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.
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.
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.
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.
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.