Skip to main content

Dr. Barnabas W. Day


Dr. Barnabas W. Day

Dr. Barnabas W. Day was born on a farm on July 2nd, 1833 near Kingston, Ontario (Gullett, 1971). Day was described as being a carefully groomed man with a sensitive face and straight hair, neatly parted and brushed back (Gullett, 1971). Day’s interest in dentistry began when he paid a visit to local Kingston dentist, John P. Sutton, to teach him the ways of the discipline. This training took place for six months in Kingsbury, Quebec (Shosenberg, 1992). The ambitious Day would go on to establish his own dental practice with only six months of training (Shosenberg, 1992). He completed his formal dental education after graduating from the faculty of medicine at Queen’s College, Kingston in 1862. By 1867, Day was one of the most well recognized dentist’s in Kingston (Shosenberg, 1992). He was known amongst the social circles of Kingston as being an educated and charming man (Shosenberg, 1992).

Day was one of the founding fathers of the Ontario Dental Association (ODA) in 1867. He was amongst many dentists who formed the ODA in an attempt to address the problems in the lack of standards in the dental practice, and to solve the issue of individuals who practiced dentistry with no training. He was selected as the ODA’s first president in 1867. He helped with the creation of “An act respecting dentistry,” in 1868, which was the first comprehensive legislation governing the profession in North America. This act helped to establish the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario and gave its board the authority to create an official school for dentistry. He spent his later years in life at his dental practice in Los Angeles, and he passed away in 1907. Day’s impact on the profession is immense, as his efforts in establishing the 1868 Act has an immense impact not only in Canada but also in the United States and other countries (Dale, 2003). He is remembered as being the key architect of organized dentistry in the province of Ontario. In addition, he served as a surgeon in the 14th Battalion Vol. Rifles, Kingston (Beers, 1871).


Dale, A “Day, Barnabas W.” In: Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 13, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003. Accessed December 13, 2016,

Gullett, D. W. (1971). A history of dentistry in Canada. Toronto: Published for the Canadian Dental Association by University of Toronto Press.

Shosenberg, J. W. (1992). The rise of the Ontario Dental Association: 125 years of organized dentistry. Toronto: Ontario Dental Association

Beers, G. (1871). B.W. Day, M.D., LDS, First President of the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario. Canada Journal of Dental Sciences 3:353-354. Oct.

Dr. Barnabas W. Day