The fact Thunder Bay's new courthouse does not have a pay phone troubles local lawyer Mason Millar.
"My first thought is just how much it infringes on people's rights in basically assuming they have enough money for a cell phone. They're obviously here because they're having some problems," said Millar.
Millar said phones are a necessary service because people have important decisions to make while they're at court.
“Not being able to have easy access to a telephone is quite bizarre really," said Millar.
Tbaytel manager of Corporate Brand Communication Katie Crowe said the court house is wired for three pay phones.
But she said there was a problem installing them, because the thin granite walls can not support the weight of the units.
"We were concerned that there was a possibility of the phone ripping out of the granite, or people leaning on the pay stations and the phones actually coming away from the wall,” Crowe said.
A spokesperson for Infrastructure Ontario, the Crown corporation that owns the courthouse, said it's working on a solution so payphones can be installed.
Public place = public phone?
But, even for those who do have cell phones, not having a pay phone handy can still be a problem.
"Your cell phone doesn't always work in a lot of places in here,” said Thunder Bay resident Debbie Dolph.
"If something happens outside and somebody needs to come in and use a phone, they usually look for public places like this, thinking there would be a phone in here. Hopefully they'll put one in soon," said Dolph.