Toronto: City Hall/Nathan Phillips Square 50-Years-Old Today

Update:

Nathan Phillips Square is where the City Hall is located. Nathan Phillips Square officially opened on September 13, 1965 - 50 years ago.
Nathan Phillips Square is where the City Hall is located. Nathan Phillips Square officially opened on September 13, 1965 – 50 years ago. There is a celebration today at the square, complete with a birthday cake for residents who attend.

Toronto City Hall, located at Nathan Phillips Square is celebrating its’ 50th Anniversary Today.

Nathan Phillips Square is located at 100 Queen Street West in downtown Toronto.

Fifty (50) Years ago, on this day, Toronto City Hall located at Nathan Phillips Square was officially opened in 1965.

Nathan Phillips Square is an urban plaza in Toronto, Canada.

It forms the forecourt to Toronto City Hall, or New City Hall, at the intersection of Queen Street West and Bay Street, and is named for Nathan Phillips, mayor of Toronto from 1955 to 1962.

Viljo Revell is the architect from Finland whose design for Nathan Phillips Square was selected after an international competition.
Viljo Revell is the architect from Finland whose design for Nathan Phillips Square was selected after an international competition.
Viljo Revell overlooking construction on Nathan Phillips Square.
Viljo Revell overlooking construction on Nathan Phillips Square. He passed away ten months before the square was officially opened on September 13, 1965.

The square was designed by Finish architect Viljo Revell (after he was selected through an international competition) and officially opened on September 13, 1965. Unfortunately, Mr. Revell had passed away ten (10) months before (November 8, 1964) the official opening of the square.

The square is the site of concerts, art displays, a weekly farmers’ market, the winter festival of lights, and other public events, including demonstrations.

During the winter months, the reflecting pool is converted into an ice rink for ice skating. The square attracts an estimated 1.5 million visitors yearly. With an area of 4.85 hectares (12.0 acres), it is Canada’s largest city square.

Revell looking at a model of Nathan Phillip Square. When it opened on Sept.13/65 a very large crowd attended. 10,000 received a program and a special coin to celebrate the opening.
Revell looking at a model of Nathan Phillip Square. When it opened on Sept.13/65 a very large crowd attended. 10,000 received a program and a special coin to celebrate the opening.

Since its opening in 1965, Nathan Phillips Square (NPS) in Toronto, Ontario has served as the City’s premier public space and civic gathering place, a leading tourist attraction for the City, and a national and provincial landmark.

Each year, over 1.5 million people visit Nathan Phillips Square for special events and a variety of community activities from ushering in the New Year to skating under its Freedom Arches.

While the Square has many successful attributes, the City has long recognized that some of the features on the Square have been underdeveloped and poorly used since the Square was originally designed. Some of its structures and facilities have fallen into a state of disrepair, have been closed, and no longer meet the needs of today’s users and programs.

Modern-day alterations and upgrades are required to meet the new functional requirements of the Square and allow a greater variety of activities and special events.

Nahan Phillips Square during construction in the 1960's in Toronto at the north-west corner of Queen St and Bay St.
Nahan Phillips Square during construction in the 1960’s in Toronto at the north-west corner of Queen St and Bay St.

Through a bold and rigorous design competition and with a commitment to design excellence, in 2007 the Competition Jury for the Nathan Phillips Square Revitalization Design Competition selected a forward-thinking, innovative design from the team led by Plant Architect Inc. & Shore Tilbe Irwin & Partners in Joint Venture from over forty-eight submissions from around the world.

Old City Hall located at 60 Queen Street West. When the "new" City Hall was built and opened on September 13, 1965 people called for the destruction of the Old City Hall. It was decided to maintain the Old City Hall, rather than tearing it down.
Old City Hall located at 60 Queen Street West. When the “new” City Hall was built and opened on September 13, 1965 people called for the destruction of the Old City Hall. It was decided to maintain the Old City Hall, rather than tearing it down.

The winning design respects and restores the beauty and dignity of the original vision of the Square by Finnish architect Viljo Revell and preserves and enhances its unique heritage qualities.

Through this winning design, Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square will be reintroduced with many new sustainable features. The biomass in the Square will increase and include new trees, landscaped gardens and a strategy for soil regeneration and stormwater management. The winning design will also rejuvenate existing elements of the Square including the podium roof top of City Hall, the elevated walkways, and other exterior spaces.

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3 comments

  1. Great site. Lots of helpful information here. I’m sending it to some pals and also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thanks on your sweat

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