Feb 06, 2023

By Jane Brown

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Centuries-old trees at Osgoode Hall in downtown Toronto will stay for now, and maybe longer.

According to the Law Society of Ontario, Ontario Superior Court has granted an interim injunction which bars Metrolinx from chopping down the group of trees on the property to make way for an Ontario Line subway station until at least February 10th to make way.

“This is a beautiful intersection,” says Campbell House Director Liz Driver, “We’ve got a 200 year old building here, Campbell House. Osgoode Hall is about the same age. We’ve got Old City Hall, our new city hall, but most importantly, that section, that northeast corner of Queen and University is a garden that has been maintained by the Law Society for almost 200 years. It’s never been developed. That is so rare in the downtown.”

Crews sanctioned by Metrolinx started cutting down the historic trees Saturday morning before the court could hear the injunction application which was launched to prevent their clearing.

On Friday, Mayor John Tory said he was “very concerned with how the Ontario Line construction will impact Osgoode Hall” but suggested there was little the city could do because the province has expropriated the land.

“I encourage Metrolinx to actually clearly and publicly communicate what they are doing, why there are doing it, and how they will make sure the grounds of Osgoode Hall are protected and restored when this work is done,” he said.

The Osgoode site is one of 15 planned stops along the 15.6-kilometre stretch of the Ontario Line, which is slated to run from Exhibition Place to the Ontario Science Centre.

The Ontario Line is scheduled to be completed in 2031.

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