Old City Hall - A Toronto Landmark
Situated on the northeast corner of Queen and Bay Streets, this castle-like building opened its doors in September of 1899, with construction beginning over a decade earlier in 1888. The stately structure reflects the Romanesque Revival architectural style which was very popular in Toronto in the late 19th century. Toronto architect Edward James Lennox was the designer behind what is considered to be one of city’s most noteworthy architectural landmarks, with its remarkable red stonework, striking gargoyles and soaring 300-foot clock tower. Lennox went on to design projects such as the King Edward Hotel and Toronto’s renowned castle Casa Loma.
In 1965 the building was threatened with demolition after the opening of the city’s present City Hall across Bay Street. A group of citizens convinced the city otherwise, and the grand structure, now used as a courthouse, is preserved as a National Historic Site. The interior of the building features a two-storey entrance hall, a sweeping staircase, murals and collections of artifacts and photographs. Remembrance Day ceremonies are held each November at the War Memorial located outside the Queen Street entrance.