Kroker will explore Ontario’s Board of Health, established in 1882. Upon its creation, a campaign was initiated to document and communicate health conditions throughout the province. At the time, the concept of promoting healthy living in Ontario and developing a body of scientific data to guide health policy was conventional.
However, the project’s scope, structure and deployment were unprecedented. Led by the board’s inaugural secretary, Dr. Peter H. Bryce, the project revealed how a group of physicians imagined how science, disease, technical expertise and settler knowledge might combine with the province’s expansive territorial ambitions to create “the public’s health” as an object of governance within the Canadian confederation.
The large, colourful layout and complex health information contained in Bryce’s map series known as “weekly health bulletins,” were unusual, but their scale of production was shocking. As part of the campaign, the province produced up to 70,000 copies in less than three years.