Osgoode Hall is a national monument and one of the architectural treasures of Canada. Of the many public buildings erected in pre-confederation Canada and British North America, it best encapsulates the diverse stylistic forces that shaped public buildings in the first half of the nineteenth century. The gated lawns, grandly Venetian rotunda, the noble dimensions of its library, handsome and ornate courtroom, portrait-lined walls and stained glass evoke a venerable dignity to which few Canadian institutions even aspire. It has been the seat of the Law Society of Upper Canada since 1832 and of several of the Superior Courts of the province for almost as long. Intended to be the focal point of the legal profession in Upper Canada it has become a symbol of the legal tradition not only in Ontario but throughout Canada and beyond.
John Honsberger is a Toronto lawyer, who combines the practice of law with writing in different areas of law, including its history and the legal profession. He was the founding and only editor of the Law Society of Upper Canada Gazette published by the Law Society for almost thirty years. In 1979 he was a founding director of The Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, in 1985 he was a first recipient of the Law Society of Upper Canada medal for outstanding service within the profession, and in 1998, was awarded the Mundel medal by the Attorney General of Ontario in recognition of his contribution to legal literature over the past fifty years.