Construction of the Jackman Law Building is set to begin

By Lucianna Ciccocippo / Photography by Michelle Yee'

Groundbreaking timeline

Blue skies, baseball caps and a picture-perfect setting by the Bennett Gates greeted the more than 170 guests who attended the June 4th groundbreaking of the Jackman Law Building.  And with the official turning of the sod, the Faculty of Law expansion was set in motion.

“This is a great day in the history of the law school,” said Dean Mayo Moran. “The new building will create a future for the Faculty of Law that is even brighter than our illustrious past.  We are so grateful to all of our benefactors who believed in the importance of this project and came forward to make it a reality.” 

This spectacular new facility—named after the law school’s lead donor, the Hon. Henry N.R. Jackman, LLB 1956, a former lieutenant-governor of Ontario, U of T chancellor and long-time benefactor to Canada’s largest university—will house spacious, modern, environmentally friendly classrooms, offices and collaborative areas for Canada’s pre-eminent law school.

Praising lead donor Hal Jackman for his investment in the Faculty of Law, U of T President David Naylor said: “The Honourable Henry N.R. Jackman has been a remarkably generous supporter of higher education, and his passion for U of T has spanned our various faculties and colleges.  With this latest benefaction, Hal Jackman again demonstrates unusual long-term vision.  This ground-breaking represents not simply a new building, but a new era for legal education and scholarship at Canada’s only world-class law school.”
The Jackman Law Building, a multi-storey wing on Queen’s Park Crescent, increases teaching and learning space by 50 per cent, to 66,000 square feet.  The expansion also includes an extensive interior renovation to the Bora Laskin Law Library and an update to historic Flavelle House.

“This is a great day in the history of the law school,” said Dean Mayo Moran. “The new building will create a future for the Faculty of Law that is even brighter than our illustrious past."

"My classmates and I look forward to watching the construction project unfold and to one day soon setting foot in our new home,” said Brendan Stevens, Students’ Law Society president. “This new space will symbolize the intersection of our great history with our exciting future."

The expansion enhances the law school’s success in drawing top law students and world-renowned faculty. The new 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 unique initiatives such as the Global Professional LLM, and the Internationally Trained Lawyers Program.

The alumni and law firm communities have provided unprecedented support for the Faculty of Law building campaign.  In addition to Mr. Jackman’s generous $11 million gift, law firms Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt LLP and Torys LLP, with donations of more than $2 million each, have set new benchmarks for firm giving in Canada.  The campaign has also received several individual gifts of $1 million or more, and achieved remarkable alumni participation.

The building is designed by Toronto firms Hariri Pontarini Architects and B+H Architects. It is a welcome addition to the cultural and architectural renaissance on Philosopher’s Walk, placing Canada’s best law school alongside iconic neighbours such as the ROM’s Michael Lee-Chin Crystal and the Royal Conservatory’s Telus Centre for Performance and Learning.

Before an enthusiastic crowd of alumni, students, faculty, staff, friends and donors, the celebration also included remarks from the Hon. Michael Wilson, chancellor of the University of Toronto, Judy Goldring, Governing Council vice-chair, alumnus Tom Rahilly, campaign co-chair, and the Hon. Hal Jackman.

View the groundbreaking ceremony on our YouTube channel: UTorontoLaw.

Groundbreaking photo spread