NORR, in partnership with Renzo Piano Building Workshop as part of the EllisDon Infrastructure Team, were selected to design the new Ontario Court of Justice, the largest courthouse in Ontario. Situated in Toronto’s downtown core, the new state-of-the-art LEED® Gold facility amalgamates several existing facilities to become a key element of the downtown civic precinct.
The collaborative design process has produced a strong architectural vision for the site by maximizing exterior public space, improving the streetscape and strengthening the links and relationship between the courthouse and the City’s downtown core. In particular, a 20-meter-tall atrium enclosed by a highly transparent glazed façade creates an immediate and strong image which extends the public realm into the building and expresses the public nature of the courthouse within the City’s downtown core.
The project includes 63 courtrooms, as well as 10 conference settlement rooms. In-custody transport, prisoner holding facilities and security provisions are in accordance with provincial ministry standards. The Ontario Court of Justice design meets high standards of barrier-free accessibility and achieved the Gold Accessibility Certification from the Rick Hansen Foundation. It includes a number of specialty courts including drug, mental health, Indigenous and youth courts. The grade level public realm of the project displays archeological discoveries as well as noteworthy aspects of the history of the site. The top levels feature a two-story landscaped courtyard surrounded by the judicial chambers, all under a roof of photo voltaic panels.
Read the Architects Statement: Opening of the Ontario Court of Justice
- 2023 AIA – Academy of Architecture for Justice – Justice Facilities Review Award
- 2020 AIA – Academy of Architecture for Justice – Justice Facilities Review Award
- 2019 CCPPP’s National Awards for Innovation and Excellence in Public-Private Partnerships – Silver
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