In 1966, Professor Emeritus Frederick Urquhart became one of three initiators and organizers of the zoology teaching and research program at Scarborough College, providing outstanding leadership until his retirement in 1977. An engaging lecturer, Urquhart was one of the few people at Scarborough to produce a highly successful television lecture series.
Although his research interests were broad -- with four books, a monograph and 62 papers in refereed journals and countless scientific reports and popular articles relating to a wide range of biological subject matter to his credit -- Urquhart's first love was butterflies, an interest begin in childhood. Books and papers at school and in the library spurred his investigations and led him to ask the question: Where do monarch butterflies go in the winter? Urquhart's first attempt in 1937 to follow the monarch by marking individual butterflies met with limited success. But by 1940 he'd developed a method of tagging that worked and after the war he and his wife, Norah, whom he married in 1945, tagged thousands of monarchs, affixing a tiny label to the wing, reading "Send to Zoology University of Toronto Canada." In 1952 he issued the first appeal for volunteers to assist with the tagging and over the next 20-odd years thousands of people had participated. In January 1975 these efforts paid off when Ken and Cathy Brugger of Mexico City called to tell Urquhart they'd found millions of monarchs on the Neovolcanic Plateau about 240 km from Mexico City. In 1976 the Urquharts were able to see the spectacular sight for themselves. The Urquharts were honored for their work on monarchs and the Insect Migration Studies program they managed on several occasions. In 1998 they were presented with the Order of Canada. This is the highest award given to Canadian citizens in recognition of life long contributions to the country.