Toronto City Hall is not only the center of government in the capital of Ontario, but also one of the most distinctive and visually engaging buildings as well. Tours of this historic building make an excellent and unique thing to do, and add a historic twist to any vacation.
Toronto City Hall was designed by a Finnish architect by the name of Viljo Revell who, along with landscape architect Richard Strong and engineer Hannskarl Bandel, supervised the beginning of the construction in 1961. To this day, it is a striking example of modernist architecture, so one can only imagine the dramatic impact it must certainly have had when it was completed and was opened in 1965. Nathan Phillips Square is the public plaza that comprises the forecourt of Toronto City Hall. It is named for Nathan Phillips, the mayor of Toronto from 1955 to 1962. It is a public gathering place that regularly hosts events at Toronto City Hall, concerts, performances, and a weekly farmer’s market.
Many people want to take Toronto City Hall tours simply because of how renowned the building in fact is. If you are coming from out of town or have a large group of people, you may be able to arrange for private Toronto City Hall tours, but normally the official tours are only offered to students in grade 5 and grade 10 as well as those students who are taking English as a second language. The guided student tours take between an hour and 90 minutes and essentially involve a look at the Toronto city government, a visit to the mayor’s office, a discussion of the building, and other components that make for an interesting student field trip. If you are looking for an engaging field trip for a long-distance field trip, Toronto City Hall tours may be a great and low cost option for you.
Besides the ever-popular weekly farmer’s market, Nathan Phillips Square is also the gathering place for the beloved Winter Festival of Lights. The reflecting pond that people join around during the summer becomes an ice skating rink in the winter. The Freedom Arches at Nathan Phillips Square are a major attraction, and contain within them a section of the Berlin Wall. The Peace Garden was established as a memorial to the people of Hiroshima. It was built as a means to communicate to the Canadian as well as the international communities in Toronto's dedication to global peace. There is also a very popular sculpture called The Archer by the famous artist Henry Moore on the premises.
The current Toronto City Hall was built to replace the first government building that was constructed in 1899. Along with the building project, residents of Toronto also got the addition of Nathan Phillip’s Square, which has significantly added to the cultural and recreational landscape of the downtown area. If you are planning a trip to Toronto, you will definitely want to look into whether or not any events are taking place at the Square. Many times, big bands perform concerts, and the weekly farmer’s market is a must-see for any first time visitor to the city.