Early Legislative Buildings

  • York's first Parliament Buildings, known as the Palace of Government, 1797 - 181

    York's first Parliament Buildings, known as the Palace of Government, 1797 - 1813.
    ©Toronto Public Library, from Robertson's Landmarks of Toronto, vol. 1, p. 351
     

  • Second Parliament Building, 1820 - 1824.

    Second Parliament Building, 1820 - 1824.
    ©Toronto Public Library, Robertson's Landmarks of Toronto, vol. 1, p. 352

     

  • Third Parliament Building, located at Front and Simcoe Streets, 1832 - 1892.

    Third Parliament Building, located at Front and Simcoe Streets, 1832 - 1892.
    ©City of Toronto Culture Services, 1978.41.30
    John Howard, watercolour of the Third Parliament Buildings, 1834
     

There have been many meeting places for Ontario's Parliament throughout history, including three purpose-built structures prior to the current Legislative Building, opened in 1893.

First Parliament Buildings, 1797 - 1813
York’s first Parliament Buildings served Ontario’s Parliament from 1797-1813, when they were burned by American troops during the War of 1812.  Located at the southwest corner of Front and Parliament Streets, the two one-and-one half storey structures were the first buildings in the town of York to be made of brick.

Second Parliament Building, 1820 - 1824
While a new Parliament Building was being constructed, the Legislative Assembly met at Jordan’s York Hotel on King Street.  The courts for Upper Canada also met at the hotel, as they too had previously used the Parliament buildings to carry out their duties.

The new Parliament Building was completed in 1820, on the same site as the first buildings. This time the space between the two buildings was filled with a centre block, creating one larger building.  It only lasted four years – an overheated chimney flue started a fire that destroyed the building in 1824. 

Third Parliament Building, 1832 - 1892
The courthouses at Church and King Streets housed Ontario’s Parliament from 1829-1832 until a new building was completed.  The new building was located at Front and Simcoe Streets, the current site of the Canadian Broadcasting Centre.  Ontario’s Parliament met here until 1892.