A renovated and expanded Osgoode Hall Law School officially opened Wednesday, boasting a soaring atrium, Gowlings Hall, a reconfigured law library, and new student lounges and social spaces.
Right: Osgoode Hall Law School Dean Lorne Sossin (left) cuts the ribbon at the official opening of the school, with Jim Flaherty, Ignat Kaneff, York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri and Greg Sorbara, MPP for Vaughan
An additional 23,000 square feet of space was added to the existing, renovated 192,000-square-foot, 43-year-old building, creating a new facility that meets Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification standards. The $57-million project by Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc. was completed over a two-year period.
“The new Ignat Kaneff Building, named in honour of Dr. Ignat Kaneff, an incredible Canadian, philanthropist and friend of the University, will allow York to accommodate the growing demand for legal education and training in the Greater Toronto Area,” said York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri.
Left: Lorne Sossin
Jim Flaherty, minister of finance, Greg Sorbara, MPP for Vaughan, and renowned developer and philanthropist Ignat Kaneff (Hon. LLD ’10), joined Shoukri and Osgoode Dean Lorne Sossin for the opening.
“It’s a family affair on this podium with friends, graduates and supporters, and that’s exactly the sentiment we try to build within each new student as they walk through these doors – that they are part of something and a link in a very important chain,” said Sossin. “We take great pride in being a public institution, and the support of both levels of government has been invaluable.” It also shows “why putting funds into legal education advances the public interest.”
The project received a $12.5-million investment through the government of Canada’s Knowledge Infrastructure Program (KIP) and a matching contribution from the provincial government through the 2009 budget. An additional $32 million was contributed by York University, partners, donors and friends of the University and Osgoode.
“The creation of new buildings, and the renovation and expansion of existing buildings, is a significant component of York University’s plan to meet the needs of students in Canada’s growing knowledge-based economy,” said Shoukri. “That’s why we were so pleased to have been the recipient of $25 million in federal and provincial funding under the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, for our Osgoode Hall Law School.”
Right: From left, Mamdouh Shoukri, Ignat Kaneff and Jim Flaherty
As Flaherty told the gathering, “Our government’s support for postsecondary education has not only made a difference in the short term, but has also set the stage for future prosperity. The investment at Osgoode Hall Law School created jobs for people in Toronto at a critical time, while improving the infrastructure that the school will need to maintain its reputation as an advanced learning leader.”
Left: York’s newly renovated Osgoode Hall Law School
As part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the government of Canada introduced the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, a $2-billion economic stimulus measure, to maintain and improve research and training facilities at Canadian universities, colleges and CEGEPs.
In Ontario, the Knowledge Infrastructure Program represents a total investment of nearly $2.4 billion to improve infrastructure at postsecondary institutions.