Clinic History

Our site near Yonge and Eglinton has housed a veterinary clinic since the 1930s and we are thrilled to be able to continue helping people and pets from North Toronto and beyond.

Some of Eglinton Vet’s current veterinarians grew up in the neighbourhood, attended local schools and have moved back to the area as adults. Our goal is to run a family veterinary practice true to our roots. We hope that our history will give you a little insight into where we have come from and how that shapes the way that we care for your pets today. We love to hear stories about many of our clients coming into the clinic as children with their parents or grandparents!

The history of Eglinton Veterinary Facilities began with a single veterinarian, Dr. Leroy McGillvray, who began practicing here in the mid 1930’s. At that time Eglinton Veterinary was one of only 3 completely small animal clinics in Toronto.

Dr. McGillvary was followed by a Dr. Gordon McKay (who practiced until 1955), and Dr Tom DeGeer, who arrived in 1954 following his graduation from the Ontario Veterinary College. Some of our current clients can remember coming to see Dr. DeGeer and he is remembered fondly. 

Dr. Gord Whiteside arrived on the scene in 1967 and Dr. Chip Coombs in 1978. Dr. DeGeer sold his share of the partnership to Drs. Chip Coombs and Gord Whiteside in 1984 and they were joined in partnership a few years later by Dr. Bob Watson. 

And the Modern Era Begins

Although Drs. Whiteside and Coombs are now retired (retiring in 2000 and 2010 respectively), Dr. Watson has remained on as the senior veterinarian in the practice, having worked at Eglinton Vet since his graduation from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1984. Dr. Bob’s smile and infectious personality has not changed one bit in the 35+ years that he has worked at Eglinton Vet!

Drs. Bev Bateman and Josh Skapinker also grew up in North Toronto and Dr. Bev began working at Eglinton Vet as a high school student, developing a passion for the profession and eventually attending the Ontario Veterinary College. Both joined the veterinary team immediately upon their graduation from veterinary school (Dr. Bateman in 2001 and Dr. Skapinker in 2020). Most veterinarians do not stay at one clinic for their whole career, and we are proud to have doctors who are so dedicated to our practice.  Bob, Bev and Josh were joined in the fall of 2020 by Drs. Karen MacMillan and Jessica Chong, who were hired specifically to manage our surgical and dental procedures, bringing years of experience to Eglinton Vet. 

Our veterinary team works well together, and each has passions and skills to bring the the table; together, our goal is to run a caring, professional, high-quality veterinary practice. We are proud of the fact that the clinic continues to be a neighbourhood veterinary practice where we get to know our clients, their pets and their families. 

To learn more about our veterinarians, please click ­here.  

Giving Back

Our practice philosphy revolves around helping pets and people in our community, and we recognize the importance of giving back.  Along with sponsorship of community groups/schools, some of the organizations that we have built a relationship with include:

OVC Pet Trust honours the relationship between pets, their people and veterinary care givers. They do this by raising funds and supporting learning, healthcare, and research at the Ontario Veterinary College.

OVC Pet Trust is Canada’s first charitable fund entirely dedicated to advancing the health and well being of companion animals.  The organization was founded out of necessity in 1986, when funding support was virtually non-existent for applied health investigation that benefited companion animals. Since then, OVC Pet Trust has raised millions of dollars through the generosity of friends and supporters. Funding from OVC Pet Trust has led to major improvements in anesthesia and pain control for pets, heart disease and heart monitoring techniques, dermatology, understanding the human-animal bond and more.

The Canadian Golden Retriever Adoption Service Inc. is a volunteer-operated, not-for-profit charitable organization dedicated to rescuing and re-homing displaced Golden Retrievers, and to educating the public, in general, about pet ownership. We are proud to act as one of their veterinary clinics, helping new foster dogs with basic wellness care or treatment of illnesses to be managed in their new ‘forever home’.

We are pleased to act as a learning ground for students within their school co-op programs. We have a number of students who come to work with us every year, giving the students a great opportunity to get a sense of what veterinary medicine is all about.  Our students are in the clinic daily, assisting our team with a variety of tasks.  Many of these co-op students continue working at the clinic after their time in the program is done, becoming our evening assistants. There is now a list of veterinarians all over the world who began their animal health care career as high school students at Eglinton Vet!