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Description found in Archives
1. John Sopinka Fonds [graphic material]
2. John Sopinka fonds [textual records] (1996-03058-2)
3. John Sopinka fonds [multiple media] (1997-00169-1)
4. John Sopinka [textual record (some electronics), graphic material] (2000-01299-X)
5. John Sopinka [textual record, graphic material] (2001-01104-0)
Place of creation
17.87 MB of textual records.
8 videocassettes (11 h, 36 min, 18 s).
2 video reels (54 min, 30 s).
Scope and content
The fonds consists of a variety of documents representing all phases of John Sopinka's career. The oldest in date concern his activities as student, musician, football player, lawyer and as member of various law societies. Those from 1988 to his death deal with his activities as justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. The fonds is divided into 11 series. They contain photographs, moving images, art material and textual records in paper and in electronic form such as bench books, case files, judgments files, correspondence, reference material, press clippings, notes, diaries, speeches and publications written by John Sopinka.
Access through an art archivist
Moving images: Reproduction and use in any form requires the written permission of the copyright holders and the written permission of the donor.
Textual records The finding aid, prepared by Lucie Paquet, is a list of records arranged in thematic, numerical, alphabetical or chronological order. MSS2101 90 (Electronic)
Box list in photo accession file. (Paper)
Moving images: See MISACS for item level descriptions. (Electronic)
Biography / Administrative history
Justice, Supreme Court of Canada
Born to Ukrainian immigrants in Broderick, Saskatchewan, on March 13, 1933, John Sopinka studied in Hamilton, Ontario, at Saltfleet High School, and graduated summa cum laude with scholarships to Queen's University and the University of Toronto (B.A. 1955, LL.B. 1958). During his studies, he also played football for the Toronto Argonauts (1955-57) and the Montreal Alouettes (1957-1958).
Called to the Bar of Ontario in 1960, he practised law at Fasken & Calvin and was counsel to and senior partner of Stikeman, Elliott. He was created Queen's Counsel in 1974. He has also been admitted to the bars of Newfoundland (1973), New Brunswick (1975), Saskatchewan (1984), Alberta (1987), Yukon (1987), and Northwest Territories (1987). He was a lecturer in Civil Procedure at the Osgoode Hall Law School (1974-1982) and also gave lectures at the University of Toronto Law School (1976-1984), the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Canadian Bar Association. In tandem to these occupations, he was Chief Counsel for the Commission of Inquiry on Aviation Safety (1979-1981), Chairman for the Task Force on Equal Opportunity in Athletics (Ont.), Counsel on the Commission of Inquiry on RCMP Relationship with DNR-Taxation, and Commission Counsel to the Estey Bank Inquiry.
He was Bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada, Chairman of the Committee on Advertising and Certification Board, member of the Board of Directors of Hockey Canada. John Sopinka was appointed Judge to the Supreme Court of Canada, May 24, 1988. He wrote several publications during his legal career including The Trail of an Action in 1981 and co-author of The Law of Evidence in Civil Cases in 1974.
The archival records were donated by the Honourable John Sopinka in 1996 and by Ms. Marie Sopinka in 1997 and 2001.
1. Evidence (Law) Canada. Supreme Court.
2. Criminal Law Law Society of Upper Canada.
3. Football teams - Canada Toronto Argonauts Football Club.
4. Montreal Alouettes Football Club.
Other system control no.
Related control no.
1. 1997-097 DAP
2. 1998-0099 VSA
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