Monday, October 6, 2008

Elizabeth Smith Shortt

Physician, champion of women's rights

1859-1949; moved to Ottawa in 1908.

Born at "Mountain Hall", Vinemount.

Belonged to the prosperous family that founded the E.D. Smith preserves company.

Received her degree in medicine at the Royal Medical College in 1884; one of the first 3 women M.D.'s in Canada. She first practiced in Hamilton.

Almost single-handedly stimulated Queen's University to introduce medical coeducation.

Worked for the first Y.W.C.A. in Canada and served as its president.

In Ottawa, Smith became very active in the local, provincial, and National Council of Women affairs; was elected as VP of the NCW.

Was the first Convener of the Public Health and Mental Hygiene Committee of the National Council of Women in 1911.

Was Convener of the Committee on Immigration in the Council and instrumental in organizing a hostel for women immigrants in Ottawa.

Was largely responsible in convening a committee to petition the Provincial Government to establish Mother's Allowances in Ontario.

Helped to form the Victorian Order of Nurses and the Women's Canadian Club.

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