Osgoode Hall houses the highest courts of Ontario, namely the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Divisional Court of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, as well as the offices of the Law Society of Upper Canada (present-day Ontario) and until 1969 Osgoode Hall Law School (now located at York University). The building was named after William Osgoode (1754 – 1824), Upper Canada’s first Chief Justice and was built in phases commencing in 1829 with the latest addition completed in 1991 (at the block’s northern end facing Armoury Street and across from the yet-to-be-built-Toronto Courthouse). The site’s older portion is fronted by a small public garden and is insulated from the adjacent streets via a 1860-built iron fence punctured by four “cow gates”. Legend has it that the gates were erected to keep wandering livestock out.
Osgoode hall can be toured at lunch time during the summer months for free thanks to volunteers from the Law Society. Note that capacity is limited (first-come-first-serve basis). More on the Law Society’s website (link down below).
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