Our Dental Adventures...
Our fabulous facility at 3034 Bloor St. West
The story of Royal York Dental goes back a long ways, and our remarkable facility plays a key role...
Growing up here in Etobicoke, I had the good fortune of knowing what I wanted at an early age. One of my older brothers was in dentistry while another brother and sister were in medical school (I was the 5th of 8 children). It was clear the profession of dentistry was for me - everything about it was fascinating.
In all honesty, I spent so my time in the dental chair as a young teen that I thought to myself, "I could do this job."
Getting into dental school (by age 19) was the start of my professional journey. During my second year of dentistry , I opted to join the Canadian Armed Forces. That meant I owed 3 years of service once I graduated from dental school.
In 1982, I graduated at age 23 and moved off to Nova Scotia with my young wife Denise to honor my 3 year military commitment. The military life provided some great experience, but after 3 years, it was time to move on.
I was eager to build a family and career. By 1985, we just had our second child and I was fortunate to meet a respected Etobicoke dentist named Dr. Don Anderson. A great man.
Don was a WWII veteran - having flown in Lancaster bombers as a Flight Navigator for the RAF. After the war, he went into Dentistry at University of Toronto.
Dan graduated in 1950 and ran a dental practice in the Islington Village area for 35 years. He started as an Etobicoke dentist back when it really was a village. He had a tiny 2-room dental office on Dundas Street above Kirkby's Hardware - a well known west-end store.
When I met Dr. Anderson, he was ready to have someone take over the reins.
I'm forever grateful to him for helping me get a start.
We worked out of that tiny office for 4 years until we were bursting at the seams. We made the move over to Bloor Street near Royal York to a much bigger space. Our new location was on the second floor of the Royal LePage building (directly across the street from where we are now). Surprisingly, their wasn't any other dentists located near Royal York and Bloor at the time.
With a better facility in place, my attention was then directed to building up a winning team. With some challenges along the way, we grew from a handful to a dozen or so team members. Some of those core members are still part of our team today.
In 1990, I met another Etobicoke dentist looking to retire. Dr. Joe Cooney had graduated in the 40's and practiced dentistry out of his big house on Prince Edward Drive.
Amazingly, Joe Cooney and his wife raised 13 adopted children in that house.
Wow! I thought I was busy raising 5 children. Dr. Cooney’s patients joined our dental family and we continued to grow.
Note: Etobicoke dentists Don Anderson and Joe Cooney passed away after enjoying their retirement years. I find it a great honor to carry on their legacy.
At some point in the mid-90’s, I changed our practice name to Royal York Dental. Back in my Military days, I had enjoyed working together with other dentists. My plan was to build up a group-style dental practice, and we needed a good name to represent us.
For 10 years we thrived at that location on the south side of Bloor Street.
It would have been easy enough to carry on, but that's never been my style. I wanted to keep going and growing.
Buying a building and setting up our “dream practice” would be the next big step.
I've been a long-time member of the Toronto Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and through that organization I met Dr. Nathan Blitz, a fellow dentist who practiced here in West Toronto. We both had a strong interest in Cosmetic Dentistry. I told him of my future plans and he had equal enthusiasm for the idea of creating a dream practice. If the right opportunity arose, we could work together to bring that dream to reality.
In 1999, the perfect location became available, directly across the street at 3034 Bloor Street. I gave Dr. Blitz the call and we began our journey towards our dream Toronto dentist practice.
The building was originally divided into 2 businesses – a florist and an optometrist. Lots of work was needed to design and build a great dental practice. After extensive renovations, the facility turned out exceptionally well. Over 10 years later, I’m proud to say the results have stood the test of time.
In those early years, our biggest challenge of our new “Dream Dental Office” was accomodating 2 separate teams. Dr. Blitz and I maintained separate dental practices.
We came up with an arrangement to work on separate floors and to rotate floor assignments. On Mondays and Tuesdays Dr. Blitz worked upstairs while I worked on the ground floor. Wednesday and Thursday we switched that around. As crazy as that sounds, that was our reality for over 8 years. We were like Nomads – constantly moving between floors.
The good thing about that arrangement is it kept us very organized. We could never settle in and clutter up a room. The ongoing challenge was that our two teams functioned independently and efforts were never combined. Each was a Toronto cosmetic dentist competing within the same niche. Royal York Dental remained divided.
Each of our two practices gradually grew and we developed a great reputation as one of West Toronto’s most respected healthcare facilities. We won our share of awards along the way - annually chosen amongst the "Best of the Best" for West Toronto dentists in Etobicoke and Bloor West Village for more than 7 consecutive years.
The next big step would be to find a way to combine our two Toronto dentist teams together.
The heart of Royal York Dental has always been our people. I’m especially proud of our high-caliber team members and how we’ve continued to evolve over the years. We’ve maintained exceptional standards.
Some team members have stayed with us a very long time, while others have come and gone. Be assured that even if the faces on our team do change over time, our philosophy will always remain true.
One key aspect of our guiding philosophy has been “Healthy Beautiful Smiles for Life.” Instead of taking a disease-focused reactionary approach, we've helped people stay healthy and look their best by offering a health-oriented approach for their smile.
In 2008, Dr. Blitz was looking to slow down a little. I bought his practice and his half of the building to finally bring Royal York Dental back together as one big practice. There were some inevitable complications as the teams joined together. With time, everything has gradually worked out and now we're doing better than ever.
Be assured, Dr. Blitz remains a highly valued member of our team. He's now cut back to half days and continues to enjoy taking care of patients.
By joining our 2 practices together, we've now become stronger than ever. One team, one dream. Royal York Dental is only beginning to reach its full potential.
It's been a long road for Royal York Dental and we’ve met plenty of success along the way. But we’re not there yet. Our journey continues, and we’ll always strive to be exceptional.
That's our real story - the continual evolvement of Royal York Dental and our team. Every time you come in you're almost certain to discover something new, different and better.
I must confess, way back when I started, I didn't have a grand vision for my dream Toronto dentist practice. What I did have was commitment - a willingness to continually strive for excellence. And I'm amazed how far that has led us.
Dr. Joe Bulger
Founder of Royal York Dental
Call our New Patient Hotline 416-231-0550 to take care of your smile.