“A Day in the Life” with artist & surgeon Dr. John Semple

John Semple is a surgeon and artist living in Toronto. He was born in Scotland and raised in southern Ontario. With a strong and early commitment to art he trained at OCA (OCAD University) and then enrolled in medical illustration at the University of Toronto. Pursuing a fascination for surgery and medicine he received his MD degree at McMaster University and then surgical training at the University of Toronto. Upon completion of his surgical training he was clinical Fellow in Microsurgery at the Toronto General Hospital. He is a Professor at the University of Toronto practices as a Plastic Surgeon at Women’s College Hospital where he was recently Surgeon. He has found his way back to OCAD University and recently served as their Chair of the Board of Governors. He is Past President of the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Dr. Semple is recognized nationally and internationally as a surgical clinical leader in Breast Surgery, Breast Reconstruction and Health System Solutions. He has received numerous awards and has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers published in the top clinical and science journals.

This renaissance man, as I like to call him, also enjoys mountaineering and music. His first solo art exhibit: Portraits of Places is at Berenson Fine Art this month.

Original Bio by his patient Emilia Ianeva

John Semple
Clouds and sunrise on the bike ride in to the hospital this morning
John Semple
In the operating room ready to start the day
John Semple
Semple at work: Self-explanatory, but hard at work.
A quick meeting with Dr Heather Morris in the lobby of Women’s College Hospital. Dr Morris is an Obstetrician who delivered most of my children.
John Semple
Off to a meeting with Emilia, my patient and gallery owner who curated the work for my exhibit. We discuss last minute details for my show.


John Semple
Emilia hanging John’s Work: This is surreal. This is the first time I’ve seen my work framed and up on a gallery wall!
John Semple
Favourite way to wrap up the day, here we are – the whole Semple family – in St Lawrence Market heading to family dinner.


What ‘hood are you in?

I live in the wonderful Beaches of Toronto. It is such a unique area where you can walk everywhere, you are still downtown (almost) and having the Lake nearby is amazing.

What do you do?

I am a Surgeon at the University of Toronto based at Women’s College Hospital. I specialize in reconstruction after breast cancer. My patients inspire me. I am also passionate about painting.

What are you currently working on?

I’m always painting in watercolour and I’m just finishing my first painting show at Berenson Fine Art in Toronto.

Where can we find your work?

For painting: Berenson Fine Art Gallery, 212 Avenue Rd, Toronto




About Joel Levy 2521 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography