Historical Distillates examines the history of the Chemistry Department at the University of Toronto from its beginnings in 1843, when it was housed in simple quarters in the Parliament Buildings on Front Street and had just one faculty member. During the founding era (1843-1920) three British gentlemen professors guided the department through four homes; between 1920 and 1960 three Canadian heads built a highly influential department. Since 1960 eight chairmen have effectively managed a growing and diverse department while it ventured into exciting new fields and emerging sub-disciplines. New colleges and a Nobel Prize have been highlights of the past two decades. With the completion of recent renovations and additions (such as the Davenport Research Building and Garden), with its distinguished faculty, top-rate staff, and excellent students, and with its dazzling array of equipment to support research, the department's future indeed looks bright.
Adrian G. Brook, PhD, completed the manuscript after retirement. he joined the chemistry department in 1953 and chaired it in the early 1970s. he has received numerous awards for his esearch in organosilicon chemistry. W.A.E. (Peter) McBryde, PhD, taught at Toronto and later at the University of Waterloo, where he was head of chemistry and then dean of science. He began this proejct in the 1980s, but illness forced him to abandon it. He died in 2004.