I was downtown recently and since I was in the neighbourhood, I decided to pop into Old City Hall. I wrote about this 1899 heritage building back in February 2016, but I hadn’t gone inside and considered that a serious omission.
Rumours about redevelopment of this building have been swirling for a while, and one of the stories has it being reincarnated as a shopping mall … because, you know … we apparently don’t have enough of them now.
In spite of being called Old City Hall, it is actually a provincial court house and I wondered whether I would even be allowed to go inside and just walk around.
I had my doubts, but I decided to give it a try. Obviously who would resist a blogger with a mission?
My optimism was short-lived.
As soon as I walked in the front doors, I was greeted by a security guard and a screening system similar to airport security – complete with an x-ray machine and metal detector.
The security guard was a very friendly guy … but no. I could not take any photos. I could walk around and look at the building all I wanted. But no. No camera. No photos.
Then I had the brilliant idea of returning to Old City Hall this weekend for the Open Doors Toronto event. This is a special weekend once a year when buildings of interest around the city open their doors to the public for free and provide tours.
Surely they would allow photos to be taken during this event when the courts were not in session.
Well, hell. The answer was still no.
Just for the record, the inside of the building was stunning. It broke my heart not to be able to take even one little photo of the massive stained glass window lighting up the centre lobby.
The tiniest peak inside can be glimpsed through the window of the door above.
However, as a consolation prize, I managed to take photos of every single door in the main entrance before entering the building … and surprisingly, there were many. No expense was spared in putting doors on this place!
I even got a rare selfie.
Thursday Doors is a weekly photo feature hosted by Norm Frampton at Norm 2.0.