William Grenville Davis honoured through the Premiers’ Gravesites Program

BRAMPTON — Today, at the Peel Art Gallery Museum and Archives, the Ontario Heritage Trust unveiled a marker commemorating the gravesite of the Honourable William Grenville Davis, 18th premier of Ontario. Among those paying tribute were former premier Mike Harris, former premier Ernie Eves, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, TVO journalist Steve Paikin and many more of Davis’s friends and family who he inspired throughout his life.

Born in Brampton, William Grenville Davis was first elected in 1959 as a Progressive Conservative member of provincial parliament for Peel. He served in Premier John Robarts’s cabinet as Minister of Education (1962-71) and Minister of University Affairs (1964-71). In these roles, he built a vast education infrastructure — including York, Brock, Trent and Laurentian universities, the Ontario college system, the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) and TVOntario.

Davis served as the 18th premier of Ontario from 1971-85. He implemented rent control, famously cancelled the Spadina Expressway and intervened to protect the Niagara Escarpment from commercial development and urban sprawl. In 1986, Davis was appointed as a Companion of the Order of Canada. He received the Order of Ontario in 1987 and was appointed a Knight in the Legion of Honour of France in 2001. Davis died August 8, 2021, aged 92.

“Today, we remember and honour one of Ontario’s truly great leaders, William Davis,” said Michael Ford, Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism. “The unveiling of this commemorative marker will serve as an important reminder for us and for future generations of Davis’s lasting influence on our province, his legacy of public service and unwavering dedication to the people of Ontario.”

“Today, the Ontario Heritage Trust honours William Davis and recognizes his profound commitment to public service,” said John Ecker, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Heritage Trust. “Davis left an indelible, transformative mark on this province’s public and political life, shaping Ontario as we know it today. His belief in consensus building and the necessity of rising above political rivalries to work together to make Ontario a better place continues to inspire.”

The marker will be permanently installed near the gravesite of William Davis at the Brampton Cemetery.

Learn more

The Premiers’ Gravesite Program honours Ontario’s former premiers and their service to Ontario by marking their gravesites. Specially designed bronze markers inscribed with the individual premier’s name and dates of service are installed at each gravesite, along with flagpoles flying the Ontario flag, where possible.

This program is administered by the Ontario Heritage Trust with funding support from the Government of Ontario. This is the 19th marker to be unveiled through the program since it began in 2008. For more information on the Premiers’ Gravesite Program, visit our website.


For more information about the Ontario Heritage Trust, contact David Leonard, Senior Marketing and Communications Specialist, at 437-246-9065 or

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About the Ontario Heritage Trust

The Ontario Heritage Trust (the Trust) is an agency of the Government of Ontario. The Trust conserves, interprets and shares Ontario’s heritage. We conserve provincially significant cultural and natural heritage, interpret Ontario’s history, celebrate its diversity and educate Ontarians of its importance in our society. The Trust envisions an Ontario where we conserve, value and share the places and landscapes, histories, traditions and stories that embody our heritage, now and for future generations.