The end of an era

It is said that the only constant in life is change. 2019 saw the exterior of the Waterdown Optometric Clinic (WOC) undergo a stunning renovation. There were more dramatic changes brewing at the clinic in 2020 even before the Covid-19 crisis hit. Dr. Derrick Thornborrow, who founded the practice almost 40 years ago, officially retired at the end of June. He took a one doctor office with one staff member and turned it into a Waterdown institution that now employs 16 staff and 4 doctors. Attempting to fill his rather large metaphorical shoes will be a mix of mostly familiar faces with one new addition.

Dr. Marnie Richmond and Dr. Lyndsey Kay have been at the clinic for nearly 30 and 10 years, respectively. Dr. Juliusz Gorecki, who started at Waterdown Optometric in 2014 will soon become a partner. And last but not least, Gabby Gilbert recently joined our team this summer after graduating from the University of Waterloo School of Optometry. Gabby was a summer student at the clinic in the past and everyone at the office is quite excited to have her always-smiling face join us full time.

Dr. Thornborrow’s central principle for Waterdown Optometric has always been that the patient’s well-being comes first. To that end he always invested in the newest technologies while at the same time ensuring that WOC’s customer service was in a league of its own. On a personal note I can share that he was a phenomenal leader who treated his employees like family. It will be impossible to replace Dr. Thornborrow. All we can do is strive to follow his example.

Dr Juliusz Gorecki

PS. Here is a farewell from our founder:

“After more than 40 years of practice I have decided to retire. It is with mixed emotions that I made this decision. Although I look forward to spending more time with family and friends, I will dearly miss all the patients that I had the opportunity to know and care for over the last four decades. I will also miss working with the dedicated staff that I have had the opportunity to share the journey with, in particular Cindy Mayor my dear friend and office manager who has been with our clinic from day 1, as well as Becky Lightfoot and Jeanette Nesbitt who have been with our clinic for decades. I have had the great fortune of working with fellow optometrists and friends Dr. Marnie Richmond for 29 years, Dr. Lyndsey Kay for 12 years and Dr. Juliusz Gorecki who has been with our clinic for 6 years. In July Dr. Gabrielle Gilbert, a graduate from the University of Waterloo, joined our team. Gabby was our summer student so she may already be a familiar face to many of you. I have worked with each of the doctors above for years and I greatly respect them as people and clinicians. I have no doubt that I am leaving your care in the best of hands.

Dr Derrick Thornborrow”


More to explore


Have you ever been told that regular, run of the mill soft contacts won’t work for you? Do you have unsatisfactory vision