For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project


In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar


William Lee Archer


Lieutenant-Commander, O-2610, RCN(R)


Died: 06 Mar 2005, Toronto, Ontario


ARCHER, William Lee - On Sunday March 6, 2005 unexpectedly in Toronto in his 86th year. Beloved husband of Gwen and loving father of Janet. Bill was born in Hamilton, Ontario son of the late Reverend William L. Archer and Caroline L. MacGregor and is predeceased by his brothers Robert, Edward, Geoffrey and sister Isabelle. He is fondly remembered by many nieces and nephews. Bill was considered a man of strong principle, integrity "an honourable man". Bill grew up in the Niagara area and attended Ridley College. He started work in Toronto as an office boy and then as a junior with the Imperial Bank of Canada. In 1940 Bill joined the R.C.N.V.R. as an ordinary seaman, then a signalman and leading signalman. He trained at Royal Roads and received his commission as a Sub-Lieutenant. Bill saw service on the east coast, Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Atlantic Ocean in H.M.S. Lightfoot, and to the Pacific Ocean in H.M.C.S. Prince Rupert and was appointed Lieutenant Commander. After the war Bill graduated from McGill University and went to Osgoode Hall. He was called to the Bar in 1953 and appointed Queen's Council in 1962 and became a Life Member of the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2003. Bill began as a partner in the firm Alexander, Hughes, Archer, and was as passionate about his practice of law as he was about political life. In 1958 he was elected to Toronto City Council and Metro Council. Bill had the ability to connect people, cut through red tape and problem solve. He had a great love of the city and was an active member of Council, as an alderman and controller. Bill served as a chairman of various committees on transportation, parks and works. He was the Coordinator of the Yonge Street Pedestrian Mall, and instrumental in obtaining the William Lyon Mackenzie fireboat. Bill had the habit of asking awkward questions and challenging our assumptions in searching for the right decision. He was keenly involved in urban development of the downtown core. He served as a member of the Planning Board and the Library Board and was much involved in providing the new Reference Library. Bill was Chairman Residential Division, United Appeal, a member of the 1972 Ontario Task Force on Policing, President of the International Institute and involved with various other community organizations. He served as a municipal politician until 1972, including a run for Mayor in 1966. Bill was appointed as the Commissioner for the Provincial Review of the Regional Municipality of Niagara from 1975 to 77. In later years Bill served on the Toronto Historical Board with a passionate dedication. In 1977 Bill received the Toronto Award of Merit. Bill sailed Star Boards and was a life member of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, the Board of Trade, and the Royal Canadian Legion, Fort York Branch as well as a member of Zeta Psi. Throughout his life he was an active member of the federal and provincial Progressive Conservative Parties. The family would like to thank the staff of the Emergency Room at the Toronto General Hospital for their kindness and caring. The family will receive Friends at the Morley Bedford Funeral Home, 159 Eglinton Avenue West (2 stops lights west of Yonge St.) on Wednesday March 16 from 2 to 5 p.m. If desired, a memorial donation to YOUR favourite politician or political party would be appreciated. Cremation has taken place and a service will be held in Stamford, Ontario at a later date.


William Archer served in the war attaining a rank of Lt in the RCNVR. After the war he was promoted to LCdr, RCN(R) on the retired list.


Ships served in:

HMCS PRINCE RUPERT - Drafted to Prince Rupert on 09 Mar 1945 as Lt, RCNVR



HMCS YORK (Retired List) - as LCdr, RCN(R) (Navy List Jan 1959)


Officer Graduates from HMCS Royal Roads, Naval Officers' Training Centre

Click on the above photo to view a larger image



Toronto Men Among Graduates From Royal Roads - 03 Oct 1942

1st row:  J. Douglas, R.A. Nairn, G. Hadden, D.A. Parrot, R.J. Ingram and, R.W. Kent

2nd Row: C.R. Bond, N.I. Smith, E.D. Rushbrook, W.A. Smith, A.M. Hunter and , G.W. Dunn

3rd Row: E.B. Brace, W.R. Cook, W.D. McQuaig, W. Archer, J.J. Coates, E.W. Brockwell, G.E. Devlin and, R.L. Troke



Crossed the Bar Index