Current Weather
4.5°C Sunny NE 9 km/h
Full Forecast
Tbnewswatch Local News
Saturday May 23 2015
1:46 AM EDT
2014-03-21 at 16:48

Moving in

Matt Vis,
By Matt Vis,

The opening of the city’s new courthouse is set for next month.

The new consolidated Thunder Bay Courthouse, after facing a series of delays to its opening, is scheduled to be completely operational on April 14, according to the Ministry of the Attorney General.

The opening of the new facility is being eagerly anticipated by members of the city’s legal community, some of whom have waited more than 20 years for a consolidated building.

“I think our members are generally excited about finally getting into the new institution,” said Thunder Bay Law Association president Chris Hacio on Friday.

Bringing together the two levels of court means lawyers who practice at both courthouses won’t have to rush to different ends of town for proceedings.

Interview, settlement and mediation rooms that were not available at the old courthouses allow lawyers to provide improved services to clients. Previously, Hacio said lawyers would sometimes be forced to hold client meetings in hallways.
The transition will begin during the first weekend of April, when the Superior Court of Justice will shift from Camelot Street to the new building.

The Ontario Court of Justice will follow suit the next weekend, moving from the Arthur Street courthouse.

The announced opening date is months behind the targets set during construction.
Initially, the courthouse was scheduled to open in the fall of last year. It was then pushed back to early this year and is now set for April.

While Hacio said the province was forthcoming about when to expect the move, the uncertainty was still a little troublesome.

“It has created some scheduling problems because people have trials, motions and other criminal type proceedings and it makes it difficult when you don’t know where those hearings will be held,” Hacio said.

Lydia Stam, past president of the Thunder Bay Law Association, said that while she doesn’t anticipate significant problems arising from the move she wouldn’t be surprised if some do come up.

It can’t be taken for granted that amalgamating two facilities into one is going to be seamless, especially for staff working in the new building.

“I think for the staff of the courthouse there is going to be a lot of major changes and that it’s going to be difficult,” she said. “It’s going to be more difficult for them to support us initially until everything’s organized and begins to flow.”

One issue that has been continually highlighted is the lack of parking space available at the downtown south core site.

Hacio said his members are looking for an additional 15 to 20 spaces and is also concerned about members of the public being late for court appearances due to difficulty finding a spot.

He added he is in communication with the Thunder Bay Parking Authority to see if there are any potential solutions.

Stam said while parking issues have been highlighted at the new consolidated facility, it is worth noting that it can be a struggling finding a spot at the Superior Court.

Based on the small size of the lot and area restrictions, it’s not uncommon to have to walk a fair distance to get to the building.

The legal community is already beginning to prepare for the move. Lawyers are being contacted and reminded to remove all personal belongings, such as gowns, from the existing courthouses so nothing is lost or left behind.



Click here to submit a letter to the editor.

Click here to report a typo or error


We've improved our comment system.
SomeGuy says:
Quite a few of you need to get a life outside this website...Really pedophiles everywhere? How does this even remotely relate the the events centre...
3/22/2014 10:48:31 PM
Night shift says:
Why are they just now wondering about parking? That should have been a consideration long ago. The people who utilize services other than the court house will also be affected by the lack of parking. There should have been a plan for court house parking that would not have an impact on the rest of the area. Good luck trying to get to your appointment for physiotherapy etc..

3/22/2014 4:39:27 PM
SomeGuy says:
I've owned a business in the area for a while now and not once has a customer said they can't find parking. Having the Court House really won't change much.

In fact I've had a harder time finding parking at the PA courthouse.
3/23/2014 5:41:11 PM
arjay says:
I wonder how many of these Legals, have actually taken the time to visit the District Jail? they would (should?) hang their heads in shame. each one of them should have to spend a few days in there, double bunked, to know , how badly this place(district Jail), should be replaced.
Thunder Bay's DIRTY DIRTY secret!!!
3/22/2014 1:57:44 PM
Watchmaker says:
Hank - the more you post here the less likely I will be to place an X beside your name on any ballot.

You wail about the costs of building the new courthouse, but do not consider the costs of maintaining older buildings, the inefficiencies of consolidating services in one location etc. etc.

If the only tool you have is a hammer, all you will see are nails.

"Mayor in waiting" indeed.

3/22/2014 10:53:21 AM
Jon Powers says:

" WAKE-UP & smell the convicts cause they are EVERYWHERE around you daily & are usually the ones you expect the least to have a record... "

That may be so.

However, Unellected Unaccountable Judges dictated what was in everyboby's interest.

Now guess who will be paying for?

The "Tax-Payer"!

Do You think that was fair?


sky high:

"And why did we build a new courthouse when we had a perfectly good one?"

Because your government has money to burn!

This issue was the Ontario Governmnets fault dating back to 1970 when they ammalgimated our city.

Great Posts!
3/22/2014 10:22:39 AM
razor_burn says:
The city needed a new courthouse as bad as it needs the event center. Take care of the problems we have before creating new ones. That's the Thunder Bay way though.
3/21/2014 8:28:24 PM
unknowncronik says:
The city needed a new courthouse as bad as city hall needed a facelift a few years back!

Too much money wasted on "design" when 4 walls and a roof would work the same!

Peeps getting sentenced in the new courthouse or peeps going into city hall to check their water account could care less if the building they are in was built by & or designed by "joe blow"!

Keep spending monies on useless crud & see where it gets us......oh yea, were already at that point...hmmmmmm, dang.

Another design blunder is the new ambulance garage that has more wasted space than the new hospital...

Idiotic waste of taxpayer money when 4 walls & a roof does just as well for so much less cost, but nope, spend spend spend!
3/22/2014 3:03:26 AM
keiths31 says:
City didn't pay for the new court house. Just like the city didn't pay for the (then new) government building on the north side.
3/22/2014 8:48:29 AM
sky high says:
With all the vacant buildings on the south side, why did we need to build a brand new courthouse??? I demand to know. There should have been a PLEBISCITE to decide IF we build, and where we build it. Innova Park would have been perfect for this, tons of parking. And why did we build a new courthouse when we had a perfectly good one? We could have renovated it and it could have lasted another 50 years. Plebiscites, we want them and NEED them
3/21/2014 5:26:50 PM
chezhank says:
@sky high
You demand to know why!
Look at the provincial debt,it is easy to build things with taxpayer's money.The province is basically paying the mortgage with the lease agreement on this building.
Hope to see you out at the Concerned Taxpayers of Thunder Bay open house.
It will be held April 01 at the DaVinci starting at 7:00pm.
The public is invited to share there views on the need for a question on the ballot in the upcoming Oct 27 municipal election for the need of a proposed event centre and location if one is desired at this time.
The mayor,councillors and administration have been invited to attend the open house.
There are people who agree with you as to why was this court house built?
A rally in front of City Hall is planned for April 07 starting at 5:30 pm so that council will consider putting a question on the ballot for the Oct 27 municipal election.
Bring your pots and pans!

henry wojak
mayor in waiting
3/22/2014 8:26:32 AM
fastball says:
Sarcasm = 1
Mayor in waiting = 0

Jeez, Henry - did you not pick up on the tone of SkyHigh's note at all - or did you merely stop reading after the first sentence? Or thinking?
Or are you such a automatic, kneejerk, wind-up toy that the instant you see the words "demand" or "plebiscite" you immediately kick into a some kind of pre-programmed auto-response?
With those glowing characteristics so sorely needed in any elected official - why sure, I'll vote for you.
PS - did you catch the sarcasm in that line, Mr. Mayor-in-waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting?
3/22/2014 4:39:01 PM
Shane Caker says:
Nice one Henry.

Signed Shane Caker. Lotto Max jackpot winner in waiting...

Wanna bet that I win lotto max before you become mayor?
3/22/2014 11:14:34 PM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
ummm...wasn't it a Billy-Mikey Gravy Boat? Wasn't a municipal decision, I believe.
3/25/2014 1:17:24 PM
Jon Powers says:
There goes the Neighbourhood!

Pedophiles will be everywhere.

Keep your children close.

Criminals everywhere!

Bye Bye South Side!
3/21/2014 5:01:43 PM
progress now says:
You may be right but I have seen the situation in Ottawa and I would say it was not a problem there. In fact I don't know that it had any effect at all, which would be the greater concern for me as we are looking for it to counter the blight on east Victoria and help poor Victoriaville.
3/22/2014 12:47:08 AM
unknowncronik says:
Your comment of "Keep your children close" or "Criminals everywhere" shows your 1 sided ways.

Those with a criminal history ARE AROUND YOU EVERYDAY!

I even bet one of your co-workers, probably the nicest one is a CONVICT, but your head is too far up somewhere for you to see this cause you believe they have to "look" like a criminal!

WAKE-UP & smell the convicts cause they are EVERYWHERE around you daily & are usually the ones you expect the least to have a record...
3/22/2014 2:52:57 AM
unionbay880 says:
Come on now, they are all innocent, just ask them. And FYI whiners the city didn't pay for this building, but they will collect tax off it, that is a good thing.
3/22/2014 1:23:20 PM
Comments for this story are semi-moderated. Read our comment guideline.

Add a new comment.
You must log in to add comments.
Create a new account
Log In