Osgoode Hall Site History


Several famous maps portray Toronto. In 1818 Philpott's
Plan of York now known as Toronto, symbolized the land
around Osgoode Hall as clear with few buildings. An 1838
sketch of Toronto indicates the building looking somewhat
isolated but structures were unfolding along Queen Street
which was known at the time as Lot Street. In 1842 Cane's
Topographical Plan exhibits York Street booming with
buildings. King Street progressed substantially and Queen
Street was a going concern with a scope of construction
projects extending to Spadina Avenue.

Osgoode Hall in 1856

It is hard to believe, but during this period of time the city
limit to the north was Dundas Street and the west boundary
was Bathurst Street. In 1851 Osgoode Hall was no longer
encompassed by fields rather a street lined city defined this
beautiful building. In 1858 Osgoode Hall boasted a new
addition designed by Cumberland and Storm. The ornate
fence and meticulous landscaping surrounding Osgoode Hall
would serve as a Toronto landmark. These characteristics
distinguished the building as a familiar site for over a century.

The community surrounding Osgoode Hall consisted of
wooden structures. The hardware stores, hotels, grocers,
liveries and bars were low-rise buildings constructed in close
proximity. Osgoode Hall possessed height, acreage and was
the only brick building in the vicinity.

Osgoode Hall in 1870

Toronto masonry buildings such as City Hall, the Armoury
and Registry offices were not constructed until the 1880's
and the 1890's.

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