The Honourable Mr. Justice Peter deCarteret Cory, C.C., Q.C., B.A., LL.B., passed away peacefully at his home in Mississauga, Ontario, on April 7, 2020.
He is survived by his three sons: Christopher, Andrew, and Robert (Muriel); and, his nine grandchildren: Steven, Kaitlin, Adrian, Sarah, Rachel, Peter, Paul, Serena, and Sean.
Peter was born in Windsor, Ontario, on October 25, 1925; the youngest son of Andrew and Mildred Cory.
As a teenager, he became a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force and served overseas with the 6th Bomber Group during World War II.
In 1947, he graduated from the University of Western Ontario (Assumption) with a B.A.. In 1950, he graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School, with an LL.B, and was called to the Ontario Bar. In 1963, he was appointed as Queen’s Council.
Peter practised with the Toronto law firm of Holden, Murdoch. In 1971, he was elected as a Bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada. He also served as: the Chairman of the Ontario Civil Liberties Section of the Canadian Bar Association; the President of the County of York Law Association; the National Director of the Canadian Bar Association; and, the President of the Advocates' Society.
In 1974, Peter was appointed to the Supreme Court of Ontario, High Court. In 1981, he was appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal. On February 1, 1989, he was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada, and retired on June 1, 1999. His colleagues held him in high regard, noting that he left a lasting mark on our jurisprudence and was admired for his patience, civility and hard work.
Following his retirement from the Bench, Peter was appointed by the British and Irish governments to conduct an independent inquiry into six particular deaths during "the Troubles" in Northern Ireland. The inquiry was established to investigate allegations of collusion between security forces and paramilitaries in those six cases and was known as the Cory Collusion Inquiry.
In 2002, Peter became a Companion of the Order of Canada and was cited “as a model of integrity and modesty whose record of service to his country has been exemplary”.
From 2004 to 2008, he served as the 11th Chancellor of York University.
He held the rank of Honorary Colonel of the 426 Transport Training Squadron.
Peter Cory, who will be dearly missed by family and friends, spent his life in the service of our country and our people with honesty, integrity and an unique passion for justice.
A service will be held, at a later date, when we will be able to gather together and celebrate his long and storied life. In the meantime, condolences can be sent to the Skinner and Middlebrook funeral home in Port Credit, Ontario.