Toronto's Old and New City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square

Toronto City Hall is a striking landmark featuring a modern architectural design which sharply contrasts the Romanesque Architecture of the adjacent Old City Hall

Toronto City Hall
Toronto City Hall cc licensed photo by -Jerome-

The adjacent new and old Toronto City Halls overlook Nathan Phillips Square, a popular gathering place for locals and visitors alike. The modern design of the New City Hall which opened in 1965, stands in sharp contrast to the 1899 architecture of the adjacent Old City Hall.

The new Toronto City Hall islocated on a large tract of land north of Queen Street West and west of Bay Street, which was the site of Toronto's first Chinatown. Much of Chinatown had to be displaced to the northwest in order to accommodate the new City Hall.

The modern design was created by Finnish architect Viljo Revell along with associates Heikki Castren, Bengt Lundsten, and Seppo Valju who won a contest to come up with the best design. The modern design consists of a rectangular base from which two curved towers rise to different heights. The circular council chambers are constructed on top of the rectangular base in between the two towers. The tallest tower reaches 27 stories (326 feet).

In front of the City Hall is a courtyard called Nathan Phillips Square featuring a reflecting pool which is used as an outdoor skating rink during the winter months, as well as the Peace Garden which serves as a memorial to the bombing of Hiroshima. The square features a weekly farmers' market, the winter festival of lights and is also used for concerts and art displays.

In stark contrast to the new Toronto City Hall and surrounding buildings, the Old City Hall sits next door and features Romanesque Architecture including a 340 foot clock tower complete with gargoyles and the third largest clock in the world. Built in 1899 this historic Toronto Building now serves as the Ontario Court of Justice.

For anyone interested in architecture, both old and new, Toronto's City Halls are a great place to explore.

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: No

Regular Hours:
May differ on holidays

  • Monday: Open 24 hours
  • Tuesday: Open 24 hours
  • Wednesday: Open 24 hours
  • Thursday: Open 24 hours
  • Friday: Open 24 hours
  • Saturday: Open 24 hours
  • Sunday: Open 24 hours

Address: 100 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5H 2N1, Canada

Phone: (416) 392-2489

Official Website: Toronto City Hall


Rated 4.6 out of 5Nathan Phillips Square Star Rating

5 Star Rating Wow lovely place you can spend hours to hours. Surrounded by tall tall buildings and few heritage buildings. It's Toronto downtown people are crazy, they are so stylish and etiquette. Whenever I visit Toronto I always spent hours to hours. This is my 6th visit and luckily today is Panorama India. I got opportunity to meet my Indian community and friends. I enjoyed a lit and had fun enjoying food, music and entertainment.

Bobbie Prasad - 2 months ago

5 Star Rating A great place to spend the evening. A lot of cultural activities happen around here during the week. Many food festivals took place in the last couple of weeks. Also a good place to sit around the pool and enjoy the views around. Its waking distance from Eaton Centre too. Queen station subway is right beside. I'd recommend going there with family and friends. During the winters, it's a sight to see people skating and playing ice hockey.

Gursimran Singh - 2 months ago

5 Star Rating It's an amazing place and has a great vibe. Been there for quite a few cultural and festival events. It turns into an amazing skating rink in the winters. Parking facilities in the basement are good and reasonable. Stones throw away from many a downtown tourist attractions.

Prashant Raut - 11 days ago

4 Star Rating Very beautiful space. But could have been better if the water body in front of the toronto write up was cleaned. It seemed a bit off being a tourist in such a wonderful country. Apart from this, I think this place is a wonderful mid spot to witness the tall building around and all the cool things happening in the spot.

Chasmitha Prem Pragna - 2 months ago

5 Star Rating We attended the Pan Pacific Music Festival over the weekend. It was fun for family, kids, couples and friends. People were dancing, food carts around and there are also some Botha setup for some specialties. The city parking is underneath very convenient. But we thought the highway was closed so we took subway down. It was quite nice. Over all is one of the outdoor activities within the city.

Anna C - 3 months ago

Accommodations near Toronto City Hall:


TTC Subway Line Nearest Station Walking Time
Yonge-University-Spadina Osgoode or Queen Station3-4 Minutes

How to get to Toronto City Hall by TTC Subway

No Bus required. From Osgoode Station walk east along Queen Street West or from Queen Station walk west along Queen Street West. Nathan Philips Square and the Toronto City Hall is located on the north side of Queen Street West about half way between these two stations.

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Photo Gallery


Spectacular aerial view of the fireworks at Nathan Phillips Square filmed during the Pan Am 2015 Games
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