Historically being called 'to the Bar' means you can sit before the Bar in a Courtroom. Queen's Counsel -- those remaining -- sit within the Bar, slightly closer to the Judge. Serjeants-at-law, who no longer exist, actually sat on the Bench with the Judge.
Practically speaking in most modern Canadian courts all lawyers sit in front of what is now called the Bar -- a little fence that segregates the public from the lawyers. QC's who insist on their privilege of sitting even closer to the judge are usually allowed to sit 'within' the Bar but are often seen as pretentious.
But where do paralegals, who are licenced and recognized by the Law Society of Upper Canada, sit? Some judicial officers have made them sit with the public behind the Bar. Others allow them to sit with lawyers.
And now there is litigation (Lippa v Regina in Newmarket) to require paralegals be treated as lawyers and given all the entitlement of recognition by the Court as lawyers. This may seem trivial but it speaks to a very significant point of respect and dignity of professionals. It also speaks to the difference between paralegals and lawyers.
Some might say if this is allowed what is the point of being a lawyer? Others might suggest if you're allowed to speak in Court how can there be levels of audience? Stay tuned... .