The Honourable Willard Zebedee Estey

Willard Zebedee Estey was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on October 10, 1919. He is the son of James Wilfred Estey, a Supreme Court of Canada justice, and Muriel Baldwin. He studied at the University of Saskatchewan, obtaining a B.A. in 1940 and an LL.B. two years later. In 1942 he was called to the bar of Saskatchewan but served with the armed forces during the Second World War rather than practising law. He then went to Harvard Law School and completed an LL.M. in 1946. He taught law at the University of Saskatchewan for a year then was called to the bar of Ontario in 1947 and joined the Toronto firm of Robertson, Fleury & Lane, later named Robertson, Lane, Parrett & Estey. In 1973 he was appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal and two years later was named Chief Justice of the High Court of Justice of Ontario. He became Chief Justice of Ontario in 1976 and was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada on September 29, 1977. In 1985 he chaired the Commission of Inquiry into the Collapse of the CCB and Northland Bank. Justice Estey served on the Supreme Court for 10 years and retired on April 22, 1988. Justice Estey died on January 25, 2002, at the age of 82.