Since its establishment in 1949, the Faculty of Law has become Canada’s top-ranked law school – and to ensure its bright future, the faculty recently launched a $53-million campaign.
More than 200 alumni and friends gathered at Flavelle House late last fall, where Dean Mayo Moran publicly launched the new building campaign. To date, $21 million in private donations have been raised. The private funds, combined with $18 million in support from U of T, 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 campaign. Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt LLP and Torys LLP gave gifts of more than $2 million each. The campaign has also received several individual alumni gifts of $1 million or more, including from former U of T chancellor Hal Jackman, financier John Schumacher and former CanWest executive David Asper.
“Nothing is as important to the future of this incredible institution as physical renewal,” said Prof. 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 new structure, set to open in 2015, will be attached to Flavelle House – one of the faculty’s heritage buildings. It 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 of the Bora Laskin Law Library; and a light renovation of Flavelle House. The expanded facilities will add much-needed teaching, learning, research and collaborative space for JD and graduate programs, professional and continuing-education courses, and new initiatives such as the global professional LLM and internationally trained lawyers program.
The design features new classroom, office and student service areas (such as a consolidated office for Career Services, Admissions and Financial Aid). The Laskin Library will be upgraded with current technology and research tools, and will include an information commons, quiet areas for reading and research, and group study rooms.
The constrained physical facilities have been limiting the Faculty of Law’s potential as a research and leadership centre, nationally and internationally. Over the last 10 years, three external reviews – and critical student feedback – have identified the limitations as a serious issue.
Designed by Toronto firm Hariri Pontarini, the new structure continues an 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.