Nathan Phillips Square is an Urban Plaza in Toronto

Highlights and Amenities

Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto
Nathan Phillips Square is an urban plaza in Toronto
A shallow reflecting pool is perhaps the most notable landmark at Nathan Phillips Square. Several metallic arched structures rise above this elongated basin. Set up in the late 1980s, the Freedom Arches add artistic and historical value to the public space. These installations symbolize freedom and liberty in Canada and other nations worldwide. A chunk from Germany's infamous Berlin Wall is integrated into the arches. During the winter season, the reflecting pool is transformed into an ice-skating rink that's open for freestyle play. In the summer season, powerful jets of water burst from the fountains at the reflecting pool. Illuminated by bright lights, the Toronto Sign decorates the northern edge of the pool. This sign is one of the most photographed points in downtown Toronto. The Peace Garden is another popular attraction at Nathan Phillips Square. Featuring intricate landscaping patterns with terraced configurations and steps, the signature garden commemorates the civilians who perished in the atomic campaigns on Hiroshima in World War II. Covering roughly 6,500 sq feet, the tranquil garden invites visitors to reflect upon world peace and other global issues. Sculpted by British artist Henry Moore in the 1960s, The Archer is an artwork that stands prominently in the heart of the plaza.
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This urban square is also surrounded by some of the city's most prominent architectural gems. Facing the plaza's eastern side, the Old Toronto City Hall is a fine example of Romanesque design. Built in 1899, this civic building has been renovated and preserved with original details. The beautiful clock tower still stands prominently at this municipal complex that hosted political operations for generations. Click to book your Toronto City Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour. The New City Hall stands on the north side of the public space. Designed by a Finnish architect in the Modernist style in the 1960s, this property highlights Toronto's progressive character. Two curved towers and a UFO-inspired building form the city hall complex. Nathan Phillips Square also hosts some of the largest public events in the city. Huge crowds gather at the urban space to celebrate national and regional holidays, such as New Year's Eve and Remembrance Day. Music concerts, political rallies, sports celebrations, parades and other exciting events take over this vibrant plaza throughout the year. If you're lucky enough to get on the elevated walkways, you'll enjoy spectacular views of the square on its busiest days.

Visiting Nathan Phillips Square

Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto
Nathan Phillips Square forms the forecourt to Toronto City Hall
Having a central location in downtown Toronto, Nathan Phillips Square is easily accessible by rapid transit. Running past the square's south side, Queen Street has multiple outdoor stops along the TTC 301, 501 and 502 streetcar lines. Situated just one block away from the attraction, the underground Osgoode and Queen stations are served by the TTC Yonge-University Line 1. This busy subway route links Union Station with dozens of points in the city. Additionally, multiple PATH entrances and exits are located within walking distance of the square. PATH is the city's underground pedestrian walkway that leads to dozens of major points in the downtown district, particularly high-rise offices and hotels. There's also plenty of indoor parking space available at the adjacent CF Toronto Eaton Centre.

Location: 100 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5H 2N2

Click here to visit Nathan Phillips Square website.

By: Denise Marie
Published On: 2019-09-18
Updated On: 2019-09-18

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