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February 28, 2013
Market Gallery exhibition explores and reveals Toronto's first City Hall
The Market Gallery presents the exhibition, Building a City: People, Places and Life in Toronto 1845-1899. It opens on March 9 and runs through September 14, 2013.

"This exhibition presents the early history of our city in a place that is central to its creation." said Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the City's Economic Development Committee. “It is a great opportunity for Toronto’s visitors and residents to not only see our history, but to feel it as well.”

In 1845, the City Council and staff moved into the city's first purpose-built City Hall on Front Street East at Jarvis. Just 11 years following the City's incorporation in 1834, municipal services and government could focus on city building for its 24,000 citizens. The exhibition shows that there was no shortage of critical issues including public health, fire and security, railways and the waterfront back in 1845.

The Market Gallery is the site of the original 19th-century council chamber. Drawing from historical maps, photographs and original portrait paintings in the City's art collection dating back to the 1850s, this exhibit takes place where it all happened. Debates on garbage, landfill, finances and a street railway are eerily reminiscent of today's issues.

Visitors can also explore Toronto’s history through an 1856 painting of the city by local artist Mary Hastings Meyer and learn about William Peyton Hubbard, Toronto's deputy mayor and first black politician. The exhibition highlights the people and places that transformed Toronto during this period, illustrating a time of tremendous change.

The City of Toronto's Market Gallery presents free exhibitions dedicated to Toronto’s art, culture and history and offers educational programs for school groups and adults. Located on the second floor of South St. Lawrence Market, 95 Front St. E., the gallery is open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information please visit

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.7 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media Contact
Shane Gerard
Communications Coordinator



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