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Wiliam Davis, Ontario's 18th premier and a celebrated Tory, dies at 92


TORONTO — William Davis, the 18th premier of Ontario and one of the country's longest-serving premiers, has died at 92.

A statement from his family says Davis died in Brampton, Ont. this morning of natural causes.

The Tory titan served as premier of Ontario from 1971 to 1985, taking over from the late John Robarts.

His stretch in power, which culminated in him stepping down at the height of his popularity, effectively ended his party's unprecedented, 42-year rule of the province.

His government stopped the Spadina Expressway through Toronto, limited rent increases, lowered the drinking age to 18 from 21 and curbed wage hikes for broader public servants. 

During the economic downturn of the early 1980s, he launched a massive infrastructure program.

Toronto Mayor John Tory, for whom Davis was a mentor, says with his death "Ontario and Canada have lost a giant."

"He leaves a legacy like few others, a legacy that will go on building a stronger, fairer and more prosperous Canada for decades to come, a legacy which will help people build better lives," Tory added.

Davis' family says a private funeral will be planned followed by a public celebration to be announced at a later date.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 8, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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