William Robert “Bob” Davis, co-founder of This Magazine, passed away last week at the age of 77 while on vacation in Cuba. In addition to his time in the journalism industry, he was an educator, philanthropist, author, and activist.

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Davis published the first issue of This Magazine, then known asThis Magazine Is About Schools, in 1966 with a group of fellow school activists. Interested in developing a magazine that allowed for interaction between the readers and the magazine, Davis wrote in the first issue: “This Magazine will die and should die if it merely reflects the views of a small group in Toronto.” Today, the alternative magazine is known for its focus on Canadian politics, culture, and the arts. It has featured a number of well-known Canadian contributors, including Margaret Atwood, Naomi Klein, and Michael Ondaatje.

Davis’s contributions to the Canadian journalism industry didn’t stop with This Magazine. In 1979, he and his colleague Jim McQueen founded Mudpie Magazine. In his book What Our High Schools Could Be, Davis describes Mudpie as a publication that “gave us and others connected with the parent-power/NDP coalition in Toronto a voice.” Concerned with addressing the politics of teaching and connecting those with alternative views, Davis will be remembered as a hard-working and motivated Canadian intellectual.
A memorial celebration for Davis will be held at Holy Trinity Church, near the Eaton Centre, on March 24 at 3 p.m. Friends and family are welcome to share memories about Davis by emailing bobdavismemorial@gmail.comEverdale, a charity Davis co-founded, is accepting donations.