Toronto City Hall at night



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City Mayors questions those who govern the world’s cities and talks to men and women who contribute to urban society and environment. More


City Mayors profiles national and international organisations representing cities as well as those dealing with urban issues. More


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City Mayors lists cities and city organisations, profiles individual mayors and provides information on hundreds of urban events. More


City Mayors reports news from towns and cities around the world. Worldwide | Elections | North America | Latin America | Europe | Asia | Africa |


City Mayors ranks the world’s largest, best as well as richest cities and urban areas. It also ranks the cities in individual countries, and provides a list of the capital cities of some 200 sovereign countries. More


City Mayors profiles city leaders from around the world. More


City Mayors describes the history, architecture and politics of the greatest city halls in the world. More


Mayors from The Americas, Europe. Asia, Australia and Africa compete for the World Mayor Award. More


Use
Mayor Monitor to rate the performance of mayors from across the world More


In your opinion: Praise Criticise. Write


City Mayors reports political events, analyses the issues and depicts the main players. More


City Mayors describes and explains the structures and workings of local government in Europe, The Americas, Asia, Australia and Africa. More


City Mayors deals with economic and investment issues affecting towns and cities. More


City Mayors describes and explains financial issues affecting local government. More


City Mayors reports urban environmental developments and examines the challenges faced by cities worldwide. More


City Mayors reports on and discusses urban development issues in developed and developing countries. More


City Mayors reports on developments in urban society and behaviour and reviews relevant research. More


City Mayors invites readers to write about the people in their cities. More


City Mayors examines city brands and marketing. More


City Mayors lists and features urban events, conferences and conventions aimed at urban decision makers and those with an interst in cities worldwide. More



City Mayors deals with urban transport issues in developed and developing countries and features the world’s greatest metro systems. More


City Mayors examines education issues and policies affecting children and adults in urban areas. More


City Mayors investigates health issues affecting urban areas with an emphasis on health in cities in developing countries. More


City Mayors reports on how business developments impact on cities and examines cooperation between cities and the private sector. More


City Mayors examines the contributions history and culture make to urban society and environment. More


City Mayors examines the importance of urban tourism to city economies. More


City Mayors questions those who govern the world’s cities and talks to men and women who contribute to urban society and environment. More


City Mayors profiles national and international organisations representing cities as well as those dealing with urban issues. More


City Mayors reports on major national and international sporting events and their impact on cities. More


City Mayors lists cities and city organisations, profiles individual mayors and provides information on hundreds of urban events. More


Toronto City Hall
By Gregor Gosciniak and Cathleen Winter

1 August 2008: The City Hall of Toronto, located on 100 Queen Street West between Bay Street and Osgoode Hall, is not only the seat of government but one of the city’s most distinctive landmarks – resembling from the air an enormous eye. It is the fourth City Hall in Toronto's history. The first was destroyed by fire, the second was a temporary affair, and the third became redundant as the city’s needs progressively expanded.

On 24 September 1956 the City of Toronto held an open international competition to select the design for its new City Hall. The winner was controversial Finnish architect Viljo Revell. Construction began on 7 November 1961 with Mayor Nathan Phillips, QC, ceremonially breaking ground for the building and its surrounding square. The square had previously been named in his honour in recognition of his tireless support for the City Hall project. His Excellency General George P. Vanier formally opened the new City Hall on 13 September 1965 in the presence of the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon. Lester B. Pearson, the Premier of Ontario, the Hon. John Robarts, and 14,000 dignitaries, guests and spectators.

The ambitious plans of Revell and his colleagues soon became the subject of heated debate. The building's ground plan is rectangular with its two towers curving inwards and reaching different heights. The 27-storey east tower is 99m in height with the west tower’s 20 storeys extending to 79m. The concrete surfaces of the towers are ribbed to prevent the fabric tearing apart as a result of differences in air pressure during the high winds characteristic of the Great Lakes.

Viewed from the air the building looks just like a gigantic eye, hence its nickname "The Eye of Government". The two curved buildings represent the upper and lower eyelids and the great meeting hall in the centre corresponds to the pupil.

At the time, the controversial design caused a storm of contention. Many felt it was extremely futuristic, far too much so for the city. Revell’s work was viewed by many as being a break with tradition. Nevertheless, his award-winning design was acclaimed as a step forward in modern architecture.

Visitors entering City Hall’s first floor from Nathan Phillips Square walk directly into a large hall. In the middle there is a massive concrete column. This column, measuring six metres across and one metre thick, supports the Council Chamber above. The Hall of Memory is located at the base where there is a glass case containing the "Golden Book of Remembrance" inscribed with the names of the 3,500 Torontonians killed in the second world war.

The second floor houses the Executive Floor of City Hall. Several committee rooms and the offices of the City Mayor and his 44 City Councillors are arranged in a circle around the gallery that overlooks the hall below.

Toronto City Hall has become much more than just a seat of government. As the symbolic heart of Toronto, it reflects the vitality of the community through the display of unique permanent pieces of public art that have been added to the complex over the years. For example, the mural entitled “Metropolis” is located along the east wall inside the main doors. Toronto artist David Partridge created this work from more than 100,000 common nails. In his interpretation, the sculpture symbolises a great metropolis - but  no particular city.

Furthermore, Toronto City Hall has found fame in many movies. For example, in Star Trek: The Next Generation as being one of the possible destinations of an alien portal and in 2002 in the film The Tuxedo as "CSA Headquarters". In the movie Resident Evil: Apocalypse, the City Hall was “destroyed” by a neutron bomb that detonated over the building.

David Raymond Miller is the Mayor of Toronto, having been elected in 2003 and re-elected in 2006 for a four-year term. He is the 63rd Mayor of Toronto.


Mayor Monitor initially assesses the performance of the mayors of Amsterdam, London and New York City


On other pages
Vancouver City Hall
Construction of the new Vancouver City Hall began on 3 January in Vancouver's Golden Jubilee Year of 1936 and was completed on 1 December of the same year .The first cornerstone was laid by former Mayor Gerry McGeer on 2 July. Construction of the building was commissioned by the Vancouver Civic Building Committee and the building was designed by architect Fred Townley and Matheson.

The $1 million construction cost was provided by a special bond issue. City Hall was completed on 1 December after only 330 days of construction work. The building has a twelve storey tower featuring a clock on the top. As a decorative item an eight-foot statue of Captain George Vancouver was placed at the front of the building. George Vancouver was a Royal Navy officer, who became well known for his exploration of North America, including the Pacific coast along today’s Canadian province of British Columbia and the American states of Alaska, Washington state and Oregon. The statue was designed by Charles Marega and unveiled on 20 August 20 by the then Lord Mayor of London, Sir Percy Vincent. More