“I loved mathematics and in ’78, Waterloo was the place to go.”
Mark Noskiewicz’s Toronto high school guidance counsellor suggested other universities but he knew better. He attended UWaterloo for Applied Math with a focus on Systems Design. His co-op placements were computer programming jobs at the Ministry of Transportation, Stelco and Bell Northern Research (BNR).
In February of ’82, Mark received a job offer from BNR and an acceptance letter to the University of Toronto Law School. He decided to study law, joking, “I wasn't quite ready to work full time.” He graduated from law school in ’85, articled with Goodman and Goodman (now Goodmans LLP) and has been with the firm for more than 30 years.
Mark is a municipal lawyer and assists land developers obtain the approvals they need to build buildings or even whole communities. He advocates for his clients’ projects in front of municipal councils and committees and before the Ontario Municipal Board, addressing a wide array of federal, provincial and municipal legislation, policies and guidelines.
He believes that the rigour of his math training was perfect preparation to become a lawyer. “The skills that make you a good mathematician are the skills that make you a good lawyer — having a logical mind and being able to tackle, process and synthesize complex information. In a typical case, there could be 50 or more issues that have to be distilled into one coherent argument.”
One project that Mark is particularly proud to be associated with is Toronto’s Distillery District — a National Historic Site. The Gooderham and Worts Distillery was founded in 1832 and by the late 1860s, it was the largest distillery in the world. Mark has represented the owners ever since it closed operations in 1990. Previously fenced off to the public and zoned only for industrial uses, the Distillery District is now one of Toronto’s premier tourist attractions. The walkable streets showcase the largest collection of Victorian-era industrial architecture in North America — preserved and transformed into shops, restaurants, art studios and galleries, theatres, homes and offices.