Yesterday I spent the day working as per-diem duty counsel at Old City Hall. I quite enjoy the work and have a lot of respect for the hardworking lawyers and staff who work every day in the duty counsel office. The temperature outside yesterday was between 30-35 degrees celsius (86-95 degrees fahrenheit).
Built in 1899, Old City Hall served as Toronto’s city hall until the 1960s when it was converted to a courthouse. The courthouse itself is very unique and unlike anything else in the province. Spending a day at Old City Hall is certainly an experience.
The problem with Old City Hall in the summer is that it doesn’t have air conditioning. The lack of air conditioning, combined with the poor ventilation of a large old-fashioned building, result in some very hot days. Adding fuel to this very hot fire is that the expected courtroom attire for male lawyers appearing before the Ontario Court of Justice is a jacket and tie (it is not uncommon for a Judge or Justice of the Peace to invite counsel to remove their jacket, yesterday I was even told I could roll up my sleeves).
What is the cooling system at Old City Hall? It really depends where you are in the building. Throughout the hallways are big fans that help circulate the air. Some courtrooms have portable air conditioners, however they are often too loud and need to be turned off so the court reporters can properly record what is being said in a courtroom.
Maybe city council would be interested in trading “city halls” for a few hot days this summer.
This blog post was written by Toronto Criminal Lawyer Adam Goodman. Adam can be reached at 416-477-6793 or by email at email@example.com.