Notice to the Profession for Court Operations in the Superior Court of Justice Northwest Region (October 26, 2020)

RE: TEMPORARY OPERATIONS DUE TO COURT HOUSE CLOSURE

The fire in the courthouse at 125 Brodie Street North on October 4, 2020 will prevent operations in that building from occurring for the next few weeks and possibly until the end of December 2020. As a result, the Superior Court of Justice will be moving to temporary space at the Choice Hotel, at 277 Camelot Street, Thunder Bay. This was the former site of the Superior Court of Justice. The ballroom in the Choice Hotel, also known as the Courthouse Hotel, will be returned to use as a courtroom.

Jury boxes and the judges’ dais remain in place. The former jury deliberation room, now a conference room has also been secured together with a few guest rooms that will be returned to judicial chambers and space for counsel and staff.

The target date for opening is November 2, 2020. This is an ambitious timeline; however, we are confident that we will be able to conduct most, if not all, scheduled in-person trials and hearings beginning in early November. Some proceedings may need to be adjourned or continued remotely via zoom. You will be notified in due course as to the status of your proceeding.

Please note that filings and most regular work of the Court will continue to be conducted virtually. It is anticipated that the predominant use of the 277 Camelot Street location will be for criminal matters that require an in-person attendance with a limited number of civil and family hearings. We are also in the process of securing additional space from which to conduct criminal jury trials. We may be able to commence criminal jury trials as early as late November, bearing in mind that we require several weeks in advance of the start of a jury trial to send jury precepts to prospective jurors.

The Camelot Street location will not be staffed for transactional work or proceedings. Court Services Division is temporarily located at 189 Red River Road and have a filing counter there with limited hours. The Regional Manager, Laurie Kopanski, Trial Coordinator, Stacey Bragnalo and the judicial support staff are working remotely.

Lawyers and litigants are asked to continue to work with Superior Court staff and judges virtually for most matters, including filing of materials as per the Notice to the Profession that is located on the Ontario Superior Court website.

I thank the profession for its continued patience in these difficult times.

Justice Bonnie Warkentin
Regional Senior Justice, Northwest Region