City Hall & Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto

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  • City Hall & Nathan Phillips Square
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  • CdnJane's Profile Photo

    Combination of the Old & New Architecture Styles

    by CdnJane Updated May 3, 2004

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One place that is always fun to show off, are the Twin buildings of "New City Hall" at Nathan Phillips Square. It is actually not really the city hall anymore as there is Metro Hall down on King Street at John Street. However, because of the older city hall with the more classical architecture of the 1800s across Bay Street from Nathan Phillips Square, known as "Old" City Hall - we still tend to refer to it as "New" City Hall.
    I didn't really take a picture of the curved towers, or of Old City Hall - just took a picture of some of the architectural features.

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    Toronto City Hall

    by coolpanda87 Updated Feb 28, 2004

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    Toronto City Hall @ night

    Probably more famous than the unusual "spaceship" shaped Toronto City Hall is its popular outdoor skating rink at Nathan Phillips Square. Many events are held at Nathan Phillips Square throughout the year, & it is a constant place of fun & excitement. In the summer, the skating rink is converted into a water fountain.

    Designed by Finnish architect Viljo Revell, Toronto city hall stands as a contrasting post-modern building surrounded by comtemporary architecture. It was originally envisioned to be an eye with the two towers acting as eyelids. However, now it is now widely known as the UFO, the flying saucer, or the burrito.

    Outside, there is the Peace Garden, which offers a green respite from the bustle of the city. The garden is home to the eternal flame lit by Pope John Paul II from an ember of the Hiroshima Memorial, as well as Henry Moore's sculpture "The Archer".

    Though not all of City Hall is accessible by public, you can pop in at the lobby anytime & view any displays designated for public enjoyment. Also, during Council meetings, you could enter Toronto's Council Chamber, a public area that accomodates 300 people. From here, you can hear fierce debates & arguments as Toronto councillors plot the future course of this city. Especially those who are curious about democracy, you could see it all in action @ Toronto City Hall. Everyone here is free to speak the mind and express their opinions on any issue that concerns the city.

    In the middle of the first floor rotunda is a Golden Book of Remembrance, where the names of 3500 Torontonians who died in WWII are inscribed. Along the east wall of the rotunda, just inside the front door, is artist David Partridge's Metropolis, a mural made entirely of nails. On the West side rotunda, a scale model of the area of Toronto is on view. It allows visitors to locate landmarks, historic sites & future development that is taking shape in the core of the city.

    On the second floor is offices of 44 Toronto city councillors & of the Mayor of Toronto.

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    Old City Hall

    by mim95 Updated Sep 28, 2003

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    The Clock Tower of the Old City Hall of Toronto

    The Old City Hall was built in 1899 by E.J. Lennox, a Toronto architect whose work included the Casa Loma and the King Edward Hotel.

    You have to go up close to the building to truly admire this masterpiece, as there are lots of detailed stone works and carvings, especially in the front entrance. It was the City Hall of Toronto until 1965, when the new city hall was completed.

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    Nathan Philips Square & the City Hall

    by mim95 Written Sep 28, 2003

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    A child enjoying the pool at Nathan Philips Square

    The City Hall was built in 1965 by a Finnish architect named Viljo Revell. A modern design made up of two curved office buildings and a circular structure in the center, where the city council sits.

    Nathan Philips Square, situated in front of the City Hall, is a popular spot for free concerts, festivals and skating in winter, when the pool is turned into a skating rink.

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    Nathan Philip Square

    by msison Written Jul 24, 2003

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    Nathan Philip Square

    I had the pleasure to go to Nathan Philip Square during Winter Festival. It was a great sight to see. So many people just enjoying a good time.

    Ice Skating in the center of the square was wonderful. It is right in front of Toronto's Civic district.

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    Winston Churchill

    by sim1 Updated May 8, 2003

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    Winston Churchill


    When you walk from the Nathan Phillips Square towards the new city hall you will see this statue of Winston Churchill. It's a difficult statue to take a picture of, as it is so dark that the structure is hard to see, and the bright light in the background doesn't make it any easier either, LOL.

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    Flags at the Nathan Phillips Square

    by sim1 Updated May 8, 2003

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    Flags at the Nathan Phillips Square


    It's a colourful sight, all those flags in a row opposite the Old City Hall. Hahaha, I had to take an 'illegal' route to make this picture. On the Nathan Phillips Square you can walk up on a walkway and have a good view from above over the square and the city hall. This area was closed for the winter but of course that didn't stop me and my sis to climb over the fence and walk up anyway ;-)

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    Skating on the Nathan Phillips Square

    by sim1 Updated May 8, 2003

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    Skating on the Nathan Phillips Square


    I found this idea so much fun! In the wintertime you can go skating on the Nathan Phillips Square. The skating rink is only small, but you're in the middle of downtown on, opposite the old City Hall. I wouldn't mind doing this some day!
    I was here late November and brrrrr it sure felt cold enough to go skating, but unfortunately the skating rink wasn't open.

