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TOUR(S): Scandals of Old City Hall - General and R-rated Versions

Updated: Mar 22, 2023



Old City Hall was scandalous from the start. It took so long to build -- from 1889 to 1899 -- with such cost overruns that a furious Toronto City Council refused to allow a plaque with the architect's name on the building. So E. J. Lennox had his stone masons carve his name on the Bay Street side of OCH instead. The architect's moustached visage is also among the building's medieval-style carved details.


Scandalous in the 1960s was Metro Council's approving of the demolition of OCH once Toronto City Council had moved to New City Hall in 1965. The T. Eaton Co. Ltd. wanted to create a massive, boring office/shopping complex where OCH stood, along with the area around it. Only the clock tower and cenotaph would have remained.


Yet the original Friends of Old City Hall -- chaired by James Acland, professor of architecture at the University of Toronto -- formed to save the building. Their pressure was a major factor in the would-be developer pulling the plug on its project in 1967.


Needed now is research into all the scandalous trials and scandalous people who are part of the history of OCH and the wider history of Toronto!

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