Osgoode Hall | 130 Queen Street West | Toronto, ON | M5H 2N5
The moot is normally held at the historic Osgoode Hall, which occupies six acres of land at Queen and University Streets in downtown Toronto. Osgoode Hall was acquired by the Law Society of Upper Canada in 1829. The name Osgoode honours William Osgoode, the first Chief Justice of Ontario. Osgoode Hall is home to the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Superior Court of Justice (Divisional Court) and the Law Society of Upper Canada. It was also home to Osgoode Hall Law School until its relocation to York University in 1968.
The Rotunda or Atrium was built between 1857 and 1860 by architects Cumberland and Storm. The stone in this area is Caen limestone, the same stone used to build the Tower of London. The tile floor is original. It was ordered from the English company of Maw & Co., which still exists today.
This courtroom, originally built for the Court of Common Pleas, is also from the late 1850s. Today it is used for the review of decisions of administrative tribunals such as school boards, police commissions and municipal boards. Matters can be heard by a single judge or a panel of judges. The room was recently restored and the colour scheme is thought to be similar to the original one. The relief of the figure of justice is the companion piece to the one in Courtroom 4.
Originally the home of the Court of Chancery or Court of Equity, this courtroom opened in 1885. It is now a Court of Appeal courtroom. Civil appeals are usually heard here. The chandelier is a reproduction of the original gas fixture; its design was based on archival photographs and sketches.
Originally the courtroom was added by the provincial architect Francis Heakes in 1910. To this day the courtroom remains intact as it was in 1910. The room was restored to its original colours in 1999 and features light fixtures which were recreated based on the original period models. The fixtures are a combination gas and electrical fixture which was typical for the period when electricity was being introduced into public buildings.
Completed in 1882 by architect William Storm, this hall was built to accommodate law students. It was designed after the great halls of the medieval Inns of Court in England. Convocation Hall was originally used for lectures, examinations, moot courts, and calls to the bar. It is now used primarily for special functions and houses the Osgoode Hall Restaurant, which is open to the public. The stained glass windows are modern and depict the heritage of law in Canada.
This wing was built in 1891. It was an addition to the Law School and the rooms were used as classrooms and common rooms for students. The Upper lounge was created in 1915 for the students’ library. The human figures were apparently purely imaginary. The Lower lounge was created in 1925 to expand the students’ library. The animals and other symbols stand for various elements of our heritage: the lion and the unicorn for the British Empire, the elk and the buffalo for Canada, a Pegasus from the arms of the Inner Temple, etc. Smaller figures include small animals, gnomes and imps. Also featured are the badges of England, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, Old France, the crests of the principals of the Law School and, apparently, of the chairmen of the committees involved in the project!