs at the graduate level. The DVM program is one of the most competitive in the world. The annual number of places available in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program is 120 seats with 105 for Canadians with Ontario residency and 15 for non-Canadians.

Student life[edit]

A proud tradition at OVC is the naming of each class with a mascot and a colour. This mascot represents the class throughout the four phases, and is used regularly in conjunction with not only academics, but also intramural sports. Hockey plays a large part in these intramurals, with rivalries coming to a head in a college wide "Challenge Cup" tournament, held each year in March.

Past Classes have included:

  • The 2007 Golden Grizzlies
  • The 2008 Blue Qimmiqs
  • The 2009 Jade Jaguars
  • The 2010 Crimson Crocodiles [6]
  • The 2011 Black Mambas
  • The 2012 Silver Foxes
  • The 2013 Golden Phoenixes
  • The 2014 Emerald Elephants

Current Classes are:

  • The 2015 Scarlet Stags
  • The 2016 Cobalt Caracals
  • The 2017 Violet Komodos
  • The 2018 Ivory Owls

Notable Professors[edit]

Dr. W. J. R. Fowler taught equine surgery, materia medica, sporadic diseases, and lameness in horses. Fowler was recognized internationally, and had already taught at Ontario Veterinary College for over 55 years under 5 principles.

Dr. F. W. Schofield taught pathology, parasitology and bacteriology. He was also a missionary, travelling around the world preaching Christianity in his off time.[7]

Dr. Ronald G. Watkin taught bacteriology, milk hygiene, and diseases in poultry. He was an acclaimed research scientist. Ronald retired with Dr. Scofield in 1955.[8]

Principle Charles D. McGilvray was the 3rd principle of the school from 1918-1945. He taught contagious diseases, special therapeutics, and sanitary service subjects. He obtained the nickname "Shot-gun Charlie) from his handling of Glanders Disease in Manitoba between 1905 and 1910.[9]


  1. ^ http://www.ovc.uoguelph.ca/aboutovc/history.shtml
  2. ^ Goodwin, Charlie (1983). 50 Years a Country Vetrerinarian. Belleville Ontario: Mika Publishing. p. 21. 
  3. ^ Goodwin, Charlie (1983). 50 Years a Country Vetrerinarian. Belleville Ontario: Mika Publishing. p. 21. 
  4. ^ http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/canadian-colleges-of-veterinary-medicine/
  5. ^ "About UCVM". University of Calgary Veterinary Medicine. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  6. ^ http://www.uoguelph.ca/~crocs10/CrimsonCrocs.html
  7. ^ Goodwin, Charlie (1983). 50 Years A Country Veterinarian. Belleville, Ontario: Mika Publishing. 
  8. ^ Can J Comp Med Vet Sci. Jul 1955; 19(7): 199–200.
  9. ^ http://alumni.ovc.uoguelph.ca/post/9039632684/charles-d-mcgilvray-ovc-1900-3rd-principal-of-ovc

See also[edit]

External links[edit]