The Old Toronto City Hall

Merely one street across from the Toronto City Hall there is a historical building known as Toronto’s Old City Hall. It was one of the finest architectural buildings with over hundred years of history. In contrast with the skyscrapers and modern architectures in the surrounding area, the Old City Hall becomes a distinctive landmark. This old city hall was once the powerful political symbol of Toronto. Sixty-six years of Toronto’s political decisions was made in this building. Today, it is used as The Ontario Courthouse. The City Hall itself is a massive square structure with a quadrangular courtyard in the centre. It has similar geometry as Ryerson University’s Kerr Hall. The Old City Hall is a four story building that sits on a planar contour. The west portion of the building facing Bay Street was used as country buildings. The city offices were located at the east portion of the building facing James Street. There are overall eight entrances and one driveway in this buildings. A combo of two entrances, a main entrance and a sub-entrance, were designed for each side of “the square”. A driveway leads to the centre courtyard can be found at the North elevation of the building. The exterior of the building was designed with rusticated Credit Valley Sandstone, built in a series of courses. Two colours of sandstones where used for the exterior walls. The yellow sandstones were the primary material. The red sandstones were used to highlight the openings on the walls and were also used in repetition with the yellow sandstone to create patterns. Double Hung windows were used throughout the building. Arched top windows can be found above the first floor. The main entrance of the building, facing Queen Street, is the most elaborate. Romanesque grotesque of the famous 19th century politician were used to decorate the centre arches. Lennox’s own face can be found on the west side of the entrance, characterized by his handle-bar mustache. Inside the centre arches are three doorways made of oak. The centre doorway is almost twice wider than the other two. Inside the doorways is a two story main lobby of the City hall, supported by marble columns with plaster capitals. The floor was decorated with mosaic patterns. A grand staircase, about fifteen meters from the doorways, leads to the third floor of the building. On the landing where the stair divide into two, a monumental stained glass, manufactured and designed by the personal supervision of Robert McCausland, describes the Union of Commerce and Industry, which symbolizes the development of Toronto. Underneath the window is a marble war memorial for soldiers who sacrificed during the Second World War.

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