Around City Hall

When we started planing to come to Toronto we run to the next bookshop to find a book about the city. It was not as easy as all that because although there are several books about Canada there aren’t many about Toronto(in Portugal, that is). In fact we could only find one that had some detailed information about what to see, what to expect and so on.

One of the buildings that caught our attention in the pictures and we wanted to see up close was the City Hall. In our walks around town we always wondered about the exact place of it but never really looked in the map to find it.

Also whenever we went to the Indigo bookshop in Eaton Center we could see trough the window a lovely old buildings that looked important but we didn’t know what to make of it.

As you might have guessed by now, that old building is the Old City Hall and right across the street from it is the City Hall.

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The 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. When it opened on September 18, 1899 it was the largest building in Toronto, and the largest municipal building in North America.

Right now the building is used as a courthouse.At the foot of the front steps on Queen Street is the Cenotaph, erected to honour the dead from The First World War, The Second World War, the Korean War, and Canadian peacekeeping operations.Ceremonies are held here  during Remembrance Day every November 11.

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The City Hall is one of the most distinctive landmarks of the city. The architecture of  the building looks extremely modern even for today standards and must have been impressive when it opened in 1965.

While the building’s base is rectangular, its two towers are curved in cross-section and rise to differing heights. The east tower is 27 storeys (99.5 metres) tall and the west tower is 20 storeys (79.4 metres). Between the towers is the saucer-like council chamber, and the overall arrangement is somewhat like two hands cradling the chamber.

From the air, the building is seen as a giant unblinking eye, thus the building’s original nickname of “The Eye of Government”.

To my companion in adventures this building is also memorable because in the film Resident Evil: Apocalypse, the building portrayed the City Hall in Raccoon City and it was destroyed by a neutron bomb blowing up over it.But some other films were filmed here(as in Old City Hall).

Also worth mentioning around this area for its beautiful architecture is Osgoode Hall.

Osgoode Hall houses the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Divisional Court of the Superior Court of Justice, and the Law Society of Upper Canada. The buildings also housed the Osgoode Hall Law School until 1969 when the faculty was relocated to the campus of York University in the North York community of Toronto.

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