Toronto, ON – The Ontario government says it is building a new forensic services complex in the Greater Toronto Area to house the province’s forensic sciences and coroner’s services.
“The new forensic services complex will significantly increase Ontario’s ability to meet the demands of modern forensic investigations and criminal prosecutions,” says Monte Kwinter, community safety and correctional services minister.
The complex will bring together on one site two essential forensic investigation agencies: the Office of the Chief Coroner and the Centre of Forensic Sciences. The new complex will increase capacity, allowing for more than 2,500 autopsies and 10,000 forensic science cases per year. Locating the two agencies on one site will make collaboration easier; and help the government realize efficiencies during construction and through shared services once the complex is in operation.
“Current facilities are more than three decades old,” says Dr Barry McLellan, chief coroner. “Scientific methods have moved on over that time. The new complex will provide the infrastructure and capacity our coroners, pathologists and forensic sciences professionals need to keep pace with demands of the justice sector.”
Among other things, the new complex will allow for improved specimen storage and refrigeration capacity, state-of-the-art forensic science laboratories for biology, chemistry, document and photo analysis, electronics, firearms, and toxicology. The laboratories will be capable of handling more than 10,000 cases per year. The project began with the release of a request for proposals for a planning study.
The Centre for Forensic Sciences currently employs 235 scientists and technicians and investigates more than 8,000 cases per year.