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Old City Hall (Toronto): Wikis


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Old City Hall

Toronto's Old City Hall
Architectural style Romanesque Revival
Location Toronto
Address 60 Queen St West
Current tenants Ontario Court of Justice
Started 1889
Completed 1899
Design team
Architect E.J. Lennox

Coordinates: 43°39′9″N 79°22′54″W / 43.6525°N 79.38167°W / 43.6525; -79.38167

Toronto's Old City Hall was home to its city council from 1899 to 1966 and remains one of the city's most prominent structures. It is at the corner of Queen and Bay Streets, opposite the new City Hall in the centre of downtown Toronto. It has a distinctive clock tower which heads the length of Bay Street from Front to Queen.



Work on the Romanesque Revival building designed by E.J. Lennox began in 1889. Lennox "signed" his name in scrollwork around the first floor exterior. When it opened on September 18, 1899 it was the largest building in Toronto, and the largest municipal building in North America.


The Gargoyles on the Clock Tower.

The tower stands 104m tall (340 ft). It has a distinctive clock tower which heads the length of Bay Street from Front to Queen. The clock is the third largest in the world, with its face measuring 6 metres in diameter.[1] The top four corners of the tower features gargoyles.

New City Hall

Toronto City Council moved to the new city hall in 1965, and soon after plans were made to start construction of the Toronto Eaton Centre. The original plans called for old City Hall to be knocked down and replaced by a number of skyscrapers, leaving only the cenotaph (or in one plan, the clock tower) in the front. Public outcry forced authorities to abandon these plans. Currently the building is leased by the provincial government and is used as a court house for the Ontario Court of Justice.

York County Offices were located in this building from 1900 to 1953.

An annex to this building, Manning Chambers, was demolished to make way for the current Toronto City Hall.

In popular culture

The building is sometimes used to film movies and television shows, such as This is Wonderland, Flashpoint, Street Legal, Covert Affairs, and Dirty Pictures. The building features prominently in the novel Old City Hall, by Robert Rotenberg.

A watercolour of the City Hall done prior to its construction in 1899
The Cenotaph at Old City Hall.

Statues and monuments

At the foot of the front steps on Queen Street is the Cenotaph, erected to honour the dead from The First World War, The Second World War, the Korean War, and Canadian peacekeeping operations during Remembrance Day ceremonies every November 11.

See also

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  1. ^ Van Der Voort, Jane (8 March 2008). "Spring forward". Toronto Star. Retrieved 5 May 2009.  "With a dial six metres in diameter, the clock is the third largest in the world."

External links

Preceded by
St. Lawrence Market
Toronto City Hall
Succeeded by
Toronto City Hall




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