By Mike Anderson

Dr. George Burrows, who passed in 2015, was fondly remembered by his family, a former colleague, and the community he served for nearly 60 years as a family doctor during the unveiling of a plaque dedicated to him at the Georgina Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic (GNPLC) in Jackson’s Point on Sunday, August 27.

Dr. Burrows established the Georgina Medical Clinic on the same site in 1961, providing full medical and emergency care. It was soon considered one of the province’s most innovative and progressive clinics. And, while lost to a fire in 2017, it helped pave the way for the current GNPLC.

During his career, he developed a reputation as a dedicated family doctor who made thousands of house calls and delivered hundreds of babies.

In 2006, the College of Family Physicians acknowledged Dr. Burrows’ commitment to family medicine, naming him Ontario’s “Family Physician of the Year.”

Nearly 40 people were invited to the dedication, which Steve Jacobson, Chair of Health Georgina, organized.

Jacobson said that while Health Georgina was not able to name the building after him, it was dedicating the site to his memory.

“He established the clinic himself, growing it from a little office on High Street to the building that was here, which housed, at one time, six family doctors and two nurse practitioners,” Jacobson said.

“He was one of the most beloved people in this community. It didn’t matter what time of day you rang the phone in front of his office; he would come.”

Jacobson pointed out that Dr. Burrows’ commitment to the community didn’t end with his medical practice.

“He was Mayor for eight years and a counsellor for another eight years. But that is the kind of guy he was,” he said.

Dr. Elizabeth McLean
Tim Greer, Dr Jennifer Burrows, Richard Davies, Heather Burrows Davies (center), James Burrows, Dr Tania Burrows, Nathan Kup & Pat Burrows
Plaque dedicating site to Dr. George Burrows
Dr. George Burrows

Suzanne Howes from Georgina Island First Nation began the dedication with a smudging, acknowledging Dr. Burrows’ frequent house calls and emergency trips to the Island, regardless of the weather conditions.

Dr. Elizabeth Mclean was one of Dr. Burrow’s long-time colleagues at the clinic. She praised his diagnostic skills and told the gathering he was an inspiration and a joy to work with.

His daughter Heather Burrows Davies also spoke about her father’s dedication, describing how he would accept eggs, produce and baked goods when, before OHIP, a family could not afford to pay their medical bill.

Davies said during a difficult period, when there was a doctor shortage and the clinic’s future was in doubt, her father supported it with his own money.

“He began supporting the clinic out of his own pocket and kept it going by sheer force of will. He would not see it close. Medicine was a calling and a lifestyle for my dad,” she said.

“Our dad never believed in turning a patient away. He always fought for his patients and has firmly believed in preventative care. Dad’s last house call was ten days before he died.”

Davies also told the Post her father would be delighted with the new GNPLC, built on the same site as his clinic.

“I hear him chuckling. Because he was always trying to figure out how to keep the clinic going,” Davies said.

Dr. Burrows’ approach to family medicine is reflected in the inscription on the plaque mounted on the large granite stone near GNPLC’s entrance. It reads:

“I’ve always said that most people live one life; a cat lives nine lives, but a family doctor is involved in thousands of lives. In essence, you become part of each patient’s life.”

Dr. Burrows’ family has created a website in his memory, visit