Old City Hall

bluekrypton

London, Canada

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Artist's Description

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 can be seen the whole length of Bay Street from Front to Queen. The tower stands a 104m tall (340 ft).

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 clock face stands at 6 metres and is the third largest in the world after Big Ben and another also in Britain.[citation needed]

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, and today the building houses criminal courts of the Ontario Court of Justice as well as municipal courts.

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

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