Vanier retrospective to look at life and times of Roy McMurtry

Roy McMurtry, former solicitor general of Ontario, was deeply involved in the patriation of the Canadian Constitution and the creation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Now the 12th chancellor of York University, McMurtry will discuss the highlights of his career at an upcoming retrospective.

The Life and Times of Roy McMurtry: A Retrospective: 50 Years in Law, Politics, Diplomacy and Judging, presented by the Office of the Master, Vanier College, will take place Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 3pm in the Vanier Senior Common Room, 010 Vanier College, Keele campus. It will look at aspects of McMurtry’s career which pertain to matters of public interest.

Left: Roy McMurtry

Former high commissioner to Great Britain from 1985 to 1988, and attorney general for Ontario, McMurtry is a member of law firm Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP and its advocacy department, where he serves as counsel to the firm and strategic counsel to its clients in the public and private sectors. Working out of the firm’s Toronto office, McMurtry also provides a full range of dispute resolution services as well as public and community service.

Prior to joining Gowlings, McMurtry practised law as a trial counsel for 17 years. He was elected to the Ontario legislature in 1975 and appointed to the cabinet of former premier William G. Davis as the attorney general for Ontario, a position McMurtry held until 1985. As attorney general, he oversaw an unparalleled era of law reform in Ontario, including bilingualism in the courts, multiculturalism and family law reform. During that period he also served for four years as the solicitor general of Ontario.

McMurtry was appointed associate chief justice of the Superior Court in 1991. In 1994 he was made chief justice. In February 1996, he was appointed chief justice of Ontario, a capacity in which he served for over 11 years until May 30, 2007, the same year he became a recipient of the Order of Ontario. The following year, he was installed as the 12th Chancellor of York University. In 2009, he was appointed an officer of the Order of Canada.

For more information about the event, contact the Office of the Master, Vanier College, at 416-736-5192 or

Everyone is welcome to attend the retrospective.