U of T news
  • Follow U of T News

Faculty of Law formally launches building campaign

New benchmarks set as law firms Osler and Torys each give unprecedented gifts of more than $2 million

The planned Faculty of Law expansion will overlook Philosopher's Walk. (Drawing by Hariri-Pontarini Architects)

More than 200 alumni and friends of the University of Toronto's Faculty of Law gathered Nov. 29 to celebrate the launch of a $35-million campaign for the faculty’s $53-million building that will help to position Canada’s number one law school for a future of boundless leadership, potential and vision.

In a packed and energized Flavelle House, the iconic heritage building at the Faculty of Law that will be the anchor to the faculty’s new building, guests heard the exciting news of the campaign’s success to date:  More than $19.4 million in private donations has been raised. The private funds, combined with $18 million in support from the University of Toronto, have resulted in 70 per cent of the funds required to make the new building a reality.

In particular, the law firm community has provided unprecedented support for the Faculty of Law building campaign. Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt LLP and Torys LLP, with gifts of more than $2 million each, have set new benchmarks for law-firm giving in Canada. The campaign has also received several individual alumni gifts of $1 million or more, including from former U of T Chancellor Hal Jackman, John Schumacher and David Asper.

“Nothing is as important to the future of this incredible institution as physical renewal,” said Professor Mayo Moran, dean of the Faculty of Law. “We are so grateful for the extraordinary generosity of the law firms and individuals who have come forward so early in the campaign to support our aspirations.”

The constrained physical facilities have been limiting the Faculty of Law’s potential as a research and leadership centre locally, nationally and internationally. Three external reviews — and critical student feedback — have identified the limitations as a serious issue.

The new building will increase space by 50 per cent, to 66,000 square feet, and will have three distinct elements: a multi-storey wing on Queen’s Park Crescent; an extensive interior renovation to the Bora Laskin Law Library; and a light renovation to Flavelle House.This state-of-the-art building will enable the law school to continue to compete for top law students and world-renowned faculty. The expanded facilities add much-needed contemporary teaching, learning, research and collaborative space not only for JD and graduate programs, but also for professional and continuing education courses, and ground-breaking new initiatives such as the global professional LLM, and internationally trained lawyers program.

Designed by Toronto firm Hariri Pontarini, the new structure completes a cultural and architectural renaissance along Philosopher’s Walk and in the Avenue Road and Bloor Street quadrant, which includes the Royal Ontario Museum’s Michael Lee-Chin Crystal and the Royal Conservatory’s Telus Centre for Performance and Learning.
The Faculty of Law is set to build on its tradition of educating leaders and global citizens in a truly world-class environment.