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Former Principal Peter Silcox

Peter Silcox (1939 - 2019)

October 17, 2019

Members of the Woodsworth College community mourn the death of former principal Prof. Peter Silcox.

Born in Dudley, England, Silcox studied at the University of Bristol and the London School of Economics before accepting a Commonwealth Scholarship to study at U of T in 1961. The move launched what became a forty-year career with the university when Silcox accepted a faculty position with the university in 1964, teaching British and Canadian politics at U of T’s St. George and Erindale College campuses until his retirement in 2003.

He served as the Principal of Woodsworth College from 1977 to 1984 and was associate dean and vice-principal at Erindale College from 1988 to 1993. Silcox was also the President’s representative at Governing Council and served on two presidential search committees.

Peter Silcox had particular expertise in urban and provincial affairs, including local government reform. In the early 1970s, Silcox was appointed by the Ontario government to develop a strategy for new boundaries and greater regional co-operation in Windsor, Essex and Pelee Island in Southern Ontario. Released in 1976, the Essex County Restructuring Study recommended amalgamating 21 municipalities into eight. The province ultimately shelved the recommendations, however, two decades later, the “Silcox Report” was resurrected to become the main policy foundation for the 1998 restructuring of Essex County.

Silcox retired in 2003 after four decades with the university. He leaves his wife, Antonia; son and professor of philosophy Mark Silcox of the University of Central Oklahoma; and daughter, associate professor of anthropology and Vice-Dean Graduate Mary Silcox, of U of T Scarborough.  A celebration of life will be held at Simple Alternative Funeral Centre at 1535 South Gateway Road, Mississauga on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Woodsworth College Students’ Association – Peter Silcox Scholarship.

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