Supporting communities

Socially conscious, community-minded

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.

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.

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. Find out more information. 
  • United Way – For many years Osler has been a leader among Toronto law firm donors to the United Way. In 2023 we raised more than $1.3 million for United Way.
  • 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. 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 $1.8 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 2023 alone, Osler raised approximately $38,300 across all of our offices.
  • Holiday donations – In December 2023, Osler donated to Toronto’s Yonge Street Mission, Food Banks of Québec in Montréal, the Centre for Suicide Prevention in Calgary, the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, the Ottawa Food Bank and New York’s Help Mrs. Claus to help make the holidays brighter for everybody.

A Bake Sale in Toronto on behalf of Osler’s United Way campaign.

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.

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 May 31, 2023, for the eleventh consecutive year, Osler organized a day where many lawyers and staff members helped out at two Montréal institutions: Renaissance Quebec 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 2023, Osler raised almost $21,000 for this cause.

Calgary initiatives

  • Student Legal Assistance is a pro-bono legal clinic that provides legal information and representation to low-income residents of Calgary and the surrounding area. Osler supports this organization through pro bono work and charitable donations.
  • Brown Bagging for Calgary Kids is a volunteer-led organization that prepares and delivers healthy lunches to kids throughout the city of Calgary who are exposed to food insecurity. Partner Matthew Huys is a proud supporter and board member of this important organization.
  • Calgary Youth Justice Society – The Calgary Youth Justice Society has been helping youth since 1996 through programs that build resilience, reduce risk and nurture community connections. Our Calgary office sponsors their annual Gala that raises funds to connect adult volunteers with youth who need support and, in some cases, because they have been in conflict with the law.
  • Canadian Energy Law Foundation (CELF) – Osler supports the CELF in their role within the Canadian Energy Bar to lead the advancement of law relating to and affecting the petroleum and natural gas industry, including their Annual Research Seminar in Oil and Gas Law (Jasper Seminar). [website: Home - Canadian Energy Law Foundation]
  • Association of Women Lawyers (Calgary) (AWL) – Our Calgary lawyers proudly support the AWL, a group committed to promoting the advancement, equality, interests and well-being of women in the legal profession. AWL hosts events to enhance the stature of women lawyers in the legal profession and provide them with support and tools to break through the glass ceiling.
  • Calgary Economic Development is a conduit, connector, catalyst, and storyteller for the city of Calgary. Promoting Calgary as the location of choice for people, investment and business, their work is rooted in positioning Calgary for long-term economic success and shared prosperity for all. Osler has been a significant contributing partner with CED for the past eight years.

Ottawa initiatives

  • Meals on Wheels Ottawa – The Ottawa office hosted various fundraising events throughout the year, including bake sales, summer fun days, bingo and trivia to raise funds to support providing hot meals to those in need in our community.

Vancouver initiatives

  • Cause We Care: Osler Vancouver is proud to maintain ongoing support for Cause We Care, an organization founded to help single mothers achieve economic security, build capacity, and create a positive future for themselves and their children. Osler is a title sponsor of Cause We Care’s annual Mother’s Day Lunch, and we’re a Corporate Champion of the Cause We Care Holiday Care Package Campaign. In December, the Vancouver teem meets to fill packages with backpacks, warm clothing, $100 grocery gift cards, small gifts, and nutritious food items that help make the season much brighter for this vulnerable group.
  • United Way: United Way is a long-standing initiative that brings the Vancouver team together to fundraise for their community during annual week-long campaigns. The Vancouver United Way Committee organizes several fun events and activities throughout the weeklong campaigns that encourage everyone to get involved.
  • Terry Fox Run - The Terry Fox Run and the accompanying fundraising campaign has been one of the Vancouver office’s marquee fundraising and team bonding events each year, and is a staple of the firm’s fundraising initiatives nationally. The annual Vancouver Office Terry Fox run is traditionally held in Stanley Park where an enthusiastic cohort participates while raising money for cancer research.
  • 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.
  • 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 – On an annual basis, 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 are distributed during the holiday season to women impacted by homelessness in Vancouver.

The Osler Vancouver Terry Fox team.