Osgoode Hall Building Evolution


One of the most beautiful buildings in Canada is Osgoode Hall.
From 1829 to present over ten major renovations including
additions and updates have occurred. Osgoode Hall originated
as a two and a half storey brick structure. By 1970 the building
had flourished to occupy an entire city block. The Province of
Ontario and the Law Society own Osgoode Hall.

From 1829 to 1833 William Warren Baldwin's plan for the
Law Society was the building of the east wing which was a red
brick area only. The architect and builder was John Ewart.

Osgoode Hall

The original wood center range of Osgoode Hall was scheduled
for expansion in 1833. The center range was a segment of
renovation which was to incorporate a west wing of red brick
to compliment the east wing. The architect and builder was
Ritchie but the poorly built section was to be demolished within
twenty-five years.

From 1837 to 1843 Osgoode Hall was occupied by the military.
The deterioration and infestation of the building necessitated
restoration. In 1844 the center range was reconstructed. The
west wing of Osgoode Hall was built in the same year.

In 1844 the west wing and new centre range were designed by
a well known architect named Henry Bowyer Lane. A loan
from the Government and the British America Fire and Life
Assurance Company, enabled the building to develop in the
following way.

The red brick west addition and its portico were built. It was
originally covered by stucco. The stone portico was added to
the original east wing providing symmetrical pavilions around
the center. The main entrance to the building was erected and
a central range was constructed including a dome.

Osgoode Hall

The expansion of 1858 was to accommodate the new Court of
Common Pleas and the Court of Appeal. This important addition
became necessary by the 1850's. The owners of Osgoode Hall
held a competition for the construction of this new addition.
The team of Cumberland and Storm were victorious in the bid
eliminating their close competitor a Montreal firm.

The architectural design of 1858 included removing the center
range and recreating a new center which remains to this day.
The historic pavilions were unaltered to compliment the glorious
centre range. The classical style achieved is timeless. Throughout
history Osgoode Hall has attracted visitors with it's handsome
heritage. The antiques, sculptures and galleries coupled with
unique architectural highlights provide a memorable experience.


Home Bullet Bullet Index