Real estate developer and philanthropist Avie Bennett has died. He was 89.
Avie Bennett was the founder of First Plaza Inc. and pioneered the strip-mall concept, with the first ones opening in Toronto in the 1950s.
He’s credited with rescuing McLelland and Stewart Publishing, and was chairnman of Historica Canada, the cretator of Heritage Minutes. He also served as chancellor of York University from 1998 to 2004.
In 2003 Bennett was named a Companion of the Order of Canada. The citation with his Order calls him “one of the great altruists of our tiime” for his support for Canadian culture.
Avie Bennett is survived by his wife Beverly, six children and 10 grandchildren.