Retired Judge, Superior Court of Justice – Ontario
The Honourable Sandra Chapnik obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours from the University of Toronto in 1962 and a Secondary School Teacher’s certificate from the Ontario College of Education in 1963. She then taught English, History, Geography, Physical Education and Health to secondary school students from 1963 to 1968 on a full-time basis and part-time during the 1970s.
Sandra attended Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto from 1973 to 1976 at which time she obtained an LLB degree. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 1978. From 1982 to 1986, she practised law in the areas of civil litigation, family and entertainment law. She was appointed a Judge of the now Superior Court of Justice for Ontario in September 1991, gained Supernumerary status in 2006 and was retired from the Bench in January 2016.
After her retirement, she served as a distinguished visiting professor at Ryerson University in Toronto.
Justice Chapnik also served in the public sector for many years as a Rent Review Commissioner, Fact Finder and Mediator for the Education Relations Commission, Vice-Chair of the then Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal, member of the Pension Appeals Board of Canada and Judge of the Superior Court of Justice (Ontario).
Her professional positions have included being elected a member of the Executives of the Canadian and Ontario Bar Associations, President of the Women’s Law Association of Ontario, a Bar Admissions Course instructor, President of the Osgoode Hall Law School Alumni Association, a Bencher of the Law Society of Ontario and a member of the Chief Justice’s Judicial Education Committee. She has been a participant on and contributor to several panels and publications, both as a lawyer and in the judicial forum.
Sandra has taken on important leadership roles in the community as a member of the Boards of Directors of Holy Blossom Temple and Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care, Advisory Board of StandWithUs (Canada), President of the Baycrest Women’s Auxiliary, President and Chair of the Board of ORT Toronto and a member of the Board of Representatives and Chair of the Constitution and By-Laws Committee of World ORT, one of the largest non-profit, non-denominational educational organizations for disadvantaged students worldwide. She has established bursaries and student awards at Osgoode and the Women’s Law Association, helped plan conferences for lawyers and judges on Combating Hatred in the 21st Century, as well as an important Community Alliance Forum promoting diversity and multiculturalism in Canada and an initiative against apartheid in South Africa. In addition, Sandra sponsors an abandoned child in need, as an adoptive parent.
In December, 2021, Sandra Chapnik was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada for her leadership in the community and in the legal sector, where she has promoted the advancement of women and encouraged best practices in the field. She is also the recipient of the University College Alumni of Influence Award, the Order of Ontario, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, the Alumni Gold Key Award from Osgoode Hall Law School, the Award of Distinction and the Award for Distinguished Service from the Ontario Bar Association, the Women’s Law Association of Ontario President’s Award, the ORT Toronto Recognition Award and a Reuben Wells Leonard Scholarship from the University of Toronto.
She is married to Dr. Jerry Chapnik, Otolaryngologist, and they have four married children and ten grandchildren, one of whom is married and taking law and social work at the University of Toronto.