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Honourable Mr. Justice William D. Lyon

William Deneau Lyon was born in Toronto on October 22, 1924 and attended Vaughan Road Collegiate Institute from 1938 to 1943. The year prior to attending Vaughan, he was stricken with the polio virus and spent one full year at home in bed in recovery. As a result, William Lyon walked with the aid of crutches from the time he was thirteen.

He attended the University of Toronto, St. Michael’s College from 1944 to 1947 where he was awarded the Best All Around Student Award and prestigious Gold Key Award from the Student’s Administrative Council. During University, he was also President of Newman Club and of the Senate Club, Chief Justice of the Moot Court, Law Club Executive and Secretary of the Debates Committee at Hart House.

William Lyon was a graduate of the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall Law Schools and was awarded the Gold Key Award again while at Osgoode. Later he returned to lecture at Osgoode Hall Law School.

He served as a Councillor for the former Borough of North York from 1957-1962 where he was Chair of all major committees. He subsequently was a candidate for the Ontario Liberal Party in the riding of Yorkview in the 1963 Provincial election. He later served as Chair of the Oakville Police Commission and was the first ever Chair of the York Region Police Commission.

William Lyon was appointed as a Judge in the County and District Court of Ontario in 1978 and the Chief Judge in 1983. In 1985 he was appointed Chief Judge of the District Court of Ontario and ran what was then Canada’s largest federally appointed bench for eight years overseeing Ontario’s forty-nine count and district courts and some one hundred and sixty-five judges.

"He was a man of great courage and determination" said Patrick LeSage, Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice. "He dealt with adversity with great equanimity".

The Honourable Mr. Justice Lyon passed away in 1998 and is survived by his wife Margaret (Meg), children Christopher, Stephen, Katherine, Anthony, Mary, and John and twelve grandchildren, all of whom live in the Toronto area.
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