Omond McKillip Solandt

Title: Omond McKillip Solandt fonds

Date(s) of creation: 1922-1992

Physical description: 25.37 metres of textual, graphic and cartographic records

Admin. history/Biographical Sketch:

Omond McKillop Solandt was born in Winnipeg on September 2, 1909.  In 1920 his family moved to Toronto and seven years later he enrolled in the University of Toronto where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in biological and medical sciences in 1931 and a Master of Arts in 1932.  He graduated with an MD in 1936.

During World War II he  held a number of positions such as Director, South-West London Blood Supply Depot at Sutton, Surrey, Director, Medical Research Council’s Physiological Laboratory at the Armoured Fighting Vehicle School, Lulworth, as well as others.  In 1945 he was loaned by the Canadian Army to the Scientific Advisor to the Army Council in the War Office as his representative on a mission to study the effects of the atomic bomb on Japan.  When he returned to Canada after the war he held a number of executive and senior positions with the federal government and the private sector including Director General of Defence Research (1946-1947), Canadian National Railways (1956-1963),   Hawker-Siddeley Canada, among others.  In 1965 he was appointed Chancellor of the University of Toronto, a position he held until 1971. 

After leaving the U. of T. he held positions with Science Council of Canada, Mitchell Plummer Ltd, the Toronto Stock Exchange and was chair of the Ontario Government Commission of Inquiry to advise on the transmission of power from Nanticoke to Pickering and from Lennox to Oshawa (1971-1976). He also continued to act as consultant to many international development and research organizations based in Canada and abroad.  Between 1982 and 1985 he was a senior advisor to the Canada/Newfoundland Royal Commission on the Ocean Ranger Marine Disaster and Chair of the Commission’s 1984 Conference on Safety Offshore Canada. He died on May 12, 1993.  

Scope and content:

The records, dating from the early 1920s to 1992, encompass most of the media one might expect to find in an archives: textual records, graphic material (primarily photographs and slides), maps and plans, and publications. The material pertaining to his personal life is not extensive; there are the usual biographical files, some correspondence and diaries, files on his travels and, especially, on his canoe trips as part of the "Voyageurs" group. Most of the records, not surprisingly, document his extraordinarily active and productive professional life, from the beginning of World War II to the end of the 1980s. The earlier portions of his career, especially his years with the Defence Research Board, Canadian National Railways, de Havilland, and the Electric Reduction Company are not well represented here as the records are found elsewhere. The volume of records begin to pick up in the mid-1960s and the greatest strength is to be found in those generated from the early 1970s on, when Dr. Solandt's activities “ became complex indeed, with directorships in many companies, many consultancies, trusteeships and advisory committees. Three activities which seemed to please him most were...the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories [ 1976 - 1982]… consultancies for international agricultural and medical research [1975-1988]…and Senior Consultant to the Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Toronto, enabling him to retain a close association with the University.”

Access/Use: Open

Finding aids:  Inventory of the Omond McKillop Solandt Fonds for accessions received up to 1993 only. Finding aids for later accessions available in  Reading Room. 

Related records in a different fonds:

Accruals: Further accruals not expected.

Corresponding accessions: B1988-0016/ B1989-0043/ B1990-0022/ B1991-0015/ B1992-0011/ B1993-0041/  B1994-0020/ B1996-0023