Community Involvement

Osler is dedicated to improving the quality of life for the communities where we live and work. Fostering a firm-wide culture of “giving back” and equal opportunity, we sponsor and participate in numerous initiatives and programs to empower the diverse members of our communities. Our commitment is reflected in our substantial contributions each and every year across our offices in Canada and New York.

Recyclers embraced on public park

Socially conscious, community- minded

Our lawyers and staff also volunteer their time and talents to support a variety of communities in need. And we pair our lawyers and staff with community agencies looking for volunteers or board members through our intranet Community Volunteer Involvement page.

As part of our Programs of Excellence, Osler makes annual contributions to law schools across the country, funding Visiting Professors and Chairs, student bursaries and scholarships, seminars and conferences, and innovative research.

“If you impact one person, you cause a ripple effect.”

Wendy Rickey Senior Manager, Partner Administration and United Way Campaign Chair

Firm-wide initiatives

U of T student financial awards and a research chair in honour of the late Geoff Taber

Established at the University of Toronto in memory of our friend and former colleague Geoff Taber, The Geoff Taber Memorial Award at the Faculty of Law, the Geoff Taber Memorial Scholarship at the Rotman School of Management and the Geoff Taber Chair in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Rotman honour Geoff’s many contributions to the business and legal communities and his passion for technology, innovation and entrepreneurship

United Way Centraide Canada’s 2018 “Thanks a Million” recipient

Osler is proud to have been named United Way Centraide Canada’s 2018 “Thanks a Million” recipient for raising more than $1 million in support of the organization’s work in local communities. Osler’s Canadian offices have raised more than $16 million to support the United Way/Centraide and its network of agencies in delivering vital social services over the past 12 years. In 2019, we marked our 20th year as United Way Toronto’s top fundraising campaign within the legal sector. We also raised more than $1.1 million for United Way in 2022.

Give a Day to World AIDS

Since 2006, under the leadership of Technology partner Michael Fekete, Osler lawyers and staff have donated one day’s income in support of the fight against HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2021, our firm raised over $119,000 — with the funds being directed to The Stephen Lewis Foundation for distribution to grassroots programs in Africa. Give a Day to World AIDS was founded by family physician Dr. Jane Philpott in 2004, when she challenged her colleagues at Markham Stouffville Hospital to donate a day’s pay to fight HIV. Since then, Give a Day has grown in the medical and legal communities and has raised over $5.1 million. More than $1.69 million of this has been donated through the generosity of Osler partners, associates and legal staff. Find out more about our connection to Give a Day to World AIDS.

Terry Fox Run

Since 1987, Osler’s offices across Canada and in New York have participated in the Terry Fox Run to raise over half a million dollars for cancer research. In 2022 alone, Osler raised approximately $49,000 across all of our offices.

Holiday Donations

In December 2022, Osler donated to Toronto’s Yonge Street Mission, Food Banks of Quebec in Montréal, the Centre for Suicide Prevention in Calgary, the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, the Ottawa Food Bank and New York’s Mrs. Claus for a Cause to help make the holidays brighter for everybody.

Supporting United Way is one of the most unifying things we do as a firm. United Way benefits and we as a team benefit – getting behind the organi-zation is incredibly important to us.

John Macfarlane John Macfarlane Partner, Corporate, Toronto

Toronto initiatives

Daily Bread Food Bank

Each December, our Toronto office participates in the annual law firm challenge, raising money and donating food for families in need.

WoodGreen Homeward Bound

Since 2009, Osler has been involved with the four-year program helping single mothers in poverty through affordable housing, on-site daycare, education and training. Osler sponsors a career day to support and hire program participants pursuing law clerk careers.

TRIEC Mentoring Partnership

In 2018, Osler joined TRIEC Mentoring Partnership, a program that connects recent immigrants with mentors in their professional field. Newcomers bring talent, innovation and international expertise to the Greater Toronto Area, but they need information and networks to succeed. Mentors help bridge that gap. By volunteering as mentors, participating Osler staff and legal professionals are connecting with our communities, sharing knowledge and insight about the Canadian job market, and helping others succeed.

Dress for Success (the Bay Street Suit Challenge)

Our Toronto office participates in an annual clothing drive as part of Dress for Success’ Bay Street Suit Challenge. Staff and legal professionals donate new/nearly new professional clothing. Donations help dress men and women in need in the community and support their entry or re-entry to the workforce.

Osler raised more than any of our competitors, something that we can all celebrate.

Michael Fekete Michael Fekete Partner, Technology, Toronto

Montréal initiatives

Osler’s Community Day

Our Montréal lawyers and staff volunteer their time and talents to many diverse social and environmental organizations throughout the year. On June 1, 2022, for the tenth consecutive year, Osler organized a day where more than 80 lawyers and staff members helped out at three Montréal institutions: Peter Hall School, La Maison Marguerite and Montréal SCPA. Osler is proud to continue a tradition of commitment to causes that are close to our heart.

Pedal for Kids

Since 2002, the Montréal office has been participating in the Mighty Bike Ride, a week-long fundraising event for the Montréal Children’s Hospital Foundation. In 2022, Osler was one of the largest donors, having raised more than $24,000.

Not only is Osler renewing its commitment to the community, it’s also bringing the dream of home to hundreds of individuals and families in need.

Kim O’Brien Executive Director of Horizon Housing

Calgary initiatives

Wings of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation

Osler Calgary has been a sponsor of Wings of Hope for many years. In 2018, Osler became title sponsor of the annual Wings of Hope Luncheon. Wings of Hope has been creating high-impact fundraising since 1995 with a focus on supporting thousands of people living with breast cancer every day in Calgary.

Calgary Economic Development (CED)

Since 2017, Osler has supported CED as an Action Calgary Partner, collaborating and supporting CED initiatives that position Calgary as the location of choice for the purpose of attracting business investment, fostering trade and growing Calgary’s workforce.

Additional Donations

More than 300,000 is contributed every year to various community-focused initiatives throughout Calgary and surrounding areas.

Ottawa initiatives

Street Smart

Osler actively supports Street Smart, an outreach program for people living on the street. We held a “hot potato” event, which involved collecting warm socks and mittens, making baked potatoes, wrapping them in foil, packaging them in take-out containers and delivering them directly to people living on the street. The event was a great success and we are continuing to collect toiletries and seasonal clothing on an ongoing basis for distribution by Street Smart volunteers.

Toy Mountain

Ottawa legal professionals and staff participate in this annual holiday drive organized through the Salvation Army and local media to collect toys for the children of families in need within the community.

Ten Oaks Project

As part of Osler’s commitment to diversity, the Ottawa office raises money during Pride Week through Jeans Day, pizza lunch and bingo to support this special organization. Ten Oaks Project engages and connects children and youth from LGBTQ communities through programs and activities rooted in play.

Refugee Sponsorship Support Program (Refugee SSP)

Osler legal professionals in Ottawa are providing pro bono legal support to assist groups seeking to privately sponsor refugees.

Youth Service Bureau of Ottawa

A team from the Ottawa office participates in an annual Law Day Fun Run & Walk organized by the County of Carleton Law Association, with all proceeds raised going to the Youth Service Bureau of Ottawa.

Vancouver initiatives

United Way and Movember

Office fundraising initiative.

Rainbow Refugee

This local organization promotes safe, equitable migration and communities of belonging for people fleeing persecution based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or HIV status. Rainbow Refugee provides support, information and system navigation to refugees and refugee claimants seeking refugee status in Canada. To show our appreciation and support, a donation was made on behalf of Osler. As part of Osler’s commitment to diversity, and to show our support for the LGBTQ2I+ community, we invited a guest speaker from Rainbow Refugee to our Vancouver office at the time of Vancouver Pride (July).

Alacrity Game to Give

Osler was a gold sponsor of a charity event for Power To Be and Bridges For Women Society (Victoria). Osler was one of the main sponsors of Game To Give, a charity event co-hosted by Alacrity Canada and SaaSquatch, to raise funds for Power To Be (which helps people living with a disability to access nature) and Bridges For Women Society (supporting women to overcome the effects of trauma), both B.C.-based charities.

Dress for Success Vancouver

The Vancouver office participates in this annual event by gathering gently used clothing donations for Dress for Success Vancouver, which helps promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools.

The Shoebox Project Vancouver

In 2019, members of the Vancouver office worked together to gather the supplies, donations and labour needed to thoughtfully create and decorate shoeboxes that were filled with treats and everyday essentials. These shoeboxes were distributed during the holiday season to women impacted by homelessness in Vancouver.

Power to Play

For the past several years, Osler’s Vancouver office has supported Power to Play, a Vancouver and Victoria, B.C.-based non-profit organization that empowers people to explore their limitless abilities through inclusive adventures rooted in nature. The organization believes finances shouldn’t prevent anyone from accessing nature, and works to remove cognitive, physical and social barriers to the outdoors, encouraging participants to explore who they are and what they are capable of with the support of staff, volunteers and each other.

New York initiatives

Terry Fox Run

For the past several years, Osler New York has been participating in the Terry Fox Run for Cancer Research.