Legal Legacy

Hyman Soloway

1913 - 2004

Hyman Soloway was born in the Ukraine in 1913 and emigrated with his parents in 1923. On arrival in Canada, his father and older brother began working in the Byward Market area of Ottawa selling fruits and vegetables and would continue to do so for the remainder of their working lives. Hyman, on the other hand, entered the Canadian school system at age 10 at the grade one level, without a word of English as his command. He quickly made up the difference, and by grade 12 was selected as his class valedictorian. From there, he went to Queens University, with a stethoscope as a parting gift from his parents, who desperately hoped that he would pursue medical studies and become a doctor. Without telling them, he embarked on a course of study designed to lead to law school, because he had a feeling that being a lawyer would be a good choice for him. He was right.

He entered Osgoode Law School and graduated in 1938. In 1946 after completing his military service, he joined his friend, Jack Mirsky in the Ottawa law practice of Mirsky, Soloway. In those early years, the two of them took on any work that they could secure – civil, criminal, real estate, wills, immigration, matrimonial, etc. They were scrappy, extremely hardworking, energetic, and talented young lawyers. As the firm expanded in the late ’60s and early 1970s, Hyman sharpened his practice focus to real estate and commercial matters and became one of the leading practitioners in those fields in Ottawa and indeed in Ontario. Through the 1970s he was also counsel to the National Energy Board on the number of lengthy and complex pipeline hearings.

Over the years of his professional life from the mid-1940s to 2003, he engaged with just about every kind of work that the lawyer of that era could do and pursued each file with a relentless commitment to excellence and remarkable intelligence. His natural abilities and boundless work ethic were extraordinary, and he was widely regarded as one of the best lawyers of his era.

He was a great leader in the community as well, and he served on just about every local Jewish organization and on the boards at the University of Ottawa, Carleton University, and the Ottawa Hospital. He was a respected and highly sought-after community leader. He was fiercely proud of the Soloway Wright law firm and ably led it for decades. Its continued robust and dynamic presence is a tribute to our remarkable founder.