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    Old City Hall

    by sim1 Updated May 8, 2003

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    Old City Hall


    The Old City Hall was designed by Toronto architect Edward James Lennox (whose projects include Casa Loma and the King Edward Hotel). it took almost a decade and $2.5 million, before it was officially opened by then Mayor John Shaw in September, 1899. It was not only the biggest structure in the city at that time, it was also the largest municipal building in North America.

    When Toronto's fourth and most recent City Hall opened across from Bay Street in 1965, Old City Hall became a courthouse for the Ontario government.

    In 1989, Old City Hall was declared a national historic site by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

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    Osgoode Hall

    by sim1 Updated Apr 22, 2003

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    Osgoode Hall


    Osgoode Hall is just west of City Hall. You can't see the building itself at first sight, but you it's impossible to overlook the impressive, elegant wrought-iron fence. Folklore has it that the fence was built to keep cows from trampling the flowerbeds :-)

    Osgoode Hall is one of the finest examples of Victorian Classical architecture in Canada.

    In 1829-32 the Law Society of Upper Canada erected the east wing of this imposing building. Named after William Osgoode, the province's first chief justice. The Regency structure housed law courts and judicial offices, and provided accomodation for lawyer and students. It was severely damaged during the six years in which jprovincial troops were stationed here following the Rebelion in 1837.
    In 1844-46 the west and central portions were erected and the eastwing remodelled.

    You can have a tour of the building (I haven't done that myself yet). The tour of the interior reveal the splendor of the grand staircase, the rotunda, the Great Library, and the fine portrait and sculpture collection.

    Hours :
    Mon-Fri 9am-6pm. Free tours July-Aug Mon-Fri 1:15pm

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    TORONTO CITY HALL

    by Sharrie Written Feb 25, 2003

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    TORONTO CITY HALL: Hub of city's administrative machinery. Designed by late Finnish architect Vilho Revell, whose imaginative futuristic plans were unanimously selected by international panel of judges from 520 entries. Completed in 1965.

    Height = 260 ft (West Tower, 20 floors), 326 ft (East Tower, 27 floors).

    The complex is made up of 4 architectural features:

    1) The Podium, base: Offices of the Mayor & other executives of the City & Metropolitan governments. Also a Public Hall & Public Library.

    2) The Council Chamber, dome.

    3) The Towers.

    4) Nathan Phillips Square: Focal point for citizen activity, meeting place for everyone. Folk dancing, celebrations, exhibitions & other gatherings all take place here.

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    Old Toronto City Hall

    by sunnywong Written Feb 25, 2003
    Old Toronto City Hall

    Considered one of North America's most impressive municipal halls in its heyday, the building opened in 1899.

    Since the opening of New City Hall, Old City Hall has been the site for the provincial courts, county offices, and thousands of low-cost marriages.

    Hours: Weekdays 8:30-4:45

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    New Toronto City Hall

    by sunnywong Written Feb 25, 2003
    New Toronto City Hall and Nathan Philips Square

    The futuristic-looking complex was the result of a massive international competition in 1958. Two City Hall towers of differing height, and curved! But there is a logic to it all: an aerial view of the New City Hall shows a circular council chamber sitting like an eye between the two tower "eyelids."

    Hours: Weekdays 8:30-4:30. opening in 1965

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  • New City Hall/Nathan Phillips...

    by citygirl29 Written Aug 25, 2002

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    New City Hall/Nathan Phillips Square
    You've seen New City Hall before -- including on Star Trek, where it's twin white curved towers made it an important building of the distant future. It's been 'New' City Hall since the 1960s. The Square in front has ice skating in the winter (beats Rockefeller Hall by a mile!) and cultural events of all sorts the rest of the year.

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    Well If you haven't been to...

    by SDSU2001 Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Well If you haven't been to the city hall and seen the wonderful sculture you need to!
    I was just blown away on how artisitc people can be and plus a picture is worth a thousand words! plus in Downtown Toronto thier a lot of nice places to go shopping and to top it off Toronto is in my opinion the Greatest city in that I have been to so far, with the exception of San Diego of course!

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