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Courtroom Numbering in Toronto

It’s not uncommon to be walking around Old City Hall and be approached by someone wondering where courtroom 121 is; or in the hallways of 2201 Finch and asked where courtroom 207 is.  Lawyers practicing criminal law in Toronto, of course, know that 121 is found on the second floor of Old City Hall and 207 is found on the third floor of 2201 Finch (you gotta take the elevator to get there as only those who work in the building have access to the stairs).

While the numbering makes sense to lawyers and court staff, I can certainly understand why someone would be confused.  Rooms are usually numbered with the floor being in the first digit, it just seems illogical for 207 to be on the third floor, or in the case of Scarborough, for all courtrooms (which are numbered in the 400s), to be on the main floor.

The way it works is that each OCJ courthouse in Toronto has its own first-digit.  This way, when a courtroom number is mentioned, one knows what building the courtroom can be found in.  This makes it easy to move matters between courthouses as the courtroom number just needs to be noted on the information (the document that must be present in court for each matter).  Of course, this doesn’t work when moving matters to a jurisdiction outside Toronto, but this carries its own set of rules and can’t be done that easily.

Here is how the numbering works:

Old City Hall:  100s (although OCH also has “lettered” courtrooms which are found on the third floor).  OCH even goes a step further and specifies the floor in their courtroom numbers; for example, 101 is in the basement, 112 is on the first floor, and 121 is on the second floor.

Metro West – 2201 Finch:  200s (this courthouse serves Etobicoke yet is located in North York, word is they are going to build a new courthouse in Etobicoke).

Metro North – 1000 Finch:  300s.

Metro East – 1911 Eglinton:  400s.

College Park:  500s

The numbering at 311 Jarvis Youth Court is single digits.  This would make it easy to move matters to the other courts that serve young people (2201 Finch & 1911 Eglinton).

The system at 361 University Superior Court involves a floor number followed by a hyphen and then a courtroom number (eg. 3-1 would be courtroom #1 on the third floor).

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