York Downs Chemists evolved from a neighbourhood pharmacy, which continues to operate as York Downs Pharmacy, located at 3910 Bathurst Street in Toronto. The pharmacy was established in 1955. From 1987 David Garshowitz, who was a well known figure in the Canadian pharmaceutical supply industry, developed the operation into the industry-leading innovator of today.
David was a pioneer through his recognition that good health could not be achieved through the dispensing of drugs alone. He was an early proponent of approaches to patient health that have become well-accepted, but at the time were seen as “unscientific.” For instance it is now widely acknowledged that exercise, diet and mental state effect the incidence and progression of various cancers, but a number of years back the links were not recognized and for the most part physicians were unable to provide patients with knowledgeable guidance. David was unusually open to medical approaches that were considered “alternative,” which have now been validated scientifically and in many jurisdictions are a normal part of medical practice.
Naturopathic doctors, and practitioners who take a “holistic” approach to health promotion, have benefited from David’s contributions. These alternative and holistic practitioners have in turn changed the perspectives of traditional physicians who no longer regard lifestyle, the environment, family and diet as fringe concerns.
The team at York Downs Chemists continues in the same spirit. We work with progressive health practitioners and are unrelenting in our quest for innovative therapies that are safe and scientifically validated. This is David Garshowitz’s legacy, for which we are eternally grateful.
The part played by York Downs Chemists in the development of Naturopathy in Canada is described here by Dr. Garrett Swetlikoff ND who has been a tireless advocate for integrated medicine.