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Holding court in a strip mall 'poor optics:' Neuberger

The cramped and “dismal” conditions inside some of Toronto’s court facilities – particularly those in strip malls in the inner suburbs – have been a long-time concern for the city’s legal community, Toronto criminal lawyer Joseph Neuberger tells the Globe and Mail.

“There is a lot of emphasis on tough-on-crime policies, the difficulty is that the resources have not been applied to the infrastructure for the Ontario Court of Justice, which includes the prosecutors’ office, the judiciary and the criminal defence lawyers,” he tells the newspaper.

Operating a courthouse in a strip mall is “exceptionally poor optics,” Neuberger, partner at Neuberger & Partners LLP, says in the article.

The newspaper says Toronto is getting a new downtown courthouse, one that could replace as many as five aging faciliites, where mostly criminal cases are heard.

The provincial government revealed plans for the new facility in the budget, but it has released few details on cost or when it would open, The Globe says.

But according to provincial officials, says the newspaper, the new courthouse is expected to be on provincially owned land just north of the Superior Court of Justice building at 361 University Ave., near Dundas Street, that is currently the site of a surface parking lot, the newspaper article says.

Currently, Ontario Court of Justice matters are heard in five leased locations: 777 College St., 1911 Eglinton Ave. E., 1000 Finch Ave. W., 2201 Finch Ave. W., and Old City Hall, the 1899 E.J. Lennox-designed landmark owned by the city, The Globe says.

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