Old City Hall | Toronto | Canada

Old City Hall, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Old City Hall, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Old City Hall Address – – Toronto, Ontario | 60 Queen Street West – MAP

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The impressive structure was built for crazy amounts of money in the late 1800’s.

Man who built Toronto - Architect EJ Lennox
Man who built Toronto – Architect EJ Lennox

One of many amazing designs from the “man who built Toronto”, architect EJ Lennox.  His other buildings include the mysterious Bank of Toronto (currently abandoned on Yonge Street), Casa Loma and the mausoleum of Hart Massey.

Toronto justified this cost because it stood as a symbol.  The city’s tallest structure (at the time) and two buildings in one.  City Hall was here until 1966.  The building remains a Courthouse to this day.

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Poor Building Decisions

Gargoyles hang out from the clock tower.  Look up from the street and they seem like simple design choices, but closer you see a Gothic surprise.

Gargoyles of Old City Hall in Toronto
Gargoyles of Old City Hall in Toronto

Remains EJ Lennox’s poor decision.  Not thinking of Canadian winters.  He should have known these thin statues wouldn’t survive.  Maybe he was distracted after facing countless challenges from contractors and city officials.  The building was completed with gargoyles.

They lasted until 1938 when a large piece broke off and fell to the street below.  Another came off and crashed through an upper floor ceiling.  They were quickly removed and the building remained gargoyle-free.  In 2003 the much safer bronze replicas were installed.

Lennox got some revenge.  He had caricatures carved of all those who made things difficult during construction.  Fitting his face is included…

Faces carved into Toronto's Old City Hall
Faces carved into Toronto’s Old City Hall

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Almost Torn Down by Eatons

In 1965 Eatons wanted to expand their mall.  The new City Hall opened at Nathan Phillips Square and city business is moved.

Toronto officials considered it.  The ancient structure would cost tax dollars for up-keep.  Enter the “Friends of Old City Hall”, a group dedicated to saving it for future generations.  They succeeded.

In 1989 Old City Hall was declared a National Historic Site.

Interesting Fact :: It’s happening again!  Now we’re looking at 2021 when court functions are moved.  Old City will have no use.  Thankfully there’s no threat of demolition.  We’re living in the modern days of “history sells”.

There’s talk of converting it to retail and office space.  However city officials are against it.  Toronto wants a museum!

The Tradition

20 years later and a tradition has formed.  Toronto reporters want to spend Halloween night inside the famously haunted Courtroom 33.

A reporter and her sister sign up one Halloween.  Going in skeptical and not expecting much.  Then right away they’re plagued by noises from the dark and empty hallway.  Echoing footsteps and they run out to see no one as a door slams in the distance.

Not long after the women are huddled in a corner and unable to sleep.  Then at 3am, the witching hour, they said as “a cool fog” rolled into the room.  Getting up and trying to walk.  They feet stick to the ground as if deep in molasses.

That was enough.  The women went home to the safety of their own beds.

Find out why it’s so haunted…

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