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

Nathan Phillips Square and the Toronto City Hall at Christmas
Nathan Phillips Square and the Toronto City Hall at Christmas cc licensed photo by Alex Guibord

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

Address: 100 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2, Canada

Phone: (416) 203-2600

Official Website: Toronto City Hall

Directions

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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Reviews

Rated 4.3 out of 5

5 Star Rating Wonderful place to be with friends, family, special friends 😉 This place has its own charm during all seasons, in winters you will find kids skating on the small water body (it naturally freezes down into ice) during the months of Dec, Jan, Feb and in summers their fountains are kept on to give an amazing view. Perfect place for clicking photographs and memorabilia and frame them for life-long memories with 'TORONTO' written in the backdrop.

Business For Sale - 7 days ago

5 Star Rating The go too place to meet and park for any events in the downtown core. Great underground parking, fair rates. Safe and central location. Across from a Tim hortons! Park here and walk to most attractions in the downtown area.

Scott Holman - 7 days ago

4 Star Rating Always something happening here, so dropping by is recommended. It's clean and well maintained. Great place to people watch.

William Harris - 24 days ago

5 Star Rating Great place to take pics of the big Toronto sign. Tourist attraction. They have food stalls there too during the week and events going on all the time. When I went there was a welcoming ceremony for people who are newly Canadian which was pretty cool.

vina jesani - 1 month ago

4 Star Rating it's a beautiful place to hang around you can meet your friends over there or make new ones a lot of space to walk around and enjoy the view people seem to be friendly to place attracts a lot of tourist from all over the world and it shows the greatness of the Toronto skylight and the unique building which houses City Hall it is one of a kind place that offers entertainment when available you can go skating in the winter since there's an outdoor skating ring which is very well taken care of and is very pleasant for everyone to skate and enjoy the day it is also a great place to take pictures and there are some food trucks parked on the side of the road offering great hot dogs french fries that would just hand cut there's usually ice cream trucks over there and some other food choices the only thing that is hard to find are the bathrooms which are located all the way to the east side and Underground it confuses many people and I think that most people another where so this place does have bathrooms overrule the place very well taken care of they are garbage cans everywhere and most people seem to use them so the place is not little unless some people smoke and throw their cigarette butts on the floor which could be disturbing to a person like me who doesn't smoke I would recommend that you go and enjoy your day there with your friends and family and have a good time

Politi Paul - 1 month ago

Video


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

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