Chancellors' Circle of Benefactors wordmark
James and Louise Temerty laugh together in a garden.

James and Louise Temerty

James (Hon LLD 2023)
Louise (Hon LLD 2023)

James and Louise Temerty and the Temerty Foundation’s commitment to advancing human health and health care in Canada and beyond is reflected in their signature gift—the largest in Canadian history—to the University of Toronto’s Temerty Faculty of Medicine.

Inspired by University of Toronto Medicine’s vision and potential as a global centre for groundbreaking collaborative research, innovative solutions in care, and accessible education, James and Louise Temerty made a bold decision. In September 2020, their family foundation made a $250-million gift to support innovation and impact across the Faculty and its affiliated hospital network, advancing its globally recognized leadership and excellence in human health and health care. In honour of the broad and transformative impact of this gift, the Faculty was named the Temerty Faculty of Medicine.

The Temertys’ wide-ranging benefaction is enhancing every aspect of the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, including establishing a globally influential Centre for AI Research and Education in Medicine, supporting novel collaborative research endeavours, catalyzing innovative and entrepreneurial health solutions, providing new awards and bursaries to widen access to a future-focused medical education to students in need, and much more. The gift is also helping to create a spectacular new home for world-leading scientists and clinicians, medical students and innovators with a major building development on U of T’s King’s College Circle.

James and Louise’s gift reinforces the Temerty Faculty of Medicine’s international reputation as a top-ranked medical school, one with a long legacy of discovery stemming back to the discovery of insulin, stem cells, and the genes responsible for early-onset Alzheimer’s. It also builds significantly on the school’s recognized leadership in cutting-edge care, precision and personalized medicine, artificial intelligence, machine learning and genomics.

The Temertys’ commitment includes their $10-million gift in early 2020 to support the Dean’s COVID-19 Priority Fund at the University of Toronto. This fund enabled U of T and its partner hospitals to respond to the immediate needs of front-line clinical faculty members and trainees fighting the pandemic. It also empowered researchers seeking to improve testing, accelerate vaccine research, and create better treatments and prevention strategies.

Established in 1997 by James and Louise Temerty and led by their daughter and Temerty Foundation managing director Leah Temerty-Lord, the Temerty Foundation has provided major philanthropic support to health care, education and culture. The Foundation has made significant commitments to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the University Health Network. At U of T, the Foundation has also supported the George Robert Swan Chair in Global Surgery and the Ukrainian Studies Trust Fund. Further afield, the Temertys were instrumental in launching the Kyiv Mohyla Business School, and founded the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter Initiative, a multinational project that aims to build a solid foundation for future interaction among Ukrainians of Jewish and Christian heritages.

Between them, James and Louise have several honorary doctorates, including two from U of T, and through the Temerty Foundation, they have supported a number of endowments and scholarships in Canada and abroad. Both Jim and Louise are recipients of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to their community. Together, James and Louise Temerty helped build a single franchise into a chain of 30 ComputerLand stores, and James Temerty became the founder and chairman of Northland Power Inc. in 1987, an independent power producing company with a focus on clean and green energy. An entrepreneur with decades of business experience, James was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 2008 and awarded the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Canada in 2010.

James and Louise’s generosity to U of T and their leadership in medicine and health care in Canada is a shining example of the transformative power of philanthropy.