Stephen Otto, one of the board members of the Friends of Fort York, slipped a print-out under Spacing’s office door a few weeks ago. It was the image above — an illustration from the January 1898 edition of Canadian Architect & Builder of the proposed Victoria Square to be situated right out front of the soon-to-be opened City Hall (today’s Old City Hall). Click on the image to see a larger version.
Having read through a handful of Toronto history books, I was aware of the square’s proposal but I had never seen a rendering or illustration until I picked up that piece of paper. The square would’ve been the northern point of Federal Avenue, a grand boulevard stretching south to Union Station, linking the two major landmarks and institutions of the day. It’s certainly a shame this never came to be. On the flipside, it certainly would’ve changed our local history and we may have never ended up with our current and amazingly unique city hall.