Nov 29, 2023

U of T’s Dr. Charles Tator receives the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame 2023 Bruce Prentice Family Legacy Award

Spine Program
Dr. Charles Tator

Dear colleagues,

Please join me in congratulating Charles Tator, MD, PhD, FRCSC, FACS on receiving the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame 2023 Bruce Prentice Family Legacy Award.

The prestigious award, named in honour of Bruce Prentice, the founder of the
Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, was presented to Dr. Tator in recognition of his contribution to sports in Ontario, during an "Induction Ceremony and Community Celebration" at the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame on October 26, 2023.

The Ontario Sports Hall of Fame describes Dr. Tator as “an eminent scientist, neurosurgeon, professor, and administrator.” Adding “When Dr. Tator began to study spinal cord injury from a basic science perspective, he was exploring uncharted waters. Decades later, and as a result of his pioneering inspiration, Canada has become a world leader in the field. His clinical and basic research opened the door to new treatment and rehabilitation studies for the approximately 4,500 people in Canada who experience spinal cord injuries each year. Dr. Tator, however, knows that without a cure for spinal cord injury, more work needs to be done. Therefore, his legacy can also be felt in the programs and collaborations he established and the legislation he called for to prevent spinal cord injury. More recently, Dr. Tator’s research has made important inroads in having a better understanding of concussion disorders. His research continues to inform and focus public discussions about concussions. A long-time advocate for safety in Canadian minor hockey, Dr. Tatorʼs work in combatting concussions in hockey is significant. Serving as the Director of the Canadian Sports Concussion Project at Toronto Western Hospital, his efforts to reduce spinal cord injuries suffered in hockey have been exemplary.

Dr. Tator graduated from the Temerty Faculty of Medicine in 1961. He performed graduate studies in Neuropathology from 1961 to 1965, receiving his Masters and PhD Degrees from the University of Toronto before entering the Neurosurgery Training program in 1965. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 1969.

Dr. Tator joined the Neurosurgical Staff at Sunnybrook Medical Centre in 1969. Having served as Neurosurgeon-in-Chief at Sunnybrook from 1974 to1984, Dr. Tator moved to The Toronto Western Hospital where he became Neurosurgeon-in-Chief from 1985 to 1988, and then head of the Division of Neurosurgery at the University Health Network.

He was appointed Chair of the Division of Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto for a 10-year term beginning 1989. He is currently Professor in the U of T Department of Surgery, and Emeritus Scientist at the Krembil Brain Institute, University Health Network. His main clinical and research interests are in the pathophysiology and treatment of spinal cord injury and concussions. He is Director of the Canadian Concussion Centre, Toronto Western Hospital.

He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and an inductee in the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.

Congratulations on this achievement, Dr. Tator.




Carol J. Swallow MD PhD FRCSC FACS
RS McLaughlin Professor and Chair
Department of Surgery, University of Toronto