Combining two courts into one facility, incorporating input from Aboriginal and community leaders to create a thoroughly modern building that also recalls Ontario’s past
This project consolidates Thunder Bay’s two existing courthouses: the courts of the Superior Court of Justice and the courts of the Ontario Court of Justice. Located in Thunder Bay’s downtown south core, the courthouse improves access to justice in the area by consolidating the services of the existing courthouses within one modern facility, increasing the number of courtrooms available, improving health/safety standards, and providing better public access and security. The TBCC accommodates 15 courtrooms and four conference/settlement rooms in a multi-storey building.
Included among the conference/settlement suites is Ontario’s first Aboriginal Conference Settlement Suite, designed to give a stronger voice in the justice process to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people. The suite is a culturally and architecturally relevant space where aboriginal traditions are acknowledged and understood and where court matters such as case conferences, pre-trials, and family and civil hearings can be dealt with in a way that supports the healing process. Located on the ground floor of the courthouse, the suite is circular in design and features a stone hearth at its centre. The suite was designed in consultation with ministry policy advisers, court representatives, and members of Aboriginal communities.