Parliament Buildings, Toronto, 1826-1892
Finally, a little more permanence (sort of ...)
Another view of the parliament buildings
The first two sets of legislative buildings of Upper
Canada burned to the ground, the first at the hands
of the invading Americans in 1813 (the U.S. and
Britain were fighting the War of 1812), the second
of natural causes in 1824.
Construction on the above buildings began in 1825 or 1826, with parliament meeting temporarily (what's new?) in the York General Hospital and the Court House.
In 1830 the central block was completed, and the two wings were completed in 1833.
A cholera epidemic in 1834 was so bad that the hospital
was full and patients were put into the legislative
A Capital City Looking for a Home
Parliament vacated the buildings for most of 25 years
beginning in 1841 when Upper and Lower Canada were
united. The capital of the nited Canada moved from Kingston
(1841) to Montreal (1844). But a riot in Montreal in 1849,
during which the parliament buildings were destroyed
by fire, led to a further change: it was decided that
the current session would be finished in Toronto, after
which the set of government would alternate every four
years between Toronto and Quebec.
While parliament was in Quebec, the Toronto buildings were
used as law courts, a university, a barracks and an asylum
for the insane. The alternating-capital arrangement
continued until the government located at Quebec in
1859 and continued beyond it four-year term. In 1865
Ottawa became the capital of Canada.
Upon the creation of Canada in 1867, the Ontario legislature
moved into the Toronto buildings, remaining there until 1892,
when the present site at Queen's Park was completed.
More stories about the history of Jarvis Collegiate, early Torontoand William and Samuel Jarvis.
Martyn, Lucy Booth, Original Toronto, The Paget
Press, Sutton West & Santa Barbara, 1983.
Robertson, J. Ross, Landmarks of Toronto, Vol.1,
Mika Publishing Company, Belleville, Ontario, 1976.
ISBN 0-919302-04-8. Facsimile edition of original