Through Northern Eyes


162 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-895176-16-6
DDC 617.7'092




Reviewed by Nora T. Corley

Nora T. Corley is a writer and librarian in Ottawa.


After obtaining his general medical degree at the University of Glasgow
in 1939, Gillan specialized in ophthalmology in London. Following five
years in the British Armed Services, and some time at the Eye Hospital
of St. John of Jerusalem, he arrived in Toronto to carry on his
profession. Fifteen years later, he was invited to the Grenfell Mission
in Newfoundland and Labrador, where he practiced for the next several
years and experienced many adventures. He then joined the federal
Northern Health Service in the Northwest Territories, serving in
Frobisher Bay. In the late 1970s, he relocated to Yellowknife, where he
practiced and taught at the Stanton Yellowknife Hospital.

Writing with clarity and vigor, Gillan provides a colorful picture of
life in the remote places in which he plied his profession. This
excellent book should appeal to both medical and lay readers. Appendixes
include three CNIB Sight Defect Detection Surveys, and reprints of two
of the author’s early articles: “Canada’s Northland Is Challenging
You” (1960) and “The Cornea in Canada’s Northland” (1970).


Gillan, James Graham., “Through Northern Eyes,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 27, 2024,