Founded in 1919, the WLAO has influenced policymakers, worked to dismantle discrimination and enhanced equality through the law.
“Through their extraordinary work over the last 100 years, the Women’s Law Association of Ontario has done the difficult but important work of ensuring that the law works for all of us, through fighting for equality, calling for reforms and working to eliminate discrimination in all its forms,” said Harvey McCue, Chair of the Ontario Heritage Trust. “The Trust is pleased to recognize the WLAO’s work with this provincial plaque and looks forward to many more years of leadership from the Women’s Law Association of Ontario.”
Jacquelyn Stevens, President of the WLAO added, “The Women’s Law Association of Ontario is honoured to receive a provincial plaque celebrating our 100 years. WLAO has an impressive and rich history of leaders in the legal profession. Our members have provided support, guidance and encouragement to hundreds of women at all stages of their legal careers. I, and the 60 presidents before me, take great pride in the accomplishments of our members and our efforts to empower women in the legal profession by providing a collective voice to advocate for equality, diversity and change. WLAO is ready for the next 100 years – always celebrating the past and looking toward the future.”
The plaque reads as follows:
Women’s Law Association of Ontario
Founded in 1919, the Women’s Law Association of Ontario (WLAO) was the first organization to work actively to create a place for women at Osgoode Hall. With membership open to law students, lawyers and judges, the non-profit organization advances issues relevant to women in law through networking, educational and social events. Strengthened by the women’s rights movement, the WLAO’s first 100 years marked Canada’s first female lawyer being called to the bar, the first female leader of the regulator of the provincial bar, and the appointment of Canada’s first female Supreme Court of Canada judge. The WLAO’s campaigns influenced legislators, policy-makers, lawyers and judges to dismantle discrimination and enhance equality through law. Through advocacy, it fought employment and pay equity, criminal justice reform, and an end to gendered violence, racism, disability discrimination, homophobia and transphobia. The WLAO continues to empower women in the legal profession by providing a collective voice, and advocating for equality, diversity and change.
- The provincial plaque is permanently installed in the South Gardens at Osgoode Hall, Toronto, Ontario.
- The plaque text is available in both English and French.
- The Ontario Heritage Trust has unveiled 51 plaques explicitly marking the contributions of women to the heritage of Ontario.
- Since 1956, 1,285 of the Trust’s iconic provincial plaques have been unveiled, commemorating provincially significant people, places and events in Ontario’s history.
- Find out more about the Ontario Heritage Trust and explore the plaque database.
- Learn more about the Women’s Law Association of Ontario.
- Check out the Spring 2018 issue of Heritage Matters that discusses women’s suffrage and women’s rights in Ontario.
For more information about the Ontario Heritage Trust and the Provincial Plaque Program, contact Edward Dodd at 416-325-5074 or Edward.Dodd@heritagetrust.on.ca.
For more information about the Women’s Law Association of Ontario, contact the WLAO at 416-410-7267 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Ontario Heritage Trust
The Ontario Heritage Trust (the Trust) is an agency of the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. The Trust identifies, protects, promotes and conserves Ontario’s heritage. The Trust conserves provincially significant cultural and natural heritage, interprets Ontario’s history, educates Ontarians of its importance in our society and celebrates the province’s diversity. The Trust envisions an Ontario where the places, landscapes, traditions and stories that embody our heritage are reflected, valued and conserved for future generations